Bangalore has over 240,000 people from different states in the north-east and a large number of them are students. So far, the most affected by the scaremongering among people from the north-east have been security guards and those employed in hotels and beauty parlours.
We spoke to one such former student on the prevailing fear psychosis among people from the north-east; Abhijit Dutta, Head of Sales and Operations at a Bangalore based company, came to the city in 2001, since then he has made it his home.
Have you received any messages asking north-easterners to leave Bangalore? Do you know friends who have received such messages?
No, I have not received any such message. Nodescription I know has received such messages.
For how long have you been living in Bangalore? Have you ever felt threatened for being from the north-east before?
It has been 11 years and counting. I have never felt threatened for being from the north- east.
Have your relatives/parents asked you to be careful or come back? What did you say to them?
Yeah, my parents have asked me to be careful. I have told them there is no need to panic and nothing has happened, I don’t understand why people are so scared and leaving
You know several people from the north-east who are in different parts of the country, what has been your discussion with them about this?
I have a lot of friends from the north-east spread over Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, we just crossed checked with each other if there was any kind of messages they received and no one has received nor do they know anyone who has. And none of us understands why people are fleeing.
To your mind why did the clashes in Bodoland start?
I have no clue about this
Do you feel a sense of alienation and discrimination because of being from the north-east? Do you feel out of place or treated differently? Please share with us your experience.
It has been a long time I have been away from north-east, and I have not felt any discrimination ever. I know a lot of people who are locals and I have always been treated as an equal everywhere.
What would you like to tell the thousands of people who are scared and trying to return home?
To all the people who have returned back home, please come back we are as safe here as we are in the north-east, and to all the people who are trying to return home please don’t panic and stop paying any heed to rumors. We are all Indians and we are all one.