Social Issues and Discrimination in Nagaland

Political and Social issues are dirty and evil. Are they? I was always told, “Stay away from those issues.” The intention is understood, it means to be on the safer side of the edge. But, for me, it’s so undesirable to wait for my destiny get rotten and finally to be pushed off the border. There is no escape because one day or the other, we will become the victims of social discrimination. The sooner we unearth our social issues, the better.
Remember the Indus Valley Civilization 3300-1900 BCE and how Hindu society was divided into four different castes in the later stage? Can you believe that’s officially how social discrimination started in India? Yet, there are many who deny the existence of social discrimination in India. On the other hand, ‘white-centric’ is a different concept. Many historians associate the term White-centric with the British, especially in India. And, unquestionably with the British colonialism, the love for white skin people and prejudice against brown, yellow and black people in the third world countries started.
How about social discrimination in Nagaland? Is social discrimination an utter new concept in Nagaland? I guess not. Listen to the stories of our grandparents or great grandparents. They have no idea what social discrimination is all about, but social discrimination had always been a part of us, although the degree of discrimination differs from one place to the other. But, those are the bygone, and there is no point lamenting over their issues.
Let’s dig the current hidden social evils and discrimination in our society. A few days ago, there was something unusual posted on ‘The Naga Blog’ a page created under facebook. This is how the post goes, “No hard feelings….you say you guys get racial discrimination in mainland…even people from mainland get racial discrimination in Nagaland. What about that?” Isn’t that an interesting opinion from someone who once lived in Nagaland? The most fascinating comments were picked from the blog, hear it out.
Comments: On second thought, the degree of discrimination might be a difference
Comments: What you sow, so shall you reap.
Comments: Two wrongs does not make a right.
Comments: What you want an EAC post in Nagaland, buy a plot? Never!!!
Comments: How can you say there is racial discrimination in North east India against the mainland….people in mainland consider people from northeast as Chinkeys or Foreigner from East Asian countries.
Comments: Have you heard of anyone from UP, Bihari lady molested in Nagaland?
Comments: I think the degree of discrimination differs…girls are whistled, molested, teased, harassed, asked sexual favors for job promotions…guys are beaten, denied rental houses, called less intelligent people, dogs meat, snakes, lizard eaters, denied career opportunities etc. In Nagaland…you’ll find none of those towards mainland Indians…
Comments: People calling…educated yet don’t know where Nagaland is…double standard mainland Indians. They consider us uncivilized, uncultured…but we are far better than them even in basic sanitary practices…don’t disagree discrimination in North east, particularly Nagaland, but there is a huge difference…
Comments: I was asked by my principal where I was from. When I answered Nagaland… he said…’why did you come to India.’
Comments: Indian guys are too fetish about fair skin….largely the work of media… promoting fair skin…
Comments: This post is so stupid…a mainlander being added to our positive Naga’s group
Comments: Don’t even try to compare the treatments…
Comments: I have many mainland Indian friends….I respect their opinions and views and also acknowledge those friends of mine who always promoted better understanding and relationship between the two great divides are a minority in mainland.
Comments: Generally speaking, one good thing I noticed about the mainland Indians is they respect knowledge packed wise people with the right amount of courage more than material holdings which is almost the opposite here.
Comments: Discrimination…happens everywhere in the world…agreed with some opinions shared above…we should all educate each other.
Comments: Who began the racial War….we didn’t know mainland India existed.
Comments: Guys, if we can Insult, then we should be able to take an insult, thus the power of racism dies…it becomes a toothless LION.
Comments: Generally, calling someone else names is not discriminating. I don’t know where racial discriminating came to India…must have been due to exposure to the Western ways of living.
Comments: The Nagas see people from mainland as a threat to their very existence, their business and culture…mainland see the Nagas as a species of lower order.
Comments: We are all born with some kind of discrimination…others discriminate us and we also discriminate others in one way or the other especially non Nagas. We are very kind and hospitable towards foreigners but it changes dramatically when we see a mia or a deswahli…the moment we know that a person is related or is a friend…our attitude and everything changes dramatically. In a foreign land you are simply an Indian. To the Indian, you are a Naga, to the Nagas, you are from a tribe, to your tribe, you belong to a clan etc…nothing wrong as long as we treat everyone equally. People respect us for who we are and only when we have earned it.
Comments: Blame it all on stereotyping…there is no place in this world where racial discrimination does not exist…we don’t care if a person is from Chennai, Kolkata, Maharashtra we call them all Biharis or Dishwalis in short for labors…we should educate our people…the ill effects of racial profiling and discrimination…I’ve seen Naga people treating outsider with respect too, but generalization can’t be ignored. Start with you and me, and build a better future.
We do have social discriminations in Nagaland. But, as comments suggested, the level of discrimination differ. Is it time we find a solution to our issues or become vindictive. The choice is ours. I say, let’s find a solution and make Nagaland a better place to live. How to go about finding a solution? The choice is ours again. “Love one another” as we were always told or fabricate a concrete governing body to punish the offenders. The issue is not at end by building a healthier relationship only with people from other regions, but we Nagas should respect one another. It’s time we huddle and build a heaven on earth. Peace be with us.
Andres M. Molier
Travel and Social Events Journalist