Covid-19 or Racism, which one to fight first?

YFPHR

The world has been under threat due to the increase in infection by Covid-19 for the last couple of months. There is a panic globally on how to fight with this virus. Covid-19 does treat everyone equally regardless of our race, culture, religion, occupation, etc.

However, during this entire crisis to fight for lives, it is very unfortunate to experience the increase in racial attack towards the people of North East, India in the hindi belt of India by the so self proclaimed Aryans on the vague premise of similar bodily features being shared with China from where the virus originated and more over just because of having a distinct Mongoloid features, north-easterners are being identified as “Corona” or “Corona Carrier”. While the fight is in progress to combat the Covid-19, yet another burden has been piled up upon the People of North East Region on two counts (i) how to resist with the Covid-19 and (ii) the Racial Attack in Mainland India.

There has been Lockdown called upon both in the central front and also in all the state of India. The recent proclamation by the Prime Minister of India to have complete lockdown for the whole nation for a span of 21 days is an indication that the scenario of the pandemic corona virus is not to be taken lightly. For and by result of which essential commodities have become topmost priority for every household and the necessity of stock piling of essential commodities is the call of the hour if not in the form of panic buying but for the hibernation period of uncertainty until the menace of the virus subsides and the homecoming of normalcy.

In this situational dilemma, the myopic psyche of the people of main belt, India have without knowing the sensitivity of the circumstances have plunged into a spree of exhibiting discrimination against  the north easterners of India wherein many of them have been restrained from buying or accumulating essential commodities on the sole pretext of having carrier of corona virus ignoring the those infected people who have in fact imported the virus from the western European countries and other infected countries.  Rental houses occupied by the North Easterners are asked to be vacated by the landlords at this extreme diabolical hour where even all transportation routes are in limbo as a checkmate to control the virus. North East People are further being barred from even entering groceries situated  in the in and around the locality to buy the essential commodities.

To highlight few cases

  • On the 22 of March 2020 a Manipuri girl was spat on her face and called “Coronavirus”. The incident happened in New Delhi’s Vijay Nagar area. Delhi police registered a case under Section 509 of Indian penal code against the man and the investigation is currently under way.
  • On the 7th of March 2020 a Mizo girl, Princy (name changed) from Manipur who went to a grocery shopping at Reliance Mart , Aundh (Pune) had received a racial comments from  a lady by covering her mouth and showed a gesture of annoyance of being an infected person on seeing the Mizo girl.
  • A group of northeastern girls who were working in Ahmedabad were asked to leave their rented house in Gujarat having a suspicion on them as a patients of corona virus and accused them of spreading Covid-19.
  • On the 15th of March 2020 in Bandra Linking Road Opp. KFC Mumbai, some North Eastern people were going to the church and some locals sitting nearby teased them by calling the them as “corona”.
  • On 26th of March, 2020 two boys from Nagaland were out to buy some groceries from More Store located at Mysore, Karnataka wherein they were not allowed to enter due to their possession of Mongoloid Features.

 

Aforementioned cases are just the tip of the iceberg while many are facing severe hardship to keep going with the ill treatments by those whom they called themselves as Indian by not knowing where the North Eastern states of India are located in Indian Map.

 

Whoever has the racist thoughts must not forget that Covid-19 treats everyone equally and things do not matter who is who. The hate speech and racial discrimination needs a deeper insight before the same is utilized against the sectional community of North East India residing at cities and towns of mainland India. The call for segregation from India not by choice but out of identity crisis has been instigated and further compelled the North East People to prepare to be self reliant in our own land by protecting our culture, identity, land and resources.  Covid-19 has even taught a very good lesson to learn on how we are treated differently due to our appearance and India as a whole cannot shy away from this reality bite.