Monica Khangembam Meets Rijiju to Discuss Her Incident of Racism 

Monica said that MoS Kiren Rijiju informed her that disciplinary action had been taken against the officer.

2 min read
Monica Khangembam Meets Rijiju to Discuss Her Incident of Racism 
Hindi Female

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Monika Khangembam, a resident of Imphal in Manipur, who was subject to an unpleasant incident of racial discrimination at the Indira Gandhi International Airport immigration desk in Delhi, met Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju to discuss the incident, on Thursday.

In a post on Facebook, Monica said that the minister informed her that the officer had accepted that he might have been ‘rude’ but claimed it wasn’t ‘intentional’. Rijiju also told her that after his personal inquiry, disciplinary action had been taken against the officer.

We talked for almost an hour discussing the incident and stories of everyday racism. To my surprise I learnt that disciplinary action was taken against the officer in question (in the form of a strict warning but more, I am not sure), the officer accepted that his tone ‘might have been rude’ but it was not ‘intentional’ (I don’t know what that means) and the MoS also agreed that he did cross his boundaries with certain statements and attitude.

Referring The Hindu, which reported that a ‘highly placed source’ informed them that after internal inquiry by the Bureau of Immigration it was found that “the immigration official had only asked general questions”, she said that it was a one-sided inquiry which did not even approach her to learn her side of the incident.

What is interesting is they just trivialise and delegitimise my experience of humiliation by just saying I ‘misunderstood the entire episode’. This attitude itself is racist. And on what basis and set of criteria was it decided that it was a misunderstanding? You just know when something comes out of general curiosity and when certain questions are asked in a mala fide manner. 

Earlier in July an immigration officer at the IG airport looked at Monica’s passport and told her that she didn’t look Indian. He also asked her the total number of states in India and the number of states Manipur shares its border with.

After she shared the incident in a post on Facebook, she was subjected to a lot of criticism from certain people, who were of the opinion that she had ‘misunderstood the incident.’

A screenshot of a Facebook account that attacked Monia after she reported the incident. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Monica Khangembam)
Maybe now you can see beyond your hatred and arrogance. It’s also funny how you can think that these kind of incidents are exceptions and don’t happen everyday and all these people complaining are just ‘misunderstanding’ everything.

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