A Punjab-based YouTuber’s racial slur against an Arunachal Pradesh MLA fuelled a ‘know northeast’ campaign via a two-hour Twitter storm on Friday.
Students, academics, professionals, politicians and activists across the eight northeastern States – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – bombarded the microblogging site with #AchapterforNE and #NortheastMatters campaigns from 6-8 pm.
The campaign tagging @PMOIndia, @HMOIndia, @MEAIndia, @ncert, @cbseindia, @PIBHRD and @DrRPNishank was aimed at pushing the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to include a comprehensive chapter on the Northeast.
More than 25 students’ organisations across the Northeast lent their support to the campaign.
Assam-based student Mayur Jyoti Kaushik, who is behind the campaign, said the region deserved a chapter in NCERT textbooks as a primer for students elsewhere in the country to know basic geography, history, ethnicity, culture and the lifestyle of the people of the northeastern States.
“If all in the region unite for this, we can ask the Union Ministry of Education to include a chapter so that our counterparts beyond the region do not grow up ignorant about the Northeast and make comments like the YouTuber,” he said.
YouTuber Paras Singh was arrested and brought to Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on May 27 for calling Congress MLA and former MP Ninong Ering and the people of the State “Chinese”. The YouTuber had ridiculed the MLA for appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India, a variant of PUBG.
As punishment, the Arunachal Pradesh police have been teaching geography, history and all other aspects of the State to the YouTuber.
Mr. Ering said he had in 2017 introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha on the inclusion of the culture and history of the northeastern people in the school curriculum. “Sadly, things have not progressed,” he added.
A similar demand for a chapter in NCERT books was raised in 2014 after Nido Tania , a student from Arunachal Pradesh, became a victim of a racial attack in New Delhi.