Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chp 165. Chinky: Confused Nationality.

I think one of the most confused unsung communities here in India these days are the Arunachalis.

At one side, there is that situation of the big bad bully China flexing its muscles and claiming many parts of Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of its territory, while India tries its diplomatic best to convince the rest of India (and the World) that Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a part of India. And thus follows a volley of hard hitting tirades by experts, politicians, diplomats, patriots, journalists and bloggers, condemning China and promising never to let go of Arunachal Pradesh.

Feb 8, 2008: Arunachal is ours, PM can go there: India to China

And then at the other side, the average Arunachali comes to this part of the Country, Delhi, the Nation’s proud Capital, maybe to meet all those people who have warmly supported him and vowed to protect him from the Chinese aggression. And what does he find here? People openly mocking him because of his “strange foreign looks”, racially abusing him as “chinky” and rudely telling him to “go back to China”.

Feb 17, 2008: Arunachal students beaten up and told to go back to China

Just how do you think that person would feel? When he goes back to Arunachal Pradesh, what do you think he will be telling his family, his friends, his neighbors, his village panchayat raj, who are all eager to listen to the tales of his journey to Delhi that they cannot afford? What will be their general mindset about the rest of India then?

You can’t blame him for creating a generalization based on that unfortunate incident alone, because to him, that’s what affects him the most and that’s what lingers in his memory the deepest. He already felt alienated enough to be so “different” in Delhi, now he’s being discriminated because of that difference, with nobody else from the “other side” stepping up to assure him that that’s not the attitude of every other Indians. Can you picture the image of Delhi he’ll be painting to the others back home? What will their reaction be?

Frankly, I won’t be surprised if they turn against India. And when they do, they will be branded as terrorists, hunted out like dogs and silenced forever with nobody ever questioning why he took that path in the first place. I mean, who cares, right? After all, we’re talking about the North-East and he was attacking the Indian Constitution and the integrity of our proud Indian Nation, right? To the rest of India, this incident will just be another brick on the troubled NE wall.

Feb 16, 2008. MID-DAY reports:
5 N-E students assaulted after racial abuse
"We were preparing for the celebrations on February 20. Our friends went to the market to get their cell phone recharged when the shopkeepers racially abused them by calling them 'chinkies'. After an altercation, the local shopkeepers stabbed one of the students. They also used knife, iron rods and bamboo sticks to beat up the students. Chanakyapuri is considered to be a high security zone and even then, an incident like this has happened," Tabataka said.
The Hindu, on the other hand, downplayed the entire incident.
Eleven shopkeepers have been arrested by the Chanakyapuri police here on charges of assaulting some students from Arunachal Pradesh on Friday night. The police said the students had gathered at Aruchanal Bhawan for the State Day celebrations on February 20. They had gone to the local market for shopping around 9 p.m. As some shopkeepers passed objectionable comments on them, a brawl ensued in which the students were assaulted. Some of them were taken to RML Hospital.
On certain occasions, toning down sensitive incidents is a wise thing to do, especially when the incident is communal in nature. That’s where you draw the thin red line between serious journalism and sensational journalism. But in this case, do you think it is really necessary to muffle down the incident? Anyone reading “The Hindu” would wonder, what could be the “objectionable comment” that was uttered. Probably “maa ki”, à la Harbhajan Singh, without ever knowing how much the word “chinky” hurts us, that to be jeered a “chinky” when we are silently minding our own business is nothing but racism.

Racism begets racism.

Take it from experience and observation. In Mizoram, most of the older folks, around the age group of 50+ are still skeptical of every non-Mizo because the memories of the Indian Army “aggression” during the early 60’s are still fresh in their minds. Bombs raining down continuously on innocent towns and villages, day in and day out, gory tales of rape and murder, inhumane treatment at the makeshift prisons, all of which started because of the hungry little bamboo rat.

Refer previous post: Chp 148. Mizoram: The Truth.

And then comes the next generation. And the next. Such generations are supposed to heal the scars inflicted through the passage of time. After all, the past is the past. There is no point in hating somebody for what one’s ancestors did to another’s ancestors a long time ago.

And so these new generations of Mizos travel around to other parts of the Country. Their Country, according to their history and geography books. The Central Government seems to welcome such an initiative, encouraging more exoduses of people, mainly in the name of education. The 7 and a half percent reservation for ST in the educational and central services makes it even smoother for Mizos and other people from the North-east to assimilate with the Mainstream population.

But once they get here, things aren’t always peaches and pie. Most people just expect them to let go of their respective cultures, traditions and heritages and practice only the traditions followed by the majority. And when the North-east students find it difficult to let go of their traditions (would you let go of yours if someone asks you to?), then they are labeled as “trying to be different” and branded as outcasts.

So, almost everywhere, northeast students find it easier to bond with other northeast students, regardless of whether they are from Mizoram, Arunachal or Nagaland (which many people STILL think is one entity) rather than bond with Mainstream Indians because of the way they are treated.

I love being in a multi-ethnic group. We once got into a pub-brawl a long time ago, when one drunken jerk came over to our table and insulted two of our south-Indian friends as “bloody pandis”. Just like that, with no reason of any provocation from our side. So we simply retaliated. Ah we were young, hot-blooded and united, those juvenile years.

But then, one outgrows that fist-fight stage as one matures. What I have observed now whenever I am in a single-ethnic group and some asshole shouts at us in public “chinky” or “ching chong, go back to China” or sometimes “go back to Chinkistan” (what the heck does “Chinkistan” mean? Chinky + Hindustan???), I have never had any support from the others around me. Most of them just stare at me (ME! Not the freaking guy who said that and is laughing his ass out), while some of them giggle and walk on.

The only time somebody ever helped me (and I remember this so well because it was the ONLY time) was in Mumbai when a nice middle-aged aunty with a curly bob-cut (the kind of stereotype Catholic Goan aunty that we see in our Hindi movies with names like Mrs. D’Costa, Mrs. D’Cruz or Mrs. D’Souza, who is full of compassion and grace) shouted at those four guys making fun of me in a very rebuking tone: “EXCUZE ME!!!” and they ran away before she could say anything else. Then she looked at me and I looked at her and nodded a thank you and both of us walked on. Life goes on.

The MNS has been heavily criticized by the Nation for beating up non-Maharashtrians and forcing them to go back to their respective “homes”. And so those “immigrants” flee back to UP, Bihar, Orissa and other Indian States. But when other Indians beat up people from North-east India and tell us to go back to China, oh please, do tell me, how can we do that? We are NOT from China, we don’t speak the same language, most of us don’t even follow the same religion (Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya are Christian majority states).

Just like how people tell Muslims to go back to Pakistan, taunting a person from the North-east to go back to China is equally absurd. If the Government is really interested in creating a better relationship between people from the North-east and Mainland India, it first needs to revise its educational system at the root. And it needs to inform its crooked Delhi cops to stop victimizing people from the North-east, especially women from the North-east (please, don’t get me started on this one).

Until then, I will continue fighting for the rights of the North-eastern people. Maybe something similar to the Blank Noise Project can be initiated, which deals with the plight of the North-east student in your city. You have the power to make the difference, my friend. The next time you see a North-east girl/guy being racially abused in public, step up. And when that victim sees somebody from the “other side” coming to his/her aid, the preconceived notion borne by most north-east students is bound to change.

Whether you’re from Tamilnadu or Haryana or Maharashtra or Karnataka or Jammu & Kashmir, I beseech you not to be a mute spectator the next time you see somebody from the North-east being treated appallingly. I always get involve when I see injustice of any form or just to help an old lady cross the street regardless whether they belong to this community or that community, not just because of mere good intentions alone, but also because I believe in karma, so that somewhere out there, someone is returning the favor to somebody from the North-east.

I have to go to Court now, for I’ve just received news of yet another rape attempt by a group of students from Haryana, this time on a Manipuri girl, after her brother was beaten up and locked up in his room. Just another normal day for me. Sigh.

Ps. I’m not a lawyer. I’m just going to Court to meet my lawyer friends for more information regarding this incident.

Pps. North-East Support Centre website has not yet updated these two incidents about the Arunachal guys and Manipuri girl yet, because they are grossly understaffed as of the moment. You might not be able to get through to most of the numbers listed on the Support helpline, as most of them are volunteers (students) who have other important things to do too, like exams and assignments. Your understanding will be much appreciated. Thank you.

39 comments:

Lal said...

Another of the usual insightful posts.

illusionaire said...

And the first one to visit my latest post as usual :) Thanx Lal.

Joseph said...

nice writing (its a bit long though)...

ps : eka, ka blog pawh ka update ve leh tran tawh e.

Banno said...

Thank you for your insights, and honest feelings on this. Yes, I think the only way is to help whenever we can, not stand by mutely and also to start off chains of thought the way you are doing. Good luck!

JesseTheCat said...

Seems there is so much racial hatred in your area,and in fact,all over the world! I am so sad to hear about all the rudeness and verbal abuse you and other people there have to endure.But I am really glad that you believe in standing up for that which is right and fair and Just, as do I. With more people having your attitude to life,the horrors and misery that comes along with racial hatred can eventually be forced back, one tiny step at a time...and hopefully one day a solution can be found where people really do live in peace.Do you think that will ever happen?? I am holding thumbs :)
A really deep and relevant piece of writing...By your words I get a much clearer idea of the situation that side.You would make a really excellent journalist.
Take care :)

Zoah said...

You always had something good to write about, keep it up. I really like them and you are always very good.
Back to topic...

It is this word that makes me flared up so easily, but now it's almost like i'm used to it. I always tried not to react to it and ignore them, but deep inside it just hurts me.

DayDreamBeliever said...

Oh Gosh, Illusionaire... you just make me so sad, and yet so glad that someone is writing a coherent and insightful piece on this. I'm in my too-depresed-to-think-up-bright-suggestions mood.Sometimes it just gets a little too heavy. Kudos to you for tirelessly crusading on our behalf. God Bless!

Gong Xi Fa said...

It is not fault of Indians to call 'arunachalis' as chinese, BECAUSE THEY ARE CHINESE.
It is fault of indian GOVERMENT to force these chinese people to be a part of India by occupation and preaching to hate china at same time.So common INDIAN people naturally will hate and attack CHINESE.
so solution is: give these people back to their true country CHINA where we never mistreat etnic minorities.

Awzzman said...

Unlucky Indian..!!!i think we should reformed the `66 movement.
Politically we are Indian but looks doesn`t so..rite?good post Pu ber.

Almost Unreal said...

chhiar chhung van rei veee...tren tren

Tharax said...

One IAS officer from Arunachal was denied a visa by the Chinese authority claiming that a Chinese national need no visa to visit his own country... while the neighbours are playing "inclusive" politics the people in India, more arrogantly than the politician, played "exclusive" politics. If people from mainland India can't accept people from the north-east because of their "chinky" look let independence be granted to all the "chinky" states. People will happily accept the offer. Most of the states in the north-east have been fighting for this some where in the past and some are still continuing the fight e.g. separatists in Nagaland and Manipur.

Reformation in our educational system is highly needed. I used to wonder how people in mainland India didn't know the states in north-east India. If you tell them you are from Mizoram or Meghalaya or Manipur they will wonder where on earth is that country!!! Let students learn the culture of north-east India to understand them better and not to treat them as if they are foreigners or racially abuse them.

Tluanga said...

Quite interesting Kima, and the same thoughts were in my mind lately, specially after MNS was highlighted in the News. I think to a certain extent- the lack of development and education in the North with it's exploding population has something to do with the problems that we are facing, they migrate to other states and take up jobs of local people.
No one really like someone to dictate to them what language and culture they are to follow...but the Central Govt seems bent upon everyone speaking the National Language Hindi or whenever there's an Indian Cultural gathering or representation - it's always some Rajasthani dance or if movies Bollywood....all Mainstream North Indian. As an Indian Nation, if we are going to feel that we are a part of this country, our culture (punjabi, tamil, assamese, marathi, mizo, naga, telegu, mallu)also has to be taken into consideration. If the discrimination and double speak goes on for too long, there's a danger that the Balkanization of India would not be too long.

Chhama said...

Insightful and thought provoking. It seems to me India want the land and not the people. Btw, when trying to access posts with headings having sex, porn etc., our proxy server usually filters it as inappropriate and blocks the site. I have to use some anonymous surfing site to be able to read such posts. I know such headlines are eye-catching but some changes will be highly appreciated. Let's see if the IIM dropout can find a solution to the problem :)

Chhamanator said...

Sorry I forgot to mention it. I'm talking about posts on your blog :)

Anonymous said...

I heard from someone, a comment by Nehru "Humey Nagaland chahiye, Naga nahin". English "We want Nagaland, not Nagas".
May be the same applies to all Non-North Indian states!!!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hi, thanks for ur comments n enlightening me on Mizoram. i am so ignorant.

reading ur post n d comments give me a little more knowledge about ur part of the world...this racial thing is really sad. racists r ppl who r very insecure n being racist make them feel more powerful.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hey, can i link ur post Mizoram: the truth to my post on Mizoram??

Hmai said...

good post!

Silenceofthedepth said...

Nice one, Kima.
As you rightly signed off with a "visit to the court", i guess this is something we got to do...awareness need to be raised among our folks. Legal protection is available but how many of us even know how to file an FIR or for that matter to seek redressal through the legal system?? How many of us do know that the police force is not a powerful as they shamelessly pretend to be? How many of us are aware that landlords cannot throw us out at their whims?

One of the primary tools of our empowerment against such racial abuse/harasssment/rape/...blah blah blah...will be legal awareness. We suffer because we are 'chinks'. We suffer more because we are ignorant/powerless/helpless to even seek legal assistance. Because we do not know how and where to seek it!

Hopefully things should chnage for the better. Just a couple of days back(25th Feb), the Nantionl Legal Service Authority(NALSA)along with the DElhi Legal Service Authority(DLSA)and the Delhi High Court has announced the setting up of a special BUREAU to provide legal assistance to the northeastern community in Delhi. Sad enough it took the intervention of the CJ of the Delhi High Court for the administartion to finally come up with such an initiative.Since the bureau will comprise of a district judge, a deputy commissioner of police, a representative from the social welfare department and students representatived of the northeast, we can expect to have a platform for our grievances. perhaps, similar initiatives in all major ciities will be more meaningful.

And yes, law students from the region have a bigger role to play.

God bless!!

VaiVa said...

Nice though a bit long but I'd surely finish on my next chance

ekalayva said...

@illusionaire:
You have reflected well on the events. This is indeed an unfair situation to be in. I presently live in Chennai in Tamil Nadu. I've been to and stayed in 3 southern states of the country. What I find is that there is a pinch of culturally-insensitive people everywhere. It is just that we need to take a collective tough stance against them so that they mend their ways. Your idea of initiating some sort of a project similar to blank noise is something in that direction. I am all for supporting it. Keep writing.

illusionaire said...

Sorry for the late reply. Our neighbour's house, occupied by the band members of "IIIrd Sovereign" (one of India's hottest Metal bands) caught fire recently and their entire instruments, studio room etc burnt.

@ Chhamanator: Sorry about the proxy filter. I will try not to add such "banned" words as a title for my post next time. Thanx for informing me about it.

@ Terri: Yes of course, please feel free to link any of my posts to your blog :-) And I'm sure glad we were able to clarify a couple of misconceptions about Mizoram in a very amicable way. Keep bloggin, I love your foodies posts.

@ gong xi fa: Are you for real? :-)
Happy Chinese new year (Gong Xi Fa Chai) to you too :-P

@ Anonymous: a comment by Nehru "Humey Nagaland chahiye, Naga nahin"

Can you please post the link to your statement (if there is one)? I don't think Nehru would have ever said that. From what I know, Nehru love the North-east and the North-eastern people. Its the few illiterate morons (who will never come up to the standard of Nehru) who might have said such a preposterous statement.

illusionaire said...

@ silence of depth:

Thankyou for your insightful and lengthy comment. It was definitely worth a great read. I completely agree with you. There has to be greater awareness among the North-east people about the Law of the Land.

I still remember the incident a long time ago when the cops here in Delhi barged into a flat occupied by Mizo girls in the middle of the night because the music they played was a bit loud (didn't disturb the neighbors but it somehow disturbed the cops a couple of meters away on the road who couldn't even hear it).

And those cops threatened them that they are going to arrest them right there. And it seemed those girls had to pay a hefty fine (bribe) to the cops so that they won't arrest them in the middle of that night. And the next day they told their friends how lucky they were to miss being thrown into prison!!!!!!!

Such ignorance! Every North-east girl should be made aware that no policeman can arrest them between sunset and sunrise! And if such an arrest has to be made, it should be because of exceptional circumstances and the arrest should be made by a woman constable/officer ONLY, and that too only after obtaining a prior written permission from a Judicial magistrate of first class!

We definitely need more legal awareness as you pointed.


@ joseph, almost_unreal, vaiva: Will try to write shorter next time :-)

illusionaire said...

@ Jesse: Racial hatred is present not just in my area but everywhere else. We just need to highlight the discriminations we face and make a loud noise. Then only will the public and government take some action. You look everywhere around the world and you will see that discrimination and racism was defeated (but not totally though) only after the minorities stared making sound. Thats what I intend to do too. Thanx for your compliments as always, dear Jess.

@ ekalayva: I've stayed in all four Southern states of India for at least more than a year at each State. And one sure thing I can say is, I've been treated so much better down in the South than here in North India. Of course I am not generalizing or anything like that, as it could also mean that I've just happened to meet the bad elements in North while missing the baddies in South, but during my school days (Tamilnadu), no one used to call me chinky at all. It was only in college that I came across the term "chinky"...

@ zoah: Thanx for your kind words, I really appreciate it. Please do keep visiting :-) Yeah I know how much the word hurts too brother.

@ banno: You can start the program any time you like :-) Respect to you, and wish you luck too.

illusionaire said...

@ awzzman: urrmmm... well, we are "politically Indians" of course, and we are also "lookswise Indians". Thats the whole point of this post. Indians should be made aware of the diversity of the people here in India. When we are singled out so many times, sometimes it does makes us feel like we don't belong here. But always remember that you are. Don't let the blood of all those North-east soldiers who died fighting for India be spilled in vain.

@ cherrie: Thank you. And hope your back feels better now. God bless you too daydreambeliever.

@ tharax: Right with you. I've come across so many such instances where its not just the common man, but people who held seats in the academia, who have no idea where Mizoram is. Education needs to be pushed harder and we definitely need to have more pages in the chapter about North-east in our school Geography text books!

@ tluanga: Yes, exactly. I mean, we are not asking for any thing big, like include Mizoram, Manipur etc in our National Anthem. There are things we can accept as it is, and things that must be changed. Anyway, what is heartening is that, in most of the latest bollywood movies that I've seen, people from the north-east are appearing in the background of songs and conversations :-) hehe... But still, India has a long way to go in terms of representing people from different parts of India as the face and culture of India.

P2C2U said...

I've seen the racism that you're talking about and I'm proud to say that I stood up for my friends. But the whole unsavoury attitude towards the north eastern region makes me despair.

I've linked your blog to my post on Indian Chauvinism. I hope you don't mind.

pottan said...

Wonderful post. Thank you.

I was thinking of going to all the seven sister states,alone. I am a rail fan, and was thinking of a train journey. Surprised and horrified to know that no trains outside of Assam.

The Armed forces special powers act is horrible. I can see myself getting into a squabble with a ruffian army man, may be for teasing a girl with me. And getting shot at. No questions asked before or after, to him.

How these states were annexed to India (Patel is supposed to have told- "dont we have a brigadier in Shillong") is so embarrassing to any Indian. India, for all its non-violence preachings and non alignment movement, panchsheel, blah.

I empathize fully with all of you. I am from Kerala, and I've never seen the rigors of such problems. I am going to spend a little time in the NorthEastern states in the near future. I am a little afraid, and would be taking precautions. But, I kind of understand the situation.

Best Regards,
Arun.

Tys on Ice said...

rite now i feel so damn pissed off...

but i will give u my word, if i ever hear a derogatory racism slant aimed at a northeastern indian, i will step in...

its a promise...coz without u it just wont be india

still c said...

nice one..u made one hell of a good columnist..it gave me immense pleasure reading ur insights as i have also been suffering from the pangs of racial discrimination and abuse in these many years of stay in this mainland(outta hills).I go to d cops for some complaints but d same injustice is wat i get(not because i deserved it but bcoz of my looks... )life here still treatin d northeasterns wit the same shits n dramas..fight wit all ur heart 2 keep d dream alive..
"keep ya head up untill d pressure stops". Better Dayz

mesjay said...

These are all really painful experiences. If all the Northeastern ppl join hands and unite... Racial abuses are a reality everywhere. We need to find a way to fight it wherever & however we can. Thumbs up to you for standing up for the victims.

Vikram said...

Kima, hi I am from Mumbai, studying in Austin, USA right now. I arrived at your blog last night, and have spent the last night and today thinking about what you wrote. Its no surprise you secured the highest marks in your IIMB Freedom essay. I would like for you to go through the links I have posted below (especially Pg 13 and Pg 2 of the last two) which I have stuff related to your part of the world and tell me what you think. They are links to the new NCERT textbooks to be used. Can you also tell me what the typical profile of the ppl who abuse u is (if there is one)?


http://www.ncert.nic.in/book_publishing/NEW%20BOOK%202007/Class7/social%20and%20Political%20life2/1.pdf

http://www.ncert.nic.in/book_publishing/Class%209/Political%20Science%20IX-chapters/ch-1_1.pdf

http://www.ncert.nic.in/book_publishing/Class%209/Political%20Science%20IX-chapters/ch-2.pdf

illusionaire said...

@ vikram:

Thank you for your kind words, sir. I have just reached Mizoram so my internet connection at home is not activated yet (it takes time for registration), so I am browsing from a cyber cafe for the time being. And with the speed one gets at the cyber cafes here, it would take a very long time to download those files. But I promise you, I will download those files and have a look at them the moment I reactivate my internet connection at home, hopefully by next week. Inconvenience caused deeply regretted.

As for the profile of those who abuse people from the North-east, the felon is usually male, between the age of 20 and 35'ish. He usually has a deep narcissist issue with a large ego, and thinks all north-east women are "easy". He's also probably pathetic with any kind of relationships with the opposite sex, and has issues with his mother all the time. He wants to be "cool" and "different" but ultimately fails to be, so he vents out his anger and jealousy on the north-eastern guy who is already different by birth. He has an immense superiority complex, and believes in Nazi-like propaganda of racial purity. He's a coward, and dares to abuse anyone (a woman, someone from the north-east, a lower caste) only when he's with his group of guy-friends who all share the same mentality. I think that might sum up the psychological profile.

As for regional profile, I don't want to make any controversial statement because if I generalize any community, that would make me as bad as those who abuse us. Lets just say, I've been racially abused much more in these past 11 months that I've just spent in Delhi, than the past 19 YEARS that I've spent before Delhi in South India.

illusionaire said...

@ still c: Thank you :-) Regarding your comments, thats the main problem people face in Delhi too. Cops don't give a shit about us. Even I approached a constable once and told him the group of guys standing nearby were racially abusing me. The cop just patted me on the back and said "arre, chhor do yaar". Cops should be aware that making derogaotry and discriminating statement especially in public about members of the minority (Schedule Tribe) is a criminal offence. I read it in DD Basu's "Constitution of India" some time back.


@ mesjay: Unite is what we should do. I have a dream that one day, like the African-Americans, we too shall sing "we shall over come" and march by the millions on Rajghat, Delhi, ensuring that no such racial discrimination ever takes place again.


@ tys on ice & P2C2U: My heartyfelt respect to you two. If only there are more people like the two of you, our Nation would indeed be a much better place. P2C2U, thanx for the link. You're welcome to link me any time. Warm regards.


@ pottan: Most of the places in the North-east are hilly, so railways are difficult to construct. And there's also the issue of ULFA and other unground groups ready to damage any railway tracks... so railways is really not an option. Sorry about that. But do let me know if you are planning to come to the North-east any time. I had such wonderful childhood memories at different parts of Kerala, and am ready to return the favor any time.

Vikram said...

@ illusionaire
Take ur time with those links, they are just links to the new textbooks and I just wanted to know if you thought they address the social issues in our country. Because when I was in school, our social studies texts barely talked about ANY of the real issues in Indian society. Thats quite possibly the reason why we as a nation, can send satellites into space, produce a really cheap car but still racially abuse our fellow citizens among other things.

About ur profile of the typical racist, unfortunately this seems to be the case with North India very often. A lot of North Indians (esp. the elite) seem to think that India is their 'empire', a lot of times they abuse (South Indians) 'Madrasis' for being 'Kaliyas' even though South India is ahead in almost every way. They really need to wake up.

UnityInDiversity said...

Great post ! I really think for every one person calling someone a "chinky" in a derogatory manner, there are perhaps nine others calling someone "chinky" as simply a way of differentiating. I am not saying it is right but that is the way India is for all of us. We like to dice and slice everyone and put everyone in a bucket because we cannot make sense (mostly in a harmless way) of our own diversity. We call each other surds, we make surd jokes, we call each other madrasis, and we make maddu jokes, we call each other punjus, gujjus, banias, bawas, ghaatis, gults, tams, mallus, hindi-siders, and chinks not because we hate each other but most of us are simpletons who simply want to differentiate one person from another. It is said that in India everyone is in a minority one way or the other. Most of the "mainlanders" have gotten used to labelling each other whether it is right or wrong. Thanks to the remoteness of the NorthEast most of the NorEasters don't have to deal with the labels until they come to the "mainland". But come you must and mingle you must, because only when you do that you'll know that 90% of the people out there don't give two hoots about how you look and that they truly admire, respect, and enjoy the diversity that you bring on board. Just a simple maharashtrian's (Ghaati) way of looking at things.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tluanga ,

India does not have a national language, only 3 official ones. Hindi, english and Urdu.So those telling you to learn hindi are ignorant ones and trying to impose different culture on us.

Ziah said...

Hi there. I totally echo your sentiments. I studied in Pune in a lawschool where students from all corners of India would come by to graduate. Some of my closest friends in our "gang" were from Assam and Tripura. I remember my own chagrin at my friends being ridiculed as "chaiwala" or "chinki" and those numerous spats that followed.. sigh!

This country is full of red necks who dwell in deep intolerance of any way of life different from what each one knows or has experienced. And given we are a huge religious and cultural potboiler, we surely are a country where bunches of people hate bunches of other people... I shudder to think where are headed...:(

eszet said...

hey there!abt viewing the n.e s 1 entity i otally knw wat u mean.the other day in language cls,r lecturer was talking abt ambiguity in words etc and she asked me,"how do you say puppy in northeast?",i ws totaly lost for a moment bt wen i finally recovered i tried explaining the whole diversity inspite of similarity in the n.e thing to her&i rmbr getin a realy dumbstruck look from her.
unity in diversity..hmmmm
1 mor thing-iznt it wierd tht sm hi-fi english speakrs dnt evn knw tht the word 'chinky' is a racist word?!

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