Temjen Imna Along, Minister Of Higher Education And Tribal affairs in Nagaland, is attracting a lot of attention for his original perspective on the discrimination that residents of the Northeast typically experience owing to their physical characteristics.

“Chinky” – The Perpetual Racism Against Northeastern Indians

Prior to the turn of the millennium, racism towards the Northeast Indians in the rest of India was either nonexistent or not sufficiently recognised and investigated. The reason for this is their mongoloid-looking features enhanced by their small eyes in contrast to other Indians who are racially classified as ‘brown’.

A regular occurrence for a Northeast Indian in public places is receiving the query “Are you from China?” from a non-Northeastern Indian. However, what’s more concerning is the motive behind a query like this, especially when they are called derogatory names like “chinky”.

Such remarks were frequently used to otherize and cast doubt on their sense of belonging rather than out of ignorance. What hurts them the most is this act of rejection through questioning their nationality.

Such acts of discrimination have been nothing but on the increase since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic due to nationwide stigmatization of the Chinese and phobia against people who resemble the Chinese (by way of looks).

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Nagaland Minister’s Witty Response To Racism

According to Temjen Imna Along, it’s true that people from the Northeast have smaller eyes, but at the same time, they have excellent vision. The BJP leader claimed during an event that there are numerous advantages of having smaller eyes. The video of the event has gone viral.

Temjen Imna Along jokes how there is not much dirt in their eyes because of the small size of the eyes. He adds that because of their small eyes, they sometimes have the advantage of dozing off on stage during performances that continue for too long!

“Because I have small eyes, less dirt enters my eyes. Also, I can easily sleep when I am on the stage and some long program is going on,” said he.

His social media posts have gone viral, and many people have praised his sense of humor. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Chief Minister of Assam, also shared the video.

The Assam Chief Minister tweeted sharing the video, “My brother @AlongImna is in full form.”

Several Twitter users praised Mr. Imna’s wit. One user wrote, “Amazed by his presence of mind. Putting an end to racism”.

“What an awesomely witty take,” said another.

Retweeting the video, the minister himself commended the user for spreading the voice of the Northeast to the world.

Lessons To Learn

This gesture by the Nagaland minister teaches you an extremely important lesson: Never lose your patience and self-confidence to petty hate comments. The best way to combat haters is by way of wit and humor.

But most importantly, it teaches you to see your “banes” as blessings, be positive about yourself and never let society belittle you by way of your physical appearance. And this holds relevance not only to some particular ethnic group but to all those individuals struggling with issues regarding their identity and body image.

Northeast Indians are as much Indians as you all are

So stay strong, don’t break down by the negativity around you, and let us know what you think in the comments below! Do you believe the Nagaland minister’s witty remarks on his small eyes a perfect response to racism?

Disclaimer: This article has been fact-checked

Sources: NDTV, Livemint, tandfonline +more

Image Source: Google Images

Find the blogger @ParomaDey

This post is tagged under India, racism, racism in India, stop racism, stop racism in India, asian lives matter, chinky, northeast India, seven sisters, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Temjen Imna Along, Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

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