Students Protest Against Racial Profiling in India

Raksha Kumar, Christian Science Monitor, February 4, 2014

Students from India’s remote northeast are attracting high-profile politicians to their cause as they protest against what they say is widespread racism.

Holding signs reading “Why are we treated like outsiders?” and “We are Indians, too,” several hundred students have been chanting and sitting in silent protest for four days in downtown New Delhi to demand the creation of an anti-racism law.

The protests were sparked by the beating and death last week of Nido Taniam, a first-year university student from the northeast. The case has received widespread attention in the Indian media and underscores the divides that still permeate India as it heads into national elections this spring.


Mr. Taniam, who was studying in Punjab, was vacationing in Delhi when he was beaten up with rods and sticks, allegedly by a group of shopkeepers in a South Delhi market who ridiculed his appearance and his dyed hair. Police say they negotiated a settlement between the parties, and that Nido then went to his sister’s home where he was found dead in his bed the next day.

The preliminary autopsy report has confirmed that he died of internal injuries suffered in a “violent assault.”

The prime minister and the minister of home affairs have condemned the attack on Nido and promised a probe into the matter. The principal opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party, says it will raise the issue in parliament.

Yeshi Wangchu Kharma, vice president of a student union in Delhi that represents students from the northeast, says that the protesters are demanding an anti-racism law to ensure the safety of “all northeastern persons in this country” and an independent commission to investigate the incident.


Taniam is the son of a legislator from the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. His friends and family have alleged that he was beaten twice by the group of accused attackers and that the second round of beating took place in the presence of the police. Police refute that allegation and claim that they have enough evidence to prove that Taniam was fine when he left for his sister’s house.

Inconsistencies in the police records and the statements of his friends and family have left some observers unconvinced that this incident was actually a racist assault.

“The details of the incident were sketchy and based on what one heard from eyewitnesses, the story looks like a street fight which turned ugly,” says Kishalay Bhattacharjee, who has written a book on Manipur, one of the states of northeastern India.


Northeast India is geographically isolated from the rest of mainland India. The seven northeastern states are almost completely cut off from the rest of India by Bangladesh. The northeastern states are bordered by Tibet, Nepal, Myanmar, and China, with whom northeastern Indians often have closer ethnic and linguistic ties.

The alienation is also cultural and social, says Binalakshmi Nepram, an activist from Manipur who was present at the Delhi protests. “The northeast is not included in the history curriculum of India, the media ignores stories from the northeast unless they are of violence and unrest, and the politicians show step-motherly treatment towards the region,” she says.

Mr. Bhattacharjee warns that racism cuts both ways in the northeast. He says that there has been evidence of discrimination against “outsiders” within the northeast and that Hindi-speaking people are routinely targeted in Manipur.


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  • Jesse James

    Northern India, Southern India, they are all wogs to me.

    We should bring some more to America, I hear the GOP is having trouble finding good candidates to run for state governors.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    India is such a disgusting, filthy place. India is India because of the racially inferior people who inhabit it.

    The fair-skinned Aryan fire-worshipers who migrated from Central Asia and settled in the Punjab were right to establish a race-based caste system. They had to protect themselves and their blood purity from the racially inferior masses of Dravidian-speaking Australoid aborigines, who were reduced to a subject population in Aryan-ruled India.

    Unfortunately, the restrictions against intermarriage were eventually relaxed and the Aryans were gradually absorbed into the native Australoid population. There are reports of blond-haired, fair-skinned Brahmins about the 2nd century BC.

    • benvad

      Are there any left?

      • Andy

        In northern and western India, there are fair people. You might google the Kalash. However, most of the country is mixed Aryan-Dravidian.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        Nope. The Aryans of India race-mixed themselves out of existence.

        • jackryanvb

          Some whiter, high caste Indians have married White Europeans. Sonia Ghandi was once White Italian. She’s successfully gone native Indian.

          The very handsome former King of Jordan married a very pretty, smart White American Queen Noir (sp?). Unfortunately the new King of Jordan isn’t the a white American Queen’s son.

    • Zimriel

      The Dravidians weren’t “racially inferior” to the Indo-Iranians. The invaders perceived them as such, because they were invaders and that’s what invaders do. Would you say the Arabs were racially superior to the Sassanians just because the Muslim Arabs crushed the latter? (*I* wouldn’t…)

      The Dravidians were certainly *militarily* inferior; or else the Persian language would be spoken in a couple of villages in Fars surrounded by Dravidian and Elamite languages, rather than Brahui being a dying isolate surrounded by Indian and Iranian languages.

      But the Dravidians (probably) built up a fine civilisation around Harappa before it fell apart. And in South India they did at least reattain a literate culture (we’ll never see that happen in, say, subsaharan Africa).

      If you’re looking for aboriginal hunter-gatherer barbarians in the subcontinent, go with the Munda – or, per the topic of the original post, with the indigenes of the northeast, who’re more Burmese than Indian.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        I dunno, but if “Charlie Jones from Texas” calls me one more time trying to sell me a freakin windows warranty…

        Grrr…if only I could get close enough to introduce him to non-virtual reality…

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        Harappan society began as a caste system, with lighter-skinned Mediterraneans on top and darker-skinned Australoid aborigines on the bottom. The only reason why Dravidian-speakers were able to attain some degree of civilization was because Caucasoid invaders would often impose their culture and language on the aborigines, after having conquered and enslaved them.

        The oldest racial element in the subcontinent is the ancestral South Indian or Australoid. Negritos are almost entirely Australoid, whereas the Australoids of south India have some Caucasoid ancestry.

    • Andy

      The Dravidians and the Australoids were two distinct groups. Dravidians are dark-skinned Caucasoids and were part of the caste system. They were generally in the lowest caste, the shudras or servants. Australoids were considered so low they were *outside* the caste system, pariahs or dalits. The Aryans and the Dravidians mixed extensively, but most people in India who are not among the rural tribes do not have any Australoid blood.

    • Sangraal

      ‘There are reports of blond-haired, fair-skinned Brahmins about the 2nd century BC.’

      Could you provide a source for this? I’m wary of Nordicist wilful mistranslations to assert the ‘Aryan-ness’ of historical cultures.
      I don’t doubt that ancient India had an Indo-European Caucasoid elite, I’m just not convinced they were ‘Nordic’ in appearance. This extends to the ancient Indo-Europeans as a whole – doubtless they were lighter than their Dravidian subjects in South Asia, but who is to say they were not darker than the fair-haired, light eyed European peoples they assimilated into in Northern Europe? They may well have been West Asian in appearance.

      I’m not challenging you on this, nor am I taking a particular stance myself (I’m no expert), I’m just interested in this debate.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        Blond hair and fair complexion were features that were well-known to the Vedic writers because many of the Aryan conquerors were themselves blond and fair-skinned.

        In the Rigveda, Indra and other gods are described as golden-haired and fair-skinned.

        The Mahabhasya of the Sanskrit grammarian Patanjali (2nd century BC) says:

        “Penance, knowledge of the Veda, and birth make a Brahman. He who is without penance and knowledge of the Veda is a Brahman by birth only. White complexion, pure conduct, yellow or red hair, etc. are also characteristics that constitute Brahmanhood.”

      • Homo_Occidentalis

        The non-IE Basques of France and Spain often have Blue/Green eyes, and the non-IE Finns are very “Nordic”. The amount of words of non-IE origin in the Germanic languages would suggest that the Indo-Europeans were late-comers to Scandinavia (for your interest, look up “Germanic Substrate Hypothesis”), and probably didn’t leave a large genetic imprint. The invasion of IE was in most places probably cultural as opposed to a physical migration of large groups. I agree with your hypothesis that the IEs were probably darker than the people they imposed their culture upon in most of Europe. They were probably something like your average Armenian, but possibly lighter.

  • Spartacus

    So… they’re naziswhowanttokillsixmillionjews ?

    • foundingstockcracker

      Mein Kampf is a top seller in India.

      • Lagerstrom

        The Hindu nationalists back in the day ran after Hitler. But I seem to recall that Hitler wasn’t interested. I read somewhere that Mein Kampf was also translated into Arabic back in the day.

    • Lagerstrom

      Sure are.

  • LovelyNordicHeidi

    “Holding signs reading “Why are we treated like outsiders?” and “We are Indians, too,” several hundred students have been chanting and sitting in silent protest for four days in downtown New Delhi to demand the creation of an anti-racism law.”

    “The alienation is also cultural and social, says Binalakshmi Nepram, an activist from Manipur who was present at the Delhi protests. “The northeast is not included in the history curriculum of India, the media ignores stories from the northeast unless they are of violence and unrest, and the politicians show step-motherly treatment towards the region,” she says.”

    Of course they can blame their problems on other Indians, because some kind of magic force holds them down! Seriously, the news is boring me more every day with its incessent repetition of stupid social programs and other quick-fix solutions to racial problems.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Sorry Mr. Taniam, but you are stuck in your caste, and you will never be able to get your most desirable women, but an average white guy can get one of these, can he?
    How do I know? I can see some of him in her.

    • foundingstockcracker

      How much whitening cream has she possibly used? Do you know they even have whitening creams sold especially for use on the genitals?

      • Zimriel

        Look at her jawline. It is classically Eurasian, not subcontinental. This is how the Persians used to look (many still do).

      • D.B. Cooper

        I suspect the extremely low caste Hindus of that region are the ones who resort to those creams. Of course, they would be the ones most militant.
        I can see why Miss Tape-Over-The-Mouth would be mad all the time.
        When she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see a Brahmin, like our suspiciously Caucasian sweetie, but instead, she sees what she really is, a Shudra.

        • foundingstockcracker

          They also hate to be looked in the eye. Put a piercing eyeball on one as you pass by. They will lower their eyes and hang their heads. They know their betters.

    • Alexandra1973

      From what I can tell the hair looks like “white” hair (it’s actually about the same shade as mine). Nice-looking lady.

  • Truthseeker

    If different regions of the country are so vastly different demographically, divide it up and let them have sovereignty in their own region.

  • foundingstockcracker

    Must be hiding in there somewhere.

  • bigone4u

    I know very little about the skin colors of India, but when in grammar school I learned that there was something there called a caste system. Although the teachers thought it was a terrible thing, it made sense to me to keep each group separate and knowing its place. I said to myself that without a caste system, the place would degenrate into chaos. I think history has proved my eight year old self to be right.

  • D.B. Cooper

    The white man’s evil offspring in India tend to be known as the Brahmin.

  • Max

    Geez, even sects of Indians kill each other over differences but we continue to hear how beneficial diversity is to society.

    The left will never quit this theory proven wrong for the entire recorded history of man.

  • foundingstockcracker

    I haven’t looked to see if the connection exists here, but in the past Indians and Chinese have come to blows over a border area currently held by India but claimed by both.

  • Truth Teller

    The north eastern Indians are Asian looking like their Tibetan neighbors. That is what the protestors mean by race. They must be liberals. They think an anti racism law will prevent future assaults, batteries and murders.