Undoubtedly, what happened is quite unfortunate and the way in which Nido Tania was allegedly beaten by rods and sticks sounds horrific. But why this issue is drawing so much attention? Only because the victim is from Arunachal Pradesh, the eastern-most frontier state of one of the most neglected and cut-off regions of India – North East?

Any incident of violence, rape and murder is a crime. But we tend to generalize things according to our perceptions. One may hardly debate over this fact that metros across the nation are rapidly emerging as safe breeding ground for all anti-social elements. They loot, tease, rape, kill, yet roam scot-free. What an irony?

Having said that, Nido Tania's case can’t be dismissed as an one-off incident. We boast all around proudly, beating drums of secularism and unity but this incident comes as a collective slap on every self-respecting Indian. What’s more shameful is – Delhi is getting increasingly alienated from North-East due to such stray incidents.

How can you call someone ‘Chinki’ only because he or she has got Mongoloid features? How can you call someone ‘Chinese’ only because the language he speaks is accented? How can you make fun of someone’s way of dressing and hairstyle only because it’s absolutely unconventional to you?

For a city, which is the national capital of the world’s largest democracy, this incident raises serious questions on its secular and tolerant credentials. It throws light on a very key issue, which has been deliberately kept at bay, time and again.

Putting it straight, those who actually claim to represent ‘mainstream India’, based on their Aryan looks and fluency over a certain language should go for some serious soul-searching. They need to introspect and analyze – whether they are truly educated or just mugged a few degrees for the sake of doing it. They need to rearrange their mindset, open up to newer horizons, gain some knowledge of culture, which exists in North-East India, instead of branding every single individual from NE ‘Manipuri’. They need to come out of this concept that northeastern people are illiterate, reside in jungles and feed on animals. If they can’t speak and pronounce like you do, teach them, support them, encourage them, and for the sake of love of God, please don’t make fun of them.

Very often, we project ourselves as proud cosmopolitans in this 21st century. Are we? Truly?

Pankaj Ghosh/JPN

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