The story:Â In a shocking incident, a youth from Arunachal Pradesh has reportedly been beaten to death during an altercation with some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar area of the national capital.Â According to reports, the incident was sparked as the shopkeepers passed comments on the hair of the boy, which resulted in a heated argument. Following this, an altercation broke out between the youth and the shopkeepers.
However, police intervened and took the boy to the police station, but shortly after it, they dropped him back in the market.Â The shopkeepers, who were enraged, then began to attack the boy and reportedly beat him brutally.
Nido Taniam’s family says he was found dead the next morning in his room in Green Park Extension. They allege that he died of his injuries from the brutal beating.
The police have detained a person from the shop where Nido was allegedly beaten. He has denied that anyone made fun of him. The police say they will wait for a report of the post-mortem conducted today at the AIIMS hospital before filing an FIR, or a police complaint.
Will India ever lay off its racism? This is not a first of its kind case. Indians in the rest of the country have been rampant racists against people from north-east India.Â The mysterious death of Loitam Richard in Bangalore, the murder of Ramchanphy Hongray in New Delhi, the suicide by Dana Sangma and other such incidents serve as reminders of the insecure conditions under which people, particularly the young from the north-east of India have to live within the metros of this country.
AsÂ The Hindu reports, “What these deaths have in common is that the three individuals were all from a certain part of the country, had a “particular” physical appearance, and were seen as outsiders in the places they died. These incidents have been read as a symptom of the pervasive racial discrimination that people from the region face in metropolitan India.”
Racism within India has never been taken seriously – socially or politically. The response to such incidents is either too silent, or a direct rejection of internal racism in the country. What is sad is that most Indians see racism as a phenomenon that is rampant in other countries, particularly in the west, and see themselves as the victims – without recognizing how racist they themselves are towards their own country-folks from different ethnic backgrounds.
“But time and again, various groups of people, particularly from the north-east have experienced forms of racial discrimination and highlighted the practice of racism in India. In fact, institutionalised racism has been as much on the rise as cases of everyday racism in society.” reports The Hindu.
As Yengkhom Jilangamba, a Visiting Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, DelhiÂ says,Â “To recognise that racism exists in this country and that many unintended actions might emanate from racism can be a good place to start fighting the problem.”
While the 20-year-old youth was beaten to death, this case demands immediate justice.