ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Murder of Nido Taniam

While the murder of the 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Taniam, powerfully foregrounds the issue of racism, in the resultant cacophony, issues concerning the continuing neglect of the north-east and the severe state repression unleashed over there, irrespective of whether such omissions and commissions are due to racism or not, have been swept under the carpet.

Nido Taniam, a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh was beaten to death in Delhi in broad daylight on 29 January by some young men in a trivial altercation. The impunity with which the crime took place was alarming enough but the indignation of the north-easterners accusing mainland India of racial prejudice against them caused huge consternation. Unlike others, they saw it not as an isolated crime, but one falling in a pattern of several such incidents of discrimination and assault on young women and men coming from north-eastern states for studies and jobs to Delhi and other metros. While this incident has powerfully foregrounded the issue of racism, which was, of course, denied by the ruling establishment, including a minister from the north-east, in the resultant cacophony, the issues of continuing neglect of the entire north-east and its repression, irrespective of whether they are due to racism or not, were totally lost. If the north-east had got its dues in terms of development, Nido and his ilk would not have come to Delhi and fallen prey to the hatred of hooligans there. Before one jumps on to racism, this root cause of the problem needs to be seriously looked into.

A Saga of Neglect

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