When I had gone to study engineering in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, I realized how different the world outside the North East (NE) was, well at-least in that part of the country. But of course now I know that it is a disease rampant all across the nation. Questions like do you live on trees were thrown at me the moment they learnt that I hailed from Shillong. Initially, I thought they were joking but gradually I realized that they actually were very serious about it. The joke apparently was on me. Some automatically assumed that because I was from that part of India which doesn't really exist for most, I would not even be able to complete my studies. When the first semester results were announced one of them even asked me in how many subjects I had failed? Yes, bluntly that very question! In fact, they were all surprised when I passed in all my subjects which made me think that don’t students from the other parts of the country fail or are they all exceptionally brilliant?
Leave that aside, they didn't even know the capitals of the seven sister states which was very strange. I can vouch for a fact that the North Eastern people at least know about the states and cities of this great country. It was sad. In fact, it is sad. But it was not only the attitude of the students that hurt but it was that of the professors too. During practical exams we were abused since we were form the NE. The examiners would ridicule us saying that we didn't know anything. It was of course, absolutely alright for the students from the other parts to sit there without even moving their lips but we, from the NE, had to be targeted. In fact, I even remember a teacher going as far as saying that my dad had no business sending me for higher studies. Of-course, to his surprise I hit back which he didn't expect. Yes, Mr. Professor I did have a mind of my own, still do. But why am I writing all these today? It’s obvious, isn't it? When I can face such situations without resembling the ‘stereotype’ that certain (educated uneducated
) Indians assign to the North Eastern people, can you imagine what the rest of them go through? Is it fair? Not at all.
It’s sad that those batch mates of mine would come to the three north eastern girls in our year (including me) to borrow clothes, sandals, jeans and earrings while at the very next moment they would treat us as outsiders, mock us. Why only them even the seniors would come for that perfect sweater to wear on interviews but the very next moment we became the witches from the NE.
I don’t know what is wrong with us as a country. I really don’t. We fight among ourselves. And this is true all across the country. It is inbuilt in us to treat someone different as an outsider, ostracize him even. North, South, East and West divide - that’s all our tiny brains can comprehend. But not the fact that all these make up a single country. From region to religion, we can fight on any ludicrous issue. The absurdity of our so called culture turns us against fellow Indians who are from another state. This mentality is sick and frankly I’m getting tired of it. And I see very little hope of it changing when educated people complain about Indians migrating within their own country in search of opportunities. Are we so dim-witted? My state, my language and my region that’s about as far as our intelligence goes? And in the midst of this innocent people suffer which is absolutely sickening. Think about it, that’s all I can say for I have no solution to this problem, not that anyone would care if I had one!