GUWAHATI: In the wake of the back-to-back alleged racial attacks on people from North-East in Delhi and elsewhere, the influential North-East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has insisted on the inclusion of the history, geography and cultures of the people of North-East in school syllabi.
“In major cities in India, people from the North-East are often mistaken for foreigners by some people. They have to be educated. The only way we can educate them is by incorporating the history, geography and cultures of the people of North-East in the school syllabi,” NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa told Express.
“No law, no matter how stringent it is, can stop the racial attacks. The problem is in the mindset and it has to change. The problem is also about people’s ignorance that there is an India beyond West Bengal,” he said.
The NESO is the apex students’ organisation in the North-East and it has for long been vocal on the rising number of racial attacks. “Earlier, when Nido Tania ( son of an Arunachal Pradesh legislator) died in a racial attack, we had met the then Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. He had assured us that measures would be initiated to curb the incidents. But not much has improved since then as is evident from the latest attacks,” Jyrwa said, adding “The attacks have to stop. We look different but we’re no criminals”.
Over the last three days, three alleged racial attacks took place in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Delhi. In one incident, two youths from Nagaland were brutally beaten up in Gurgaon. The assailants also shaved off the head of one of the victims.
“We are all Indians. But there are some people on the mainland who don’t know or feign not to know that there is a region in India called the North-East. We need to educate them,” said Naga Students’ Federation general secretary Esther Rhakho.