NEW DELHI: Amid coronavirus outbreak, North Easterners have reported increasing cases of racism against them.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has condemned this kind of behaviour and has sent out a tweet:
In February, 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.
On March 3, two students from the Northeast were attacked by six men in Kamla Nagar, near Delhi University’s North Campus. They were also called “coronavirus.”
“They threw balloons at my friend and me. We had a male friend with us but they threw the balloons only at us, aiming at our private parts. They saw that I had Mongoloid features after I took off my pollution mask. After that they screamed, ‘Aye, coronavirus!’ I was too shocked to react,” one of the women, who studies at Hansraj College, told media.
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.