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Mainstream discrimination: Will the prisoners of conscience awake?

Much ink have been spilled on the racist and indecent attitudes in Delhi and its neighbouring areas towards those hailing from the seven sister stats and Sikkim but these refuse to die down. Over the years, the things have gone from bad to worse. That too at the instance of a section of ‘mainstream’ but muddle headed journalists and writers who boast of championing for the dumb millions but hardly knowing all about what is there in the home country. Nothing underscores this more painfully than a recent feature carried by The Times of India.

Written by Nona Walia, the entire feature Spa with a difference, has some off- the-cut-remark which nothing but an insane can accept. This si simmering a controversy among the people residing in the capital along with those in the north eastern region. We are receiving hundreds of mails protesting against the way the writer wants to deal with the north eastern region. We, for our visitors, beg to present two letters, we have received from two veteran journalists from the north eastern region. But will the prisoners of conscience awake?

CNN-IBN correspondent for national affairs Suman Chakrabartty said: I have travelled to North-East quite often to cover the region and believe that such a generic portrayal > not only exposes the knowledge vaccum of your correspondent, but also puts a question-mark on the credentials of your respected newspaper which incidentally brings an edition out of Guwahati. I am quite sure Ms Walia does not even know how many states are there in North-East India, or possibly, as many in Delhi tend to do, do not consider people from North-East Indians.
You or I who come from East India have often faced this discrimination earlier, and have never taken it lying down. I guess it's now time again to educate those journalists who have not had the best of education.

Earlier BBC’s east India correspondent Subir Bhaumik writes: My attention has been drawn to last Sunday's Times Life, "Spa with a difference".As someone from the North-East, I take serious objection to the sentence Walk into a spa which has music, scented aroma candles, but you'll meet a professional doctor rather than a Linda from the Northeast", to be indecent and racist . This dismissive, off-the-cuff remark reflects a mindset that presupposes superiority of peoples from India 's mainstream and that those from the Northeast as worthless and inferior. I find it upsetting -but not suprising-- that even top people in Delhi look at our sisters from the region as easy to have but professionally worthless. May I remind you that some of our girls are doing very well in the service industry , in the academia and the knowledge industry . Much of their personal charm can be traced to humility and polite demeanour that is part of our culture which is lacking in the brash but often intellectually hollow Walias, Singhs.

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