People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 39

September 30, 2012


Northeast Diaspora in Bangalore

Find Support from DYFI


“Just because we look different, we dress slightly different or have different food habits, why should anyone try to take advantage of us or treat us badly? We want people of Bangalore to be aware that we are also Indians and we want to be treated as equals.”


This was the anguished outpouring of Jenny, a young Mizo Bangalorean, during an interaction with DYFI North Eastern and Karnataka leaders on the evening of September 13 at Jai Bheem Bhavan. The interaction with Northeast Diaspora in Bangalore was organised by DYFI Karnataka unit in the context of recent exodus of Northeast people from Bangalore and against recurrent incidents of racial and regional discrimination.


Jenny, who teaches English to foreign nationals in Bangalore, is actively involved in coordinating and supporting the Northeast community in Bangalore after the recent incidents. She is one of the key pillars of the Northeast Students’ Welfare Association, which is an umbrella platform for various state organisations/associations.


She told the gathering that contrary to popular perception, it was not the rumour-mongering text messages that prompted the exodus of the Northeastern people from Bangalore. There were around 16 incidents of assault and intimidation on North East students, just days prior to the exodus. She, however, admitted that the forwarding of text messages contributed to the sense of fear prevailing among the community. A total of 26 FIRs were filed in various police stations in Bangalore but no action has been taken by the police despite repeatedly following up by her team. They have solicited DYFI’s support for mounting pressure on the police to bring the culprits to the book at the earliest.


“We also attended meetings called by Muslims and they reassured us that their community is not behind the attacks. We realised this was not about fight between two religions but handiwork of anti-socials”, she said. Referring to the slow progress being made by the police, she raised a doubt that the truth is being hidden from them.


Another student activist from Nagaland, Vezokho Resu, said the attacks appeared to be pre-planned and coordinated. He has been living in Bangalore for the last nine years but never before had the community felt as vulnerable as it is now.


Nayan Bhuyan, DYFI Assam state secretary, told the Northeast Diaspora that the 9th DYFI All India Conference has passed a separate resolution on North East issues, in which it was noted that insensitivity to the cultural sentiments of different communities has contributed in creation of space for separatism and feeling of alienation among the Northeast people. He said communal forces among both Hindus and Muslims are trying to communalise this issue and create differences among the people. He cited how Advani and other BJP leaders tried to portray the incidents in Assam as clashes between indigenous Bodos and illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. He called upon the students from Northeast to be vigilant about these designs.


P K Biju, former president of SFI and MP, explained how he raised this issue in parliament and sought government’s intervention. He said he would once again write to the prime minister, who is an MP from Assam, regarding this. “Let us together fight against these anti-socials who are trying to fish in troubled waters”, so saying he concluded.


B Rajashekara Murthy, DYFI Karnataka state secretary, assured the gathering that DYFI is committed to upholding national integrity and would extend necessary help and support to the Northeast Diaspora in Bangalore. He mentioned how young people from Northeast constitute significant section of unorganised labour in the city engaged in menial tasks. They also must be involved in this interaction. He assured that DYFI would submit a memorandum to state DGP along with Northeast groups involved in fighting for justice.

(N S Arjun)