Regionalism is vociferously deplored in social forums; nonetheless it is a tacitly pervasive element of our country’s urban areas (“Combating hate crime”, Feb. 3). Apart from the regular instances of discrimination against Bihari people in Maharashtra, the incident that took place in Bangalore in 2012 and the recent one in New Delhi are among the emerging incidents of hate-crime against northeasterners. It is a shame that our Constitution, which provides all Indian citizens the right to live in any part of the country, is unable to ensure that they are protected from discrimination. Inclusive growth, which remains an academic ideal that seems to have currency only in those discussions of economic philosophy, can be achieved only if countrymen bear a sense of unity in their hearts. But the average countryman does not appear to be bothered over such airy-fairy goals.
It is quite an irony that a mere five days after India celebrated Republic Day, a person hailing from a region that is an integral part of it was beaten to death. What relief will the Kashmiri people get from finally becoming Indian citizens if regionalism-driven violence is what is in store for them? Incidents such as the one that befell Nido Tania will only serve to ignite separatism. The solution here lies not in concocting ever stricter laws and augmenting policing measures, but, rather, in inculcating true nationalism and patriotism among citizens.
Often, people from the northeast, who happen to have Mongoloid features, are confused with Chinese and subjected to unfair condemnation. Similarly, some people in the north of India have a tendency to club all dark-complexioned south Indians under the derogatory term ‘madrasi’. It is time students are educated on the oneness of humanity and irrational prejudices are erased from the public mind.