“Kya bolri hai yeh?” (‘What’s she saying?” in a derogatory manner) they snicker at each other as I speak English with clear diction. I have to repeat what I said so they can make fun of me loudly after I leave.
And mind you, my university in Noida, Delhi NCR, is a “global university” which stands “firmly against ragging”.
When I once merely just mentioned the issue to the university hostel’s “quality checker” during a “check” in a very calm headed manner, not only was I called a liar, the lady shouted “SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP” with stormy eyes, for no apparent reason, as she takes the North Indian student’s side, calling her ‘samajhdaar’ (literally knowledgeable; implying sensibility) as she was speaking Hindi and I was not, when the latter was also clearly at fault.
The issue is petty in the bigger picture. That’s what I’ve been telling myself. But I wouldn’t be writing this article if it has not affected me greatly from the inside. In a room of 3 girls, I am always treated differently for the same issue, I am always in a disadvantageous position and at the quarrel, alone, for no other apparent reason; except that I am not comfortable in the same language as these girls from Jharkhand and Haryana.
I walk in on them making fun of the way I talk and there is blatant hypocrisy in every statement. When I complain of the same issue, no action is taken whatsoever.
The article 15 of the constitution calls for no discrimination under the grounds of place of birth as well. I am a Telugu student who came to Delhi with big dreams of UPSC, that’s how I know.
I pay over 4 lakh a year to this university for a BA course, just putting that out there. Talk about paying to be insulted. When this issue bothered me, I visited the university’s “counselling centre” on three different days, three different times as they had asked me to, waited for long hours, just to be asked to come again the next day. I would rather go to a government office to register myself in the voters’ list if I liked waiting – they’re actually more efficient now.
This is India, and with this university in question being “global” and the region being the National Capital Region, diversity should be given utmost importance. If you cannot learn to respect each other’s differences, the least that can be done is to stay out of another state student’s business. Remember, in such cases, you are representing not you as an individual but your culture and region to a student like me – which could lead to an endless loop of people of my state becoming apprehensive about yours.
This might not be a big Rohith Vemula scale story, but this is how secessionist thought takes root. Take into consideration your peers, their ethnicity, their identity for national integration and to uphold the spirit of “unity in diversity”.