NSA panel discussion on racial discrimination in times of COVID-19

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 6/4/2020 9:52:10 AM IST

Naga Scholars Association (NSA) organized its first webinar panel discussion on the topic “Racial discrimination in times of COVID19 in India” on May 29, using ZOOM platform and was also linked to Facebook Live with technical support from Prahlad Jadav and KCO Library team, Mumbai. 

A press release from NSA president, Dr. Zuchamo Yanthan and general secretary, Dr. Lungthuiyang Riamei stated that, first panelist Dr. Alana Golmei who is an academician, activist and humanitarian highlighted some of the many racial attacks since the first COVID-19 infections were reported in India in January. She further stated that that the Government must stop seeing these issues as mere isolated cases but rather start enforcing stringent prosecution to those who are committing racial attacks to the North East people having mongoloid features. 
The second panelist was Binalakshmi Nepram, head of Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and winner of several prestigious national and international awards. She addressed the constitutional mechanisms and strategies that were available to those concerned with addressing the issue of racism in India. She also firmly stated that more scientific information needs to be relayed amongst the people and this needed to be translated into local languages. 
The third panelist Dr. Kaustabh Deka, who teaches political science at Dibrugarh University critically analyzed the hegemonic discourse on the NE and the crucial need to demarcate the immediate post-independence phase from the conceptually distinct post-liberalization phase.  
The chairperson Dr. Zuchamo Yanthan gave some observations where people who discriminate the North East people were mostly those who are already familiar with the North East culture and also knows their physical features, which is alarming because it shows the insensitivity of the people at large towards the North East people. The rapportuer of the panel discussion was Akhum David Longkumer, vice president of NSA. 


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