Like it or not, there is no doubt that in India we still view Northeast Indians differently. Despite of several government efforts and laws, knowingly or unknowingly, whenever we see someone from north-east walking on the roads of North India, we usually give a shout out ‘chinki.’ The term which is usually used as an ethnic slur and the use of such term is considered offensive.
Recently, in a promotion of Salman Khan’s co-star from Tubelight, eight-year-old Matin Rey Tangu, who is from Itanagar, Arunacahl Pradesh, was asked an inapt question at a press event for the film. However, without any shy this kid gave an amazing and perfectly apt reply.
A reporter asked a silly question to him, “Kya Aap pehli baar India aye ho?” If this is the first time he is visiting India, assuming he is Chinese. The journalist was corrected by another scribe sitting beside her, who told her Matin is from Arunachal Pradesh. Realising the goof-up, she changed her question to, “If this is the first time you have come to Mumbai?”
Without a doubt, Matin seems confused as being an Indian, why he was subjected to such question. Did a reporter forget to do her homework properly or Is she also used to same bigotry tradition that we Indians blindly follow?
Later, Matin asked the reporter to repeat the question twice and when Salman intervened and explained the question to him then Matin finally replies, “Hum India par hi mein rehta hai toh India par aega hi kaise? (I live in India, how will I visit India?)”
Unfortunately, the crowd loudly cheered Matin’s for his witty reply but no one consider the very fact that this inappropriate question leads us back to naught. This wasn’t something to laugh at because racism towards the people who hail from the north eastern states is deeply entrenched in our society. People from the north east residing in Indian cities, especially in the north of the country, regularly face slurs and in some cases, even physical violence.
The question which needs attention is; why our own people face alienation in every aspect of their daily lives, and are routinely asked whether they are from India’s neighbouring states?
Watch the video here.