Discrimination towards North-East Indians in our country is nothing new to report about. There have been instances in the past which have highlight how deeply racist our fellow citizens can be towards their own countrymen. Few cases of sexual harassment, violence and even deadly attacks make it to the news, but for the North-Easterners who live in other parts of the county, especially the North, the abuse is consistent and relentless.
A new nodal agency to counter racism
Now the Supreme Court has taken the Central Government to task for not being able to stop racism against the people of the Northeast. The apex court has notified the Centre for not being able to prevent racism against people from the northeastern front. Not only that, it has also directed the latter to set up a nodal agency for the purpose.
Despite Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh defending the Centre over the same, Chief Justice T S Thakur doesn’t seem to impressed with the efforts. Singh had said all steps to prevent racial abuse of people from the Northeast has been taken. However the Chief Justice was of the view that all steps are on paper and are not judicially visible.
‘The steps may be on paper. It is not judicially visible on the ground. You identify a nodal agency so that the court can question it about the complaints of racial abuse received by it and the steps taken.’ T S Thakur said.
Will Racial Slur become a distinct offence?
The order came on a petition filed by Karma Dorjee two years ago shortly after an Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania was beaten to death in Delhi. Nido’s friends and family alleged that the men who killed him shouted racial slurs at him while making fun of his appearance.
The bench had taken note of the recommendation by M P Bezbaruah committee which had suggested amendment of Section 153 IPC to make racial slur a distinct offence. However in order to realize this, it remains to be seen whether the government would take the legislative route to make the necessary amendments.
It is to be noted that Northeast India has a sizeable amount of population present in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune , Gurgaon and Chandigarh. A large among them are students, while the others work in many companies present there. The bench also directed the Centre to present viable and perfect mechanism for Delhi so that they can ask the other educational hubs to replicate it.