SINGAPORE - Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Lalthanhawla Thursday created a minor stir here when he said that in India he is often asked if he is an Indian because he hails from the northeast.
Speaking at the Singapore International Water Week, the chief minister said: “In India, people ask me if I am an Indian.”
“When I go south, 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,” Lalthanhawla said.
The chief minister said that Indians consist of three races - “Dravidians, Aryans and we in the northeast (where people have facial features similar those in southeast and east Asia).”
Though many northeastern students complain of discrimination in places like New Delhi, a state chief minister speaking from an international podium about an issue unrelated to the subject concerned was not liked by other Indian delegates present.
“This is unfair. We Indians are always divided and this is visible in a water event too. Many Australians must be feeling happy here,” said an Indian delegate requesting anonymity.
In the past month at least 16 Indian students in Australia have faced what they alleged were racial attacks, though the Australian government denied the attacks had anything to do with racial discrimination.