Children of North East

Delhi University has students converging from even the most remote pockets of India. Aspirants from each and every corner of the nation create a widespread difference in the national level platform. Students from the eight north eastern states of India also come forth to join DU, one of the premier educational institutions in India. With cultures, traditions and most importantly appearance that varies from the rest of India, there arises unsound conflicts and questions.
While recording a few tales of the stay of the students of N.E. in DU, the best part was to laugh at the ones who told about fellow mates asking them “Why are your eyes so small? Can you see as wide as I can?” A Hindu girl from Assam shared that one of her classmates asked her where is Assam, and when she mentioned it is in the north eastern part of India she was asked why doesn’t she look like the rest of the north eastern people and why is her name ‘a Hindu name’. As a matter of fact, there are many people out there who actually don’t know about what the north eastern states hold. Also, they have a very vague idea of the concept of the Aryan, Dravidian and the Mongolian races that reside here in India and also about the socio-linguistic and religious differences that co-exist in the eight states. On asking two-three people to name the eight states of N.E., they were just able to name Assam, Manipur and only one of them added Nagaland to the list. Clearly, people don’t consider it to be important enough to know the names of the 29 states and the 7 union territories of India. Well, let’s not broaden it to ‘people’, at least students who have made it to DU are expected to know this.


Another issue is the stereotype that all the north eastern students get into DU through reservation, which is halfway the truth but there are students of general category who have made it to DU. Anyway, the system of reservation itself is alienating communities, why blame the people who have been asked to follow the system since history. Evident uncomfortable situation arises because of the already created fragments due to reservation. A student shared that in the crowd of his economics department, he had no other companion from the N.E. and initially he had a hard time adjusting because all his classmates were from North India and mostly from NCR. He portioned out that most of them were unwelcoming to him because he looked different from them. Also, later he found out that because he appeared ‘chinky’, and they thought he entered DU with reservation, so they were not very welcoming to him. Here is to mention, he belongs to Manipur, is a Meitei Hindu who fell under general category. People need to realise that not every ‘small-eyed’ person has a reservation. And not all people from the north east are ‘small-eyed’.

It is also a major headline every once in a while about the sexual assault of girls from N.E. This statement is interesting per se, because it is a heated topic of discussion of a lot of people about dishonouring the women of N.E. due to their clothing (?) Well, I hope people do stop causing delicate discrimination, and be accepting. It is way too offensive to be treated like an outsider in your own country, with powerful negative glances checking you out from top to bottom. People, do learn about your country.

Radhika Boruah

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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