02 December, 2020

Opinion | Not COVID-19, Racism Is A Virus That Knows No Cure And India Is A Hotspot

Northeast natives face racist slurs, assaults across India. They have been guilty of reverse-racism in their own states, writes journalist Anupam Bordoloi

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Opinion | Not COVID-19, Racism Is A Virus That Knows No Cure And India Is A Hotspot

Racism is a deadly virus. A global scourge that has no known cures yet. Its manifestations are ugly, even fatal. And who would know that better in independent India than a native of the Northeast—that part which is still mysterious and exotic for many of their countrymen. It’s not familiarity which breeds contempt here—it’s the lack of a capacity to be familial. An outright refusal by “mainland India” to see beyond its nose, to truly understand and appreciate anything beyond what it already thinks and knows. Here, they are presented with a diverse people, with div­erse cultures, languages and food habits, with one commonality: that for all of them, their home is not a remote corner of a huge country, but the centre of their universe.

But racism is a global pandemic, and also a local one. Taunts, abuses and even physical assault directed at people from the Northeast, with distinctly Mongoloid features, are a symptom that any roadside checking can catch. Just the other day, a Mizo girl, apparently a student, was accosted...



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