Dimapur: If an article in a leading newspaper's supplement is to be believed, Dimapur, the most populous city in Nagaland, is actually located in Assam! At a time when Northeast Indians are having to bear the brunt of racial profiling (remember the 'corona' taunts), articles like these are sure to dishearten the marginalized residents of the region even more.
Here is what actually happened: A recent article carried in the Hindustan Times (HT) Brunch (a Sunday supplement) wrongly states that Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial nerve centre and busiest city, is located in Assam. This glaring error in the article has been panned by netizens, who have once again questioned how such rampant ignorance about India's Northeast Indian region in considered perfectly acceptable, even in the mainstream.
An article published in the newspaper supplement about gardening during the pandemic-triggered lockdown that got this crucial information wrong causing furore among the masses, who have been sharing the article on social media, causing it to go viral. The piece penned by a certain Karishma Kuenzang reads thus in the introductory paragraph: "Avino would help her mother out in their garden while growing up in Dimapur, Assam."
Located near the border with Assam, Dimapur is Nagaland's buzziest city and commercial nerve-center. Although it has a deep connection with Assam due to the close proximity, Dimapur has, by and large, become the most crucial commercial area in the state.
In 1918, Dimapur was leased to then Naga Hills district (now Nagaland) by then erstwhile Assam Province of British of India for 30 years for the construction of Railways lines (unclear from which district). In 1963, It was again leased to the now state of Nagaland for 99 years. However, this is a disputed claim, as both the state governments have refrained from making a statement on the matter.
Thi misinformation peddled by this article about Dimapur being in Assam has been highlighted by netizens after a recent shocking episode in which Flipkart had mailed a consumer stating that Nagaland is not located in India.
Here is what happened: a customer from Nagaland asked Flipkart on its Facebook page, why they were not delivering in Nagaland. Flipkart's reply will leave you shocked. Flipkart wrote: "We appreciate your interest in shopping with us. However, our sellers do not provide our services outside India."
The issue has been very strongly flagged by Tripura's royal scion, former Tripura Congress President and now founder and chief of Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) Pradyot Deb Manikya, who has lambasted the ignorance about the Northeast in other parts of India.
Incidents like these clearly show the kind of ignorance that most Indians from other parts of the country have about the Northeast.