(Many are taking to Twitter to demand a mandatory chapter on the northeastern states of India in the NCERT curriculum in an attempt to end the racial discrimination they face almost every single day at the hands of their fellow Indians. This video has been reposted from The Quint’s archives in solidarity with the #NortheastMatters trend. It was originally published in March 2020.)
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak one particular section of people have been facing racist attacks – symbolically, verbally and physically – the people from Northeast India.
Sample these incidents.
Hminftei Chhangte, a girl from Manipur, was abused in a supermarket. She was made to feel as if she’s the carrier of the dreaded virus just because her features closely resembled those of the people of China.
In Delhi’s Pandara Road area, a restaurant asked a girl to leave the premises because other guests had a problem with how she looked. They suspected her of being a carrier of coronavirus. The girl was from Shillong.
In another incident, a Manipuri girl living in Delhi’s Vijay Nagar was spat at by a local. She was also called ‘coronavirus’.
Having had enough of this racial attacks, actor Tenzin Dalha of ‘Guilty’ fame decided to hammer in some sense.
“I have been called coronavirus. Just because we have Oriental and Mongoloid features doesn’t mean that the coronavirus will attack us, or that we are the carriers. There is no scientific basis of this. It can infect anyone. The virus doesn’t discriminate.”Tenzin Dalha, Actor
After the Delhi spitting incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed all states to take legal action against people who racially harass people from the Northeast, unfairly linking them to the COVID outbreak.