Indians often express a lot of pride on calling themselves ‘Indians’ and the rest, Chinese! Are these Indians really Indian at the core of their heart or are they simply showing off? Is that pride false? The pride of Knowledge, Philosophy, Science and Mathematics? Where is the Indian-ness as they say which binds them all together? Do they really know who they are or who their friends are?
“Manipur? Oh! Must be there somewhere in the Northeast… This is what most of us say when we come across this name. What is the Northeast? Is it a different country? No, don’t be silly, it’s the north eastern part of India. How many states constitute the north east? Umm… I guess seven… Could you please name them? Assam, Arunachal Pradesh… umm…”
That is how people respond. Going deep into the issue one will find too many holes to stitch, but isn’t it worth a try than to have your own countrymen suffer endlessly? Why have they been separated from the rest of the Indians? Because of their colour or because they belong to the Mongolian race? If that is so, isn’t it as we say being Racist?
North-easterns are not bad; they are not not-friendly, or snobbish! If one from the mainland claims so, then it is highly recommended to that person to check others from calling them ‘chinkies’ and ‘Chinese’! If they are unsocial, we are also equally unsocial. A relationship doesn’t build in a day, it is a gradual process. To be friends with someone, one needs to understand that person. Here both parties are expected to explore each other’s lifestyle and culture then judge one another.
“They wear different clothes, so they look different and hence we don’t feel comfortable talking to them.” “They try to look like foreigners!”- are some of the views gathered from the mainland mass. But are they aware of the ASFPA and the torture the local people have to face every day? Even today, people of Manipur do not dare to step out of their houses after 7pm. The price of gas cylinders rise up to Rs2000, as the only highway connecting the state to the rest of India is often blocked by goons. Irom Sharmila is still fasting to protest against unlawful killing of localites and zero investigation. There hasn’t been ample effort to develop the area, it has been constantly neglected, and the people have been living under constant fear of the army and insurgency. Hence how can we the mainlanders, judge north-easterns calling them ‘unsocial’, ‘foreigners’ and ‘snobs’? Ponder on the issue and act wisely. According to Shakespeare the rising generation must be “Young in limbs, in judgment old” and thus break down the wall of discomfort.