Never Too Late to Stop Racism

I do not deny that racism exists in every corner of India; I do not even deny the very fact that in Loitam Richard’s case, the college authorities and the concerned department are tackling the issue with a racial attitude. However, my counter question is why they should have the will to resolve the case when our State Government is least bothered about it? We were shocked to read that our Government had contacted their Karnataka counterparts and their diabolical lies. How can we dare to blame others when our own Government is careless, unreliable and grossly irresponsible? Richard’s case is just another mundane murder case that can be left safely covered up, so the Government think. Is the notoriously-short public memory the government’s best weapon? The fight for justice has been reduced to a pathetic farce. The Government is supposedly prepared to lose more Richards in the future. But we should not give them the chance.

Now, can our collective voice against racism fight this cause? We pray – racism or not – Richard’s murderers must be sent to jail and must be given the most fitting punishment. But what do we want to prove when we admit the existence of racism everywhere? Will there be an anti-racism law, especially for the Northeast? In any case, will it give solace to Richard’s departed soul? Will it really end the era of racial discrimination and profiling against the Northeast people? These are a few open questions that are more bewildering than the law against racism, which some scholars have pointed out that it has taken an institutional form.

Our first priority is to drag our State Government out of its Delhi-dreaming slumber and ask them to get involved in this issue. Let there be more pressure groups. Let there be a one-goal focus from all corners. This is one way to fight the justice for Richard. And in general cases, we should not let our crummy egos and arrogance interfere in our fight against racism and injustice. And yes, we should also stop being mute spectators and mere commentators affluent with free comments. If you feed the troll, it gets more energy of trolling people around it. Let us first stop feeding the trolls. Let us also be a little bit more practical. It would take many years, for example, to pass an anti-racism Bill in this country. We should not waste our time feeding racism and making it a redundant topic that the public memory would get the better of. There is also a bigger problem in us having a facial look which is un-India in a country where the society is structured on caste system. Then we have a larger mission to fight the prejudices of the mainland people against us without negative emotions.

If we accept racism in this country, we become the law un-abiding citizens, because we are admitting to a view, which the government does not. If we deny it, we are nevertheless not different. If you want your voices to be heard, have the guts to drag out your own MLAs or political leaders from your very kendra. Ask them to join the fight in a politically-correct, though restless approach. Seek suggestions from the law makers and keepers. Yelling on social networking sites as keyboard warriors, hammering keyboards to discuss issues, displaying our arrogant badges to others – all of these are so damn pestering. Most importantly we should leave our attitude at home and flush it down somewhere before we commit ourselves to a cause. We should not take the advantage of playing the lead roles of a particular cause, if not in some extreme conditions. One may fathom himself/herself as the hero for a cause, but the ugly truth is s/he often gets tagged as a zero in other’s view. Precisely this is a textbook case of the utter failure of leaders and the lack of real leaders in Manipur.

We should not accept racism, in its raw toleration, because by accepting it we are indirectly providing legitimacy to its very practice in the society. But we should accept it and know the problems inherent in this barbaric social mores. Especially in a not so fascinating country like ours, there are many grave issues that need our attention. As compared to mainlanders, we the people from the Northeast have many things to be proud of. This statement is not about claiming superiority, but that we have a reason which the mainland people should know, we are not the children of lesser god, and that we have a lesson to teach the insensitive India. It is never too late to give up prejudices.

This article was published on 17 June 2012
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