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Incomplete idea of India as a Nation : Need to do more than Act East
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 13 2017 -



Prove your Nationality in your own country.

Sounds ludicrous, but this is exactly what happened when a group of students from Central Agriculture University, Imphal went to see the Taj Mahal at Agra a few days back.

If the issue was not so serious, this would have surely elicited guffaws from all over and this is something which people from the North East region of India have had to face for decades.

Racial profiling is rampant and despite the efforts taken up by the Centre to deal with this, such a mindset continues to dog many people of India, especially in those settled in mainland India.

A reflection that the idea of India as a Nation is yet to strike root and this says poorly of the country, which attained independence from the British way back in 1947.

Not surprising, for no one has deemed it necessary to drill it into the heads of the common people that the idea of India does not end at the Brahmaputra.

Time for hard talk. How much is the North East mentioned in the history of India ?

Or is it mentioned at all ?

This is a question which should have been raised a long time back, before the killing of Nido Tania, Loitam Richard, Reingamphy and the spate of violence against the North East people some years back at Bengaluru.

It is not without reason why the Government of India constituted the Bezbaruah Committee after the killing of Nido Tania in 2014.

Again here, it is in line to recall that the Centre preferred to sleep over the recommendations submitted by the Committee for more than a month back in 2014.

Still not very clear how much the Centre has acted on the recommendations of the Committee and some of the key recommendations submitted by the Committee included, new law against discrimination, fast track Courts and special police squads, interventions in education (include the history of the North East in the syllabus of schools and colleges), social media outreach and legal awareness campaigns and promote the bonding power of sports, wherein the North East should be made the centre of sports events.

A more than enough indication that still a lot needs to be done, to neutralise the chicken neck syndrome and the first step towards this should be to obviously acknowledge that racism does indeed run deep in the Indian society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will need to do more than just Act East.



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