India's dealing with two pandemics right now. Covid-19 and racism. You might not be aware of the latter right?
Amidst news of Coronavirus cases increasing rapidly, there's also news of racial attacks and slurs directed against the people from the northeast states. The reason for these attacks is part maybe because the virus originated from Wuhan, China. Since North easterners have mongoloid features, a large number of mainland Indians associate North easterners with being foreigners and that they will infect others. They are mistaken as "Chinese" and reports were made against them stating that they are infected with the virus. This pandemic has undoubtedly created a wider gap between the mainland Indians and the people hailing from the Northeast states.
Racism, basically, in simple terms, is defined as ‘discriminatory behaviour based on inherited physical appearance. From being called "Chinky", "Momos", "Chinese" to being called the "Corona", the north easterners have always struggled in settling down in the mainland India. The fight by Northeast Indians is with the mind-set of the rest of Indians as much as the virus itself. The pandemic has made the North Eastern fell into the category of “other”.
The covid-19 pandemic is threatening for everyone out there. But being inhumane with other human beings is a bigger pandemic. Ignorance and lack of ‘education’ are often used as a means to justify the continued existence of racial discrimination, almost as an escape route. Respecting differences should be taught in India, in families and in schools. It's not something you have to mug, it's something you should know. Amidst this pandemic, I hope human beings actually become humans.
By: Surbhi Singh
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