From the next academic session, the history of Northeast India will be included in the syllabus of Delhi government schools so that “children know the history of every part of India” and “do not treat people from different parts of the country as aliens”, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal here on Tuesday.
Mr. Kejriwal joined scores of people at Jantar Mantar here to demand swift action against those responsible for the death of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania and announced steps to end racial discrimination against people from the Northeast. This past week, Tania, a first-year student of a private university in Jalandhar, died after being allegedly assaulted by a group of people in Lajpat Nagar .
Stating that school books will have chapters on the history of Northeast India from the next session, Education Minister Manish Sisodia said the Department of Education will teach people how to respect Indians. “It is not simply about facts and figures of the Northeast. I will try my best to ensure that students in Delhi are taught how to respect people and women from the Northeast or from any other parts of the country,” he said. “Through books, through education and schools we will create a generation that will respect people.”
Addressing the gathering mostly in Hindi amid demands requesting him to speak in English, Mr. Kejriwal emphasised the need to revamp the criminal justice system and sensitise policemen. He also said that necessary action would be taken against those behind the attack on the basis of the magisterial inquiry. “I told them the Delhi Police are an interested party. It is one of the accused. The police cannot conduct an independent investigation. Therefore, we ordered a magisterial inquiry,” he told the gathering.
Responding to a request to set up a committee for people from the Northeast to look into all forms of racial discrimination, he said the Delhi Government will notify such a committee. “Why don’t you all form a committee and we will declare that as the official committee of the Delhi Government? You give the suggestions and we will include those suggestions and implement them,” he added.
Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Manipur Gun Survivors Network, pulled up Mr. Kejriwal for “showing up only on the fourth day of protests”. “We will not rest until an anti-racial discrimination law is passed,” she said. Some protesters alleged that despite Tania’s death sparking a fresh debate on the treatment of Northeast migrants in the city in the past few days, they continue facing racial slurs on the street as well as in other spheres.