By Kaveri Waghela
Those tiny states tucked in at the extreme east of India, more specifically the northeastern states. If you tell a child or even an adult to mark Manipur in the map of India they will scratch their heads saying its difficult but a ‘Mumbai’ or ‘Delhi’ can be marked without any hesitation and almost instantly. This may be applicable to everyone but my question is why?. Just because it is somewhere in the east or just because we don’t want to acknowledge it? Or maybe because ‘INDIA’ according to us is ‘Mumbai and Delhi’ and the happenings in and around these two states. So a certain actress going for her film promotion in some reality show becomes news rather than more vital issues like someone being attacked or some serious political issues that need to be addressed. Why so? TRP’S MERE BHAI!(Television Rating Points for beginners!). Why are the northeastern states not given equal news coverage? I asked this question to a newspaper journalist and he simply said, “Because people are not interested. We give them news which they like to consume”.(Its not only about the northeastern states but even small states don’t get equal coverage and even if they do, it will be somewhere on the 14th or 15th page of a newspaper). I was so annoyed by that answer but at the same time its we, the audience who are passive. We take the news without questioning and become passive consumers of it. Why is a festival like ‘Bihu’ which is associated with farming not given equal coverage as Baisakhi? I am not against any state nor am I partial to any state but I feel bad when a passerby addresses a person from the northeast as ‘chinky’ or a ‘Chinese’. “How would you feel when you are called an outsider in your own country”, said Sonali , an assamese. Its not about calling names but about distinguishing between what is Indian and what is not which is being prejudiced against a community. Their physical appearance is attributed to the geographical features they live in and no one in this world should be judgemental about that. How much are they going to endure? Bomb blasts, Naxalite attacks, a stamp of being ‘an outsider’. They become easy targets to eve teasers around and even a soft target for sexual abuse. So let it stop there. NO MORE…Its not about looking Indian but being indian from the heart. Nobody can judge anybody’s Indian-ness. Nobody is an Assamese, a gujarati, a maharashtrain, a Muslim, a Sikh ,or a Christian. We are Indian and will always be. Nobody can take that from us. Jai hind!