How to Master Karate and Hindi Like a Pro in a Week
Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes a myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.
― PAULO FREIRE, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
|Image from E-pao.net|
If you are from any of the Northeast (NE) states and living in New Delhi, there is a great news for you. This February 2014 is going to be an exciting month for all of us. With pressure from several NGOs, students’ organisations and NE-based women’s groups, the Delhi joint police commissioner issued a press release on 28 January, Tuesday. The law enforcers are conducting an emergency self-defence training at the Siri Fort Karate Club. The two-hour session of martial arts will be followed by an hour of Hindi-speaking class each day. The training is scheduled to be held during the weekends and gazette holidays, in the last week of next month.
A number of people—especially the youth of the trouble-torn NE India—have been coming in droves to the city to pursue higher studies or work or lead a relatively stable life out here, amongst other stuffs. New Delhi is like a mecca, quite evident from the ever rising number of folks over the last couple of decades. It is regardless of the 45-degree summers and ass-smacking, chilly winters. An estimate shows there are nearly 414,850 NE people in the city (according to a head count by the North East Support Centre & Helpline two years ago). And as long as we are out of harm’s way, which is quite a luxury compared to some corners of the region, everything is well and fine.
However, reality paints a very different picture. For starters we look different from India. The daily issues of name calling and the ugly racial craps perpetuated by the people—who look different from us, read as the Mainland Indians—are such a turn-off. These are just the milder forms of the grave arrogance and prejudice. Then add the pathetic ignorance of these people that only helps in widening the sense of alienation. Are we different or they are different? In a democracy like India, the majority is always the winner. Far from the mess in our hometowns, we have been coming across altered forms of nightmare in the metropolis. Precisely, the blend of racial discrimination and humiliation offer a nasty cocktail.
The rationale of this self-defence training is clear. But the problem lies in the bigger picture. When a person tries to murder someone, common sense dictates the culprit is the would-be killer. But unfortunately, this is not the case. As far as the some people are concerned, the victims should take the blame for allowing the other person to try and take their lives. Imagine the vehicle of a society in speed reverse.
|Image from Anonymous ART of Revolution|
The office of the joint commissioner of politics has got a ball. Yet this is not the first case that the police has identified themselves as the biggest moron, only next to the stupid government. In 2007, the West Delhi Police issued a booklet titled, ‘Security Tips for Northeast Students/Visitors in Delhi’. It advised, regarding the dress code, ‘When in rooms do as the Roman does’. It continued, in the tone of a holier-than-thou preacher, such as ‘Avoid wearing revealing dress. Avoid lonely road/bylane when dressed scantily. Dress according to sensitivity of the local populace’. When it comes to food, ‘Bamboo shoot, akhuni and other smelly dishes should be prepared without creating ruckus in the neighbourhood.’
The Khap Panchayats in the nearby states of Haryana are more logical. In 2012, the local leaders found chowmein was the primary reason for the rising number of rape cases. They also advocated lowering the legally marriageable age from 18 years to 16 years, because the young girls are vulnerable to rapes.
The farce has always been on a role. In mid-2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) instructed the states and Union Territories to book offenders guilty of atrocity (including name-calling!) against people from the North East. But it does not clearly mentioned that the provision has been inserted under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Fuuu the Facts
Frantz Fanon writes the oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves. So it follows naturally that we have to try not to be a victim. We can be powerful only if we can become someone like our oppressor. We are only desperate and we are only helpless. We have to follow everything that anybody commands. We are only the wretched people. We are only the lost people. Then the volunteer groups have come for our salvation, while suggesting the authority to teach us karate and Hindi.
|Image from Anonymous ART of Revolution|
The press release from the Delhi joint police commissioner do not mention any group. Let us hope the office of the police commissioner do give the sensible organisations a certificate of excellence in activism, for bringing up such a timely solution to end the bloody racial discrimination in the Indian capital city. It is not hard to imagine their aims and objectives, which could be on the line of having the option for suffering in a particular place, either at home or outside—and being unfair that the prejudices follow everywhere we go in the country.
This is not a problem of a region. It is a problem of India.
For Interested Individuals .................................................................
Any willing person to master karate and Hindi in a week should submit his/her name, age, mobile number, email address, on a piece of paper smeared with the blood of a virgin in an envelope pasted with adhesives from the seven NE states, to their respective state representatives.
He/she can also email the contact details to tsldelhi@hotmail. c o m or robinhibu@gmail. c o m.
Discrimination against people from North-East rising in Delhi The Hindu
Social profiling: The root cause of racial discrimination against North East Indians Counter Currents
81% of Northeast women harassed in Delhi: Survey Jamia Journal
Let’s stop pretending there’s no racism in India The Hindu
The great disappointment: Racial discrimination in India Seven Diary
Racial discrimination against north-east people a reality: Agatha Sangma The Times of India
Ending violence against women from Northeast India The Tehalka
What lies behind the racial discrimination in Mainland India The Sangai Express
The alarming violence against Northeasterners and women in India IPS
Strangers in their own land Deccan Herald
PS: Just a day after posting this piece, an Arunachali boy was murdered in the busy Lajpat Nagar area (on 31 Jan 2014). The newspapers are screaming racism but this is much more than a one-off case of looking-different syndrome. And it is overwhelming that the tragedy is not going to end soon.