Discrimination, being North-eastern and ‘Indian-ness’

Being Indian is no easy task. We cannot be guided by one view of India, or how an Indian should look, what he or she should or should not eat or dress or behave. We need to move towards a more inclusive society and sense of community.

This is a matter that many are being forced to look at anew and rethink as thousands of people from the Northeast Region (no one seem to have an exact figure and this is an area which calls for good research), an unconfirmed figure that I have seen is 30,000 to 35,000 ), many of them from the most populous state of Assam, move every year outside the Northeast Region (NER) in search of jobs, better lives, opportunities and education.

The most visible — and it’s easy to create another stereotype of this group — are those who work in the hospitality industry such restaurants and hotels, salons or at malls as shop assistants and supervisors.

Young people from the Northeast however lead the way in sporting disciplines such as boxing, high-skill group activities like football or lead the way in music. Take any major football team in India — players from the region would compose certainly a handful. We could regard this as a resource drain — Individuals from the region migrate for better opportunities, divesting the region from their economic contribution. But I see it as part of a larger picture of internal migration and social change. Read More