Milind Soman’s wife Ankita opens up on harassment faced by Northeast Indians, says ‘people comment ‘corona’ on my post’

Milind Soman’s wife Ankita Konwar on Wednesday (July 28) took to er social media to bring to attention the harassment faced by Northeast people in India. In her Instagram post, Konwar said that it is only after a Northeast person wins a medal for India that they are considered to be an India. 

Ankita’s statement comes in the aftermath of Manipur-based Mirabai Chanu being lauded for winning a silver medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In a conversation with Hindustan Times, Ankita shared how she still gets called derogatory terms in the comments of her social media posts.

Her Instagram post got the right traction. “It’s is not going to change by just one person. I’m just trying to make it a point that these things exist in our society,” she said.

Ankita added, “I know people who call out individuals from Northeast as ‘chinki’; I’ve corrected them many times. Now, I see them coming out and say, ‘We’re so proud of you’. When you see a post like that, you’re like, ‘Oh wow, now you think that we’re a part of India’, but when I’m there with you, then you don’t think so’. It’s only when somebody is winning a medal that you can be a part of the country, so what about the rest of us then.” 

Ankita’s post comes from a place of personal experience. She stated, “(Even today) people just come on my page and post comments like corona, Chinese, or chinki. It’s hurtful.” 

Ankita further shares that she has personally faced such issues while living in different cities in India. “I’ve lived in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. I’ve actually lived with it. When you are walking, people call you names. When you go out with your friends, you are treated in a different way. People are looking at you in a different way,” she said.

The 20-year-old also recalled an instant when she was returning from the Maldives. She said that airport officials refused to believe that she is an Indian even after she showed them her passport.

“There have also been incidents when you are looking for a place on rent, and when you go to meet them, ‘Oh you are from northeast, maybe you are a drug addict or maybe you will party too much, let’s not rent out the place to you’. I don’t know who made these things, but we all have been putting up with this,” she complains. 

Ankita, who hails from Assam states, “So many people are commenting, ‘We’re calling people from Nepal as Nepali. Arrey hum Nepal se nahi hain’. I don’t know what to even say, people are literate, but not educated.” 

When pointed out that there are many who disagree with her, she said, “What’s there to disagree when somebody is sharing their experience with you? That doesn’t count. Your disagreement has nothing to do with what I’ve faced my entire life. You can’t come and tell me what I’ve lived was a lie. We can’t close our eyes to things that are happening in front of us. How long will you be sweeping it off? You’ve to be courageous to face the flaws in the system in the country.”

“It’s just so demeaning when you’re going out on the roads, and people look at you in a certain way, comment on your clothes, the way that you talk, call you names, just because you’re from a particular place, or the way you look,” she concludes.

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