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86% of North Easterners Face Racial Discrimination in National Capital: A Study Reveals

By Madhu Chandra

The racial discrimination and attack on Indians outside the country, no way should be compromised, yet in own vineyard, same is repeatedly faced by north easterners and least is worried by the majority of the Indian society. Chief Minister of Mizoram, Mr. Lalthnhawla’s statement on racial discrimination, has sparked the nation by revealing what was hidden for so long and least cared. A study reveals socking reality on same issue.

86% of North East Indian communities face racial discrimination living in Delhi and NCR for period of two years and more according to a study conducted by North East Support Centre & Helpline. The study was conducted by selecting samples of north easterners living in north Delhi, South Delhi and Gurgaon. The samples 80 students in classification new comers and those already for two years and more were selected randomly, who hails from different parts of north east Indian states.

New comers who are less than two years in national capital, tense to say “No” on racial discrimination faced by the north east communities while 86% of those who are two years and more, face discrimination for the reason of their different look, different culture, different language and being outsiders.

Only 14% says that they did not face racial discrimination but they felt people calling them chinkies, Nepalis, free culture and strangers, which they did not consider racial discrimination. Half of those who said that they did not face racial discrimination are less than two years living in Delhi. The longer, the one stays in national capital reveals the racial discrimination faced by the north easterners. The study also reveals the possibilities that longer the one stays higher the chance to face racial discrimination.

78.75% of those who face racial discrimination say that they are treated like chinkies, strangers in own land, free culture and Nepalis. 22.5% face physical attacks, 3.75% sexual assault, 35% vulgar remarks and 38.75% no comments.

North East Support Centre & Helpline handled and reported 34 cases since its birth on 21 October 2007. 41% of total cases was of sexual abuse, 18% beating by locals, 12% rape cases, 9% killed probably in connection to sexual assault, 6% landlord harassment, 3% vulgar remarks, 3% eve teasing, 3% police harassment, 3% employer harassment, 3% Media vulgar statement against north easterners.

On top of the racial discrimination faced from the some of the local communities, the discrimination is double when the cases are denied, ignored and delayed by the police official on duty. Out of 34 cases handled and reported to North East Support Centre & Helpline, only 67.65% cases were filed FIR(s) and 32.35% did not file the case in police station. Out of 34, only 17.65% of the cases were taken up by police, out of which only two cases are taken in the court for legal judgement.

The racial discrimination to north east communities in national capital was rising up in 2005 and the following years till 2007, where North East Support Centre & Helpline was launched out to help and sensitise the issue. As per the media records collected from 2005 till date by North East Support Centre & Helpline, 10 (29%) of racial discrimination occurred in 2005, 2 (6%) in 2006 (did not have proper recording), 12 (35%) in 2007, 6 (18%) in 2008 and 4 (12%) in 2009.

The sensitisation after launching North East Support Centre & Helpline in 2007, the cases were reduced in 2008, but the alarming cases so far received in current years is an issue of concern.

The racial discrimination on Indians outside the country is the concern, less we forget to do the home work on the issue faced by own citizen of the country, which is less cared just because they look different from rest of the majority population.

North East Support Centre & Helpline (www.nehelpline.net) is combined initiative of various human rights activists, social workers, students, journalists and lawyers seeking to prevent harassment and abuses meted out to women, North East People and tribal communities of different states.

(The study was conducted by Madhu Chandra – Spokes Person of North East Support Centre & Helpline with the helps of his colleagues as part of his Ph. D. on social and concern under South Asia Institute of Advance Christian Studies (SAIACS), Bangalore. © Copyrights is reserved by North East Support Centre & Helpline)
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