More than 30 universities of Northeastern states come together after the NESU Vadodara reached out to the universities.
The major universities such as Guwahati University, Dibrugarh University, Nagaland University, Mizoram University, NIT- Agartala, Rajiv Gandhi University Arunachal Pradesh as well students unions in Delhi, Manipur etc, have come on board to participate.
Recently, a Ludhiana YouTuber Paras Singh‘s comment against Arunachal Pradesh MLA had created storm all over Northeast. He said the MLA Ninong Ering don’t look like Indian and claimed Arunachal Pradesh is not a part of India.
Several FIRs were filed against the YouTuber in Arunachal Pradesh. Later, Punjab Police arrested the YouTuber from Ludhiana.
“We believe that this kind of racism can be solved only through education,” said Debonil Baruah, Advisor, North East Students’ Union (NESU), Vadodara, one of the organisers of the Twitter storm. “The Paras Singh case was what set it off, but such instances of racism are very common,” he added.
“We think the Twitter storm will help bring the issue to the notice of politicians and lawmakers,” said Tarh Naki, a 24-year-old student, reported The Indian Express.
She said, “When I studied in Gujarat, people were clueless about where Arunachal was. They would directly ask me which country I belonged to — ‘Are you from China?’ Sometimes I felt like putting a banner on my head saying I am from Arunachal Pradesh and it is in India.”
In 2017, Ering had introduced a Private Member Bill ‘The Compulsory teaching of North-East culture in Educational Institutions’ in the Parliament but it was not taken up.
“Inclusion of our culture and history must be done in the curriculum. Had introduced a Bill on the same issue in 2017 in Lok Sabha” tweeted Ering, tagging the handles of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, CBSE and NCERT, among others.
“The culture and history of Northeast should be included in the NCERT books. We have to face racial abuse owing to their ignorance about our culture and history. Most of the students in other part of India don’t know much about Northeast because its not taught in text books,” said a student of Arunachal Pradesh.
A few politicians such as K Therie, former Finance Minister of Nagaland, MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu from Nagaland as well as Arunachal Pradesh’s Ering have tweeted their support for the storm.
In 2014, following the attack and murder of 19-year-old Nido Tania in Delhi, the M P Bezbaruah Committee report had made a number of recommendations, including integration of Northeastern culture and history in the NCERT syllabus.