Gorkhatimes

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I’m a victim of racism in India: Mizoram CM

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 26, 2009

News Shared By Kamal Pradhan

Mr Lalthanhawla ( CM Mizoram)

Mr Lalthanhawla ( CM Mizoram)

SINGAPORE: At a time when India is strongly protesting racist attacks on its citizens in Australia, Mizoram chief minister Pu Lalthanhawla handed it a first-rate embarrassment by saying at an international meet that Indians are themselves racist.

‘‘I am a victim of racism,’’ the CM said at a seminar on water in Singapore, leaving his fellow delegates red-faced. Back home, however, Congress defended the CM saying his ‘‘nationalist’’ credentials were beyond doubt.

Lalthanhawla said at the meet, ‘‘In India, people ask me if I am an Indian. When I go to south (India), people ask me such questions. They ask me if I am from Nepal or elsewhere. They forget that the Northeast is part of India…I have told many that ‘See, I am an Indian like you’.’’

He then proceeded to detail the racial make-up of the country. ‘‘Indians consist of three races — Dravidians, Aryans and we in the Northeast,’’ he said.

Though the remarks are likely to strike a chord among people of the Northeast who often face discrimination in other parts of the country, their timing and the fact that they were made at an international forum have left the government embarrassed.

The CM’s fellow delegates at the conference too were not amused at the remarks. ‘‘This is unfair. We Indians are always divided and this is visible in a water event too. Many Australians must be feeling happy here,’’ a delegate said.

Despite unhappiness over the remarks in the government, the Congress chose to stand by the CM. ‘‘Lalthanhawla, who stepped down as chief minister in favour of Laldenga after the 1986 Mizoram accord, is an out-and-out nationalist,’’ party spokesman Manish Tiwari said.

Source: The Times Of India

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