National Northeast

Social media campaign to include a chapter on Northeast takes Twitter by storm

A group of youth from Northeast on Friday began a “Twitter Storm” in order to nudge the government to insert a chapter on the region so that the people of this region does not feel alienated when they go there.

The move comes days after a Punjab-based YouTube influencer questioned about Arunachal Pradesh being more in touch with China. He was eventually arrested in Arunachal Pradesh.

The youths of the eight Northeast states had on Friday began a massive social media campaign from the region titled ‘#Twitter Storm #AChapter for Northeast India in NCERT textbooks.

As a part of the strategy, ‘#A Chapter for NE in NCERT’ and ‘#Northeast Matters’ would run on Twitter, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union MoS Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju and all the respective chief ministers of the eight states, demanding inclusion of a chapter on Northeast India in the curriculum of NCERT textbooks.

The move is considered as a clarion call to the centre that Northeast India’s geography, culture, ethnicity and its way of life should be included in the educational curriculum so that they are not discriminated on racial and ethnic lines in their own country.

The campaigners are mostly university and college students of the eight states. At the same time, the social media campaign has also garnered unprecedented support from distinctive age groups, personalities and professionals etc. Various WhatsApp groups have also been created in respective states in the region as part of the campaign.

Sharing ideas behind the Twitter storm media campaign, Asmita Bharadwaj, vice president of the Northeast Students’ Union of Vadodara, Gujrat said, “You Tuber Paras Singh passed derogatory remarks on the MLA of Arunachal Pradesh connoting him as Chinese. It was transparent enough that he himself as an Indian did not have any idea about Northeast India. This very incident along with the long-driven history of identity issues and discrimination over Northeast Indians led to the idea of a Twitter storm for inclusion of a section on Northeast India in NCERT Textbooks.”

Bharadwaj disclosed that they are receiving overwhelming support from various social media influencers, actors and news channels and also from MLA Ninong Ering of Arunachal Pradesh.

In May 2013, it was reported that Arunachal Pradesh was missing from the Indian political map of the class 10 geography textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Later, the Maharashtra government had to apologise for the inadvertent error. The textbook was printed by the state press, Balbharti.

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