India, the country which is known to be incredible, for a variety in its culture and environment divided not only in various states but also in regions, etiquettes and with the agenda of unity in diversity, the nation sets a benchmark to many nations. It is a country where people from all over the world are welcomed with grace and pure hospitality and are given the respect that reflects the simplicity and generosity of the people living here. A country where people embrace the beauty around them and they are always eager to learn about the different cultures that made India so incredible.
It’s the dream of every person to discover their life in a great way, exploring and acknowledging its beauty and learning the rules of the life that we have put up altogether with others. A reflection of ancestors followed with legacy who have embraced the place with their knowledge, and have given the country a lot more than just establishing a societal and biblical belief.
The tricolour flag brings together the states, its different culture, religions, and the people, who are actually the pride of the nation in true sense, but the distinction between the people is not developed by the flag, religion, caste, gender or colour, but it straight holds up the fact of how the people are living, and what reflects their mindset towards equality, and humanity. There has always been a discrimination and segregation all over the world, in terms of classes, religion, region et al.
Let me bring a story of a boy who is from a NorthEast state and what all had he faced and the experiences from the varied incidences happened with him throughout his time of travelling across the country regardless of where he wandered, he was referred as a “northeastern” or “chinki-chinka” instead of his real name.
Being scared at an unknown place where he is not known to many but a very few, he never outraged while the rising cases against the northeastern students made him numb and silent. There is nothing that makes a Northeastern lad different from other citizens of the country, apart from their origin and looks, even if you count that.
Like the other places in India, these seven sisters and one brother state are equal parts of the country, sharing its culture, dignity, and pride among all, to be a part of the same country, which we call divine and united. These sister states are represented as Northeastern states and are amongst the top literate states in the country, which also reflect its lowest crime rates, and a society of modern and civilized people. They also want to be the part of bringing our country to an era where people stand together and united like everyone does and wants from every other state.
Coming back to his words and journey, Joy, my friend from Assam told me what all he has been going through since a long time.
“I just passed my 12th in Science stream, and so now it was the time for me to choose my career path. At last, I opted for engineering, but I always wanted to explore, so I chose to get my engineering done from a far state from my place (Assam). I got my admission done in a university in Punjab.
It was my first time being alone going away from the home to an unknown place, where I did not know how people are, what culture they follow, but I had a strong belief and I was firm that wherever we go, humans are same, no matter what culture follows with them and here, one thing we already had in common that we were Indians, how different they can be.
So I set out with strong ambition and excitement to start my journey to a new world, in a new way, exploring, learning and experiencing new things. I have never ever thought that what that will turn out to be, and how that will go, was never expected to happen.
I was in a connecting train, and there were 2 days halt for me to get on my next train, so at that moment I thought of having a look around the place. I got into a hotel, where I was asked where I am from, and I gently replied I am from Assam, and later realised that there was something fishy going on, they asked me my ID card proof as a booking policy I have showed them, and then they asked me how the condition is there in Assam.
I replied it is all good, and they questioned me with a gesture that isn’t there any terrorist act going on, it’s lot of jungle area, right? Being it a first time for me, I thought that it was just to have some knowledge about the place, so I told them everything’s good there, and it has become more developed from the old times when it was not.
Soon, I found that people used to look at me with a different eye, and few started calling me “Chinka”, I didn’t know that time why it’s been addressed as. Likewise, I have witnessed when I went to my university and made friends, when I gave them an introduction of mine, the most common reactions were is there a lot of jungle, are the terrorists still in action there and do you eat all kind of foods, like insects, any kind of meat, and all?
With time, I understood that it was not their preconception for Assam only, but it was for all the northeastern states. They were not taught to discriminate and differentiate, but intolerance and ignorance made a mark of such prejudices within them.”
I realised that those were not the issues happening with just me, but there were thousands of more people from northeastern area, who’re facing the same or even the worst situations. This intolerance and ignorance not only caused discrimination, but it has also led to many crime scenes often reported in the news which include rapes, murders, harassment and suicides.
Is it really our fault that we belong to a northeastern state, a state of India having a different lifestyle? Isn’t our country a democratic to provide the equal rights to one and all, including us?
This matter cannot be questioned or given a judgement until and unless ‘awareness’ is spread among the (proud) citizens of the country regarding our existence as same human being like everyone else. Now, the question stands on you which embarks against the mindset that diminishes the humanity but prevails discrimination and disgust.
Not to forget, we all have at least one thing in common, we are all Indians who matter India.
(This story has been written by Abhishek Biswas).
Cover Image Source.