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Coronavirus: Sunil Chhetri condemns racist attacks against Northeast Indians

Coronavirus: Sunil Chhetri condemns racist attacks against Northeast Indians

The Bridge Desk

Published: 3 April 2020 7:15 AM GMT

It suffices to say that the dreaded outbreak of COVID-19 across the world has led to confusion, forced the economy nearly ground to a halt, and strained the healthcare sector. People residing in the northeastern part of the country are no exception to this growing fear. But besides the coronavirus scare, there has been a spate of discriminatory attacks, highlighting the long-standing racism against those from the northeast.

In the latest report by The Quint, Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri has condemned the acts of crass racism against the northeast Indians, calling it ‘shameful’ and ‘disgrace’.

Source: Facebook / Indian Football Team Source: Facebook / Indian Football Team

“Imagine if the virus had originated from a place where people looked like you, or from your region. Let’s suppose you are working in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam or Sikkim, and people hound you or bully you or trouble you. How will you feel?" he told The Quint.

Racial prejudice has always been a familiar trauma for those from the northeast. This has often taken the shape of slurs, physical abuse, and social stigmatisation. However, it is a wonder that the depth of discrimination has continued to thrive even during these difficult times.


Recently, a Manipuri woman in her 20s was allegedly attacked and spat on by a man on a two-wheeler, while she was on her way to the grocery store. The man called her ‘corona’ before speeding away. This follows a series of other incidents, in Kolkata, Pune, and other parts of the country, where those from the northeast have been labelled as ‘corona’ or ‘coronavirus’.

Earlier this week, the Indian football team donated an undisclosed amount of money as its contribution towards the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve always received more than we can give. Which is why in this time of need, all of us national team players have come together and put on the table a sum that has been sent to the PM-Cares Fund to help India’s fight with the pandemic,” Chhetri said in a series of tweets.

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