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Amid coronavirus outbreak, TISS NE students complain of bias due to physical features

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Feb 2020 11:57 AM GMT

MUMBAI: In an open letter, Northeast students at TISS have said that they are being subjected to discrimination due to distinctions in socio-cultural traits and physical features amid coronavirus outbreak that has killed hundreds of people in China and infected thousands.

"In the midst of the ongoing global health crisis due to an outbreak of Coronavirus, purportedly originating in the Wuhan province of China, we have seen a disturbing trend of discrimination and racial profiling across the world towards people of China origin and other Asian nations bearing mongoloid features. It is a grim reminder of inherent racial prejudices and stereotyping of particular peoples based on their physical features and perceived cultural inferiority," the letter reads.

This also includes name-calling such as "Corona" and "Coronavirus" etc. at various public places, states the letter.

In one such instance, on February 10th, one of the students of TISS Mumbai and her visiting friend, both hailing from the state of Nagaland, was subjected to outright racial discrimination based on these stereotypes. Not only a video of the visiting friend was filmed without consent and circulated through social media by neighbouring people to raise an alarm about a potential carrier of Coronavirus from China, but when confronted for this blatant misinformation and breach of privacy the Naga student was met with other forms of slurs and threatening behaviour.

The letter also states the bigger issue of racism against students of the North East .

In a much-highlighted incident last year, a Delhi court, in its verdict sentenced jail term to four accused involved in the murder case of 20-year-old Arunachalee youth Nido Tania.

Tania, son of former lawmaker Nido Pavitra, was murdered in the Lajpat Nagar area of Delhi on January 29, 2014, which had triggered nationwide protests.

Tania was studying in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, but had reportedly gone to Lajpat Nagar with his three friends during the evening hours and was looking for an address. Someone cut jokes on his hair which annoyed Tania and he broke a glass door at the sweetmeat shop and the incident escalated.

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