Discrimination on the basis of appearance is a common practice that is often witnessed across many parts of the country. And in most of the cases the biggest victims are the residents from the North Eastern region.
Recently, a 23-year-old student from Nagaland was asked to prove his nationality by officials of a museum in Pune.
It happened on July 19 when P David Ndang, a resident of Peren in Nagaland, went to the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum for a visit. He is currently pursuing an internship with a city-based NGO, Watershed Organisation Trust.
David showed his driving licence issued by government of Nagaland as his identity proof but still he was asked to pay the entry fees meant for foreigners after which he dropped his plan to visit the museum.
A post-graduate student of social work at North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research in Dimapur, David was accompanied by Prithviraj Gaikwad, an employee with the NGO who had agreed to show him around the city.
"When we went to the entry gate of the museum, the staff asked me for an identity proof. Prithviraj asked them why it was needed at all, to which they said they needed to see it. As I could not speak in Marathi, Prithviraj started talking on my behalf and was translating it for me," David told The Indian EXPRESS .
David also added, "It was alright for them to ask me for an ID proof as there are different entry fees for Indians and foreigners. But even after seeing my driving licence which showed my permanent address from Nagaland, they kept asking me to prove my nationality. At one point of time, I had to tell them that Nagaland was part of India. But finally they asked me buy a ticket meant for foreigners at Rs 200 as against one for an Indian at Rs 50. I felt offended due to the discrimination which was obviously because of my facial features. We just walked away without buying the ticket.”
This is not the first time that such an incident has been reported in Pune. Earlier in 2012, a mass exodus of North-Eastern students took place from Pune because of complaints of racial discrimination.
North Eastern folks are as much a part of this country as every other citizen is. Discriminating against them on the basis of their appearance is not the kind of behaviour that fellow country men are supposed to show. The diversity that people of this country are proud of might turn out to be a shame if such behaviour continues. It's high time for all those who discriminate on racial ground to change their attitudes and behaviour for country's sake.