From Chinky to Coronavirus:
Chain of racial profiling
From Chinky to Ching Chong Chinaman to Coronavirus besides Momo, the discrimination or rather racial profiling has not yet come full circle, for the past, the present and a look at the probable future says that such categorisation will continue. Mongoloid features, nothing in common physically and culturally too, including food habit, and there is nothing much to identify the people of the North East region of the country with the rest of the country, but can this be enough reason to call someone Coronavirus just because the first report of the virus came from Wuhei province of China ? Ironic that even though people from the North East have been profiled Coronavirus in some other parts of the country, the North East has not reported any positive case of coronavirus. The foreigner who had a history of travel to Guwahati in Assam, only tested positive for the virus after he landed at Bhutan. In other words he was on transit at Assam and is not from that State. That the North East has always remained cut off from the consciousness of the rest of the country needs not be repeated here, but it says something profound that even at this time of global concern over a virus, which knows no National boundary and has claimed over 9,000 human lives should continue to be equated with a group of people, just because they look different. A sure shot demonstration of the lack of education on the part of the many who live in mainland India and who cannot look beyond their immediate environs.
This is where the idea of India falls short, very short. That this could be happening even after more than 70 years of Independence should say something about how lop sided has the process of Nation building been in the country. A group of citizens whose idea of India ends where their immediate family and friends circle ends, a group whose idea of India cannot proceed beyond the chicken neck and utter disregard for anyone who looks different and this is where the script of profiling under the term Coronavirus unfolds. The video clipping shared by a group of youngsters of the North East and studying somewhere in Punjab and which went viral on the social media sites should tell the story of discrimination based on mere physical appearance and this is what prompted Union Minister Kiren Rijiju to come out in the open and announce that strict advisories have been issued to all States to take action against anyone racially profiling people from the North East over coronavirus. Prior to the video clip of the youngsters, another video clip of a woman from the North East subjected to racial profiling somewhere in Pune city did the round, again over coronavirus. This is the unfortunate reality of India, even as the world is facing a pandemic.