Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

A Bengali in Assam

What is it like to be a treated like an 'other' everywhere you go?

In 2012, thousands from the North-East had fled Bengaluru as rumours of violence gave rise to widespread panic (in fact, the government severely restricted text messages, initially allowing only five a day, in a bid to put a stop to it). In 2014, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Taniam, was killed in Delhi, sparking a wave of protests. In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a number of directives to the government, calling on it to tackle racial discrimination, particularly against migrants from north-eastern states.

Migrants of all kinds across the world face similar treatment. Bengali refugees from Bangladesh settled in India have to deal with the same sort of discrimination in West Bengal and, ironically, states such as Tripura and Assam in India's North-East.

In this week's Big Picture, Rituparna Sengupta and Siddharth Sengupta weave an engrossing tale of the clash of cultures and those caught in between, of boundaries and those who straddle them. To read on, click here.