This evening a protest march against racism, racist violence and vigilantism was organised by New Socialist Initiative (NSI). The immediate context of the protest march was the recent brutal murder of Nido Taniam - a young student of Arunachal Pradesh by a mob in Lajpat Nagar; vigilante mob assault led by the Law Minister of Delhi against African women in Khirki village; and broad daylight assault on two Manipuri women in Kotla-Mubarakpur. Hundreds of people joined the protest march. The march started from Delhi University metro station at 5.30 pm and culminated into a public meeting infront of International Women's Hostel and Northeast Women's Hostel in Indra Vihar (Mukherjee Nagar). Large number of students and activists spoke at the meeting and resolved to carry forward the fight against not just racism but also against all kinds of oppression and discrimination.
The protesters reiterated that not only is there a pressing need to talk about explicit racism but also to recognise the subtler ways in which our underlying prejudices reveal themselves. The fact remains that racism is not an issue of individuals and circumstances but is structural and is institutionalized into the very fabric of our society.
As of now racism is not even recognized as a problem. The attitude towards people from Northeast and Africa is so normalised and commonplace that the idea of racism as a manifestation of unacceptable bias, prejudice and discrimination is alien. The demand that the Government and the larger society awakens to this issue and takes into consideration the rampant racism which is rooted in spaces all around us is a basic but an essential one. The fact that we have to even demand this basic minimum only goes to show the abysmal degree of neglect.