Recently, my father asked me if I want to meet the principal of x college of the University of Delhi, India, who was visiting my hometown for a board meeting. Being a student of the same University, I agreed. I met her and we sat down for a conversation.
She started with the usual question, what’s your name, where do you study, what are you studying, etc. I answered her questions and said I want to be in the academic line and pursue further studies in history. To which she asked, what do you want to do after studying history? I told her how I want to bring the focus of the history of northeast India to a national level and added how I faced racism in Delhi (being called corona patient) and how one of my juniors from the northeast was asked to go back to China and that such incidences are common. (I got a bit emotional) She listened to me and said “oh, that was unfortunate“, and than added “but these are trivial issues, don’t give heed to them, things like this will keep happening”. I was shocked at her remark. She told me everyone faces racism one way or another, you need to rise above it. Don’t go after all this and study for IAS. I couldn’t believe my ears. And just a few days back I wrote about how ‘mainland people’ ignore the northeast people unless you win an Olympic medal. After retirement, she is now a board member of xx and she said racism is a trivial matter. She also said every girl faces such things in life, that doesn’t mean you will run after everything. “Well, they shouldn’t have to face it!“, I wanted to say. Just because we face such discrimination and that it has been normalized, it doesn’t make it right! I remained mum. I didn’t know what to say. She asked me not to mind these things and than become an IAS officer. Well, the job of the IAS is to work for society. Hypocrisy. If issues like racism and sexism are ‘trivial matters’, then I really am concerned for the future of my people.