What's in a name?

Outcome of the racial abuse: Highlights the need to create a society that is culturally-sensitive. Photo: Sandeep Saxena   | Photo Credit: Sandeep_Saxena

“At one end, we still have barriers of caste, language and race; at the other is this move to safeguard the esteem of those from the North East. Frankly, if the government really wants to do something for the North East, they should improve the economy, facilities and infrastructure and address the everlasting problems of these states, which would be of greater good to them and the nation,” feels BHARGAV KOSURI (III Year B.Tech Civil Engineering, SRM University) who also asks his peers as to what they think …

I am a “chinki” but I don't feel bad when someone calls me that. I don't think that they look down upon me. But not every one sees it that way. People from other states at times tend to bully people from the North East. Discrimination is a shame but a five-year prison term is not fair. Punishments are not going to help, as we have to realise and respect people from other states and races, and instil this feeling not by fear but by understanding.

DEVANI BORDOLOI, Eashwari Engineering College


The law is a welcome step but the change has to come from within. The mindset has to change drastically. It is high time we stopped cracking jokes about other communities and stopped labelling them.



Though many may not intend to hurt, the government shouldn't cover up their lack of attention by passing such laws and similar ones like changing the names of states, cities, etc. These tend to divide people and still make them feel that the government is doing something necessary, when they are not.

ABHILASH LENKA, Manipal Institute Of Technology


This situation can be used to bring in social or community service as a punishment for such offences. This will educate the person punished about the community and its culture. Also, if this law comes into effect, people from every region will try to bring in laws that will ensure that they are not being called names.



I accept the government's consideration to fine or even jail people for making racist remarks. Such remarks might lead to problems and disrupt the unity of the country and if things get really bad, it could develop into alienation. The people of the North East are one of us and shouldn't be viewed as outsiders. On an equal footing, even the South Indians in the North shouldn't be referred to as ‘Madarasis'.

ADITYA JAYAPRAKASH, Class XI, S.B.O.A School & Junior College


We kick up such a racket when Indians are assaulted or murdered abroad for racial reasons but no one raises an eyebrow when ‘Chinki' and a ‘Madarasi' are parts of our everyday vocabulary. I say we set our own house in order first and laws of this nature are exactly what we need, only then will we have any face to confront other nations when another Australia-like episode pops up.

SHARAN M., Final Year, B.Tech (Computer Science)


I agree that a law should be brought in this regard. Something has to be done to prevent discrimination of people from our country as it affects their dignity and sense of nationalism. However rigorous imprisonment is not the solution. People, especially kids, need to be educated about the evils of ‘racism' and also taught about different races and their cultures so that they do not grow up to be ‘racist'.

DEEPTHI KANDI, Graduate of Engineering from GIET


There's a need to check if problems faced by the people of North East prevail in other communities as well. If so, it becomes important to address the problem as a national issue rather than as just that of one community What about ‘Madarasi' lingo or ‘Sardarji' jokes? Work towards a solution keeping everyone in mind, so that tomorrow a similar law for another community or region needn't become the next headline.

SRISHTI SATWAH, Final Year, B.Tech (ECE), SRM University


I welcome any initiative that removes racism. Though imprisonment is a bit too harsh, I think it also signifies the extent of disrespect and hurt this derogatory remark causes to the people affected. The “C” word has become a brand for the people of the North East rather than an insult just like south Indians are called “Khattas”.

ARSHAD ALI, Professional working for a Bio-medical Firm

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:30:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/whats-in-a-name/article3523413.ece

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