In yesterday’s episode of Super Dancer a young participant from Arunachal Pradesh broke down while narrating an incident that happened with him outside North East. The hotelier, where the young boy had put up in connection with an event in which he was participating, was amazed to see the boy speaking Hindi, sarcastically commenting that it was amusing to see a Chinese speaking Hindi! And that was not an isolated instance! The young boy had heard this vilifying comment several times outside his home state. One of the judges on the show then remarked, “ Sun rises first in India in Arunachal; when sun does not discriminate, what right do we humans, the much lesser mortals, have to discriminate on the basis of religion, region, ethnicity and cast?
It’s indeed true that nature does not discriminate. The sun and the moon and the stars and the sky offer the same look and experience to all. Rain and trees and vegetation and more importantly, other living animals do not discriminate. Therefore, discrimination in any form – gender, colour, caste, creed, looks, ethnicity, food habits, dressing et al – is not natural but highly unnatural- I won’t even use the words artificial or synthetic because all man made things ultimately owe their origin to something natural – oil, plants, animals or other natural resources.
While in zest and humour, creating laughter by replicating the accents of Madrasis ( anyone south if Vindhyachal) , Bengalis ( forgetting that Assam, Tripura and Odisha are different states), Punjabi ( anyone from North of Delhi state), Bhaiya ( UP and Bihar) or creating typecast caricatures of Brahmin, Marwari , Sardarji, Khan Bahadur or Anthony Gonsalves may appear harmless from the point of view of Bollywood, but anything more serious than that is strictly unnatural.
I have heard several stories of students from NE, studying outside NE in various places within India having to face this unsavoury jibe of Chinese and foreigner. It’s high time we give people of different looks, faiths, rituals, food habits, customs etc space and freedom as this country belongs to all. That’s how we can celebrate the real strength of this country viz Unity in diversity. Otherwise all our progress and giant leap in space, technology and military strength will go futile!