Giving racial twist to coronavirus
Threatening idea of India
Tragically ironic. Even as the world has come together as one under the clarion call to unitedly fight the novel coronavirus, which has so far claimed over 13 thousand lives worldwide, the same ailment has driven apart people of the North East from the understanding of India as a Nation. After a group of students went live and uploaded a video footage urging all, read people of mainland India, not to equate them with the virus which has its origin in Wuhan at China, news of people from North East being targeted and named corona has been making news all over the country. Apparent that many in mainland India continue to be obsessed with the terms Chinky, Momo, Ching-Chong Chinaman and now corona. Even as the North East region of India positively responded to the Public Curfew call of the Prime Minister on March 22 and stayed put inside their homes, some elements in mainland India, notably Delhi, continue to objectify folks from the North East merely on the basis of their appearance. And so to such elements, who are Indians by birth and sadly by upbringing, there is nothing wrong in equating the people of the North East with terms like Chinky, Momo, Ching-Chong Chinaman and now corona. It is this mindset which was starkly visible in the spit on the face of a young girl from Manipur at Vijay Nagar near Delhi University one day after the Public Curfew call of the Prime Minister.
So from Delhi, Punjab to West Bengal, wherein some students from Darjeeling were called coronavirus and it is obvious that to many of these elements, people can be judged according to their physical attributes. Or is there something more deep rooted than just physical attributes ? A clear indication that in the more than 70 years since independence, mainland India has not yet learnt that the reality of India does not end at the chicken neck, the narrow strip of land running just north of Bangladesh and which connects the North East region with the rest of the country. This is also not the first time that people from the North East have been subjected to racial abuse in mainland India and one just have to recall Nino Tadia, Reingamphy, Richard Loitam etal. Ironic it is but time to tell these elements that till date the North East has not reported any positive case of coronavirus and it is their region which is threatening the North East region with the virus. Time for the BJP led Government at New Delhi to seriously take the issue or else the coronavirus will do much more damage than just endangering lives. The pan spat on the face of the young girl of Manipur at Vijay Nagar near Delhi University on March 23 should be taken to its logical conclusion and the culprit should be booked and accordingly penalised for here is a case of a mentality threatening the idea of India as a Nation.