Rahul Gandhi, in an unscheduled appearance (but not unexpected in the tidal times of elections), joined the protesters this evening at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with their demand for justice for Nido Taniam, a 20-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was beaten fatally by some shopkeepers in the Lajpat Nagar market of Delhi after he reacted to the racist comments by them, and who, later on, succumbed to his injuries.
Racial profiling and discrimination against students and aspiring professionals from the North-East is a dark reality of the Indian national capital. Despite waves of protests after every such incident, such ghastly crimes continue.
This is not a law and order problem only. It is in the mindset. The roots go down deeper in the psyche, a psyche marred by sick mentalities. Yes, it is a mindset problem leading to social apathy in the segments of Delhi’s population, a mindset that afflicts the law and order enforcers, too.
When we need a series of exemplary retaliatory measures by the police and administration to create a deterrence to keep this mindset under control, we do not have much to count.
On January 24, before this incident, two women from Manipur were assaulted in a case of racist attack at Kotla Mubarakpur in Delhi. The women were thrashed by the goons on resisting a prank they were being subjected to regularly.
But the police desisted from registering FIR. It was only after pressure from some activist groups that the police registered any FIR but any arrest could only be possible after the protests surge demanding justice for Nido raising again the larger issue of racial discrimination against the people from the North-East. Even in Nido’s case, the role of police is under scanner and probe is needed to fix the responsibility.
It was good that Rahul Gandhi thought to be there, at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with the cause to demand justice for Nido. It was good to hear Narendra Modi raising this issue yesterday.
But such acts will be seen more as the acts of political compulsions than responses of humanitarian concern as long as the administrative apathy, overlooked by the political leadership, continues having a blind eye to such socially divisive crimes.
Till then, Delhi will remain a maddening place for anyone who believes in values of humanity and who wants to make it its first or second home.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/