Mumbai–In a bizarre development, a tribal student from Nagaland has decided to stay put on the campus of the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) after fearing racial jibes at her suburban Mumbai home.
The student has written to the TISS SC/ST Cell with copies to the Director, Dean of Students Affairs and the Students’ Union, highlighting her plight and seeking their urgent assistance in the matter.
Despite repeated attempts, top TISS officials were not available for comment, though official sources said that the matter has been “discussed” with the student concerned.
The student’s problems began when she hosted a friend from Nagaland – on a business trip to Mumbai – at her Chembur flat.
Some neighbourhood miscreants allegedly shot a video of the visitor and made it viral claiming she had come from China and a potential CoronaVirus health hazard.
Despite proving the visitor’s Indian credentials, several neighbours threatened to lodge a police complaint and seek a health test, and hurled personal slander racist abuses at them demanding that the visitor should vacate the premises.
Though the matter apparently ended with the friend leaving the premises immediately, racial jibes and slurs continued on the TISS student, which has caused her great mental trauma and agony.
“These sequence of incidents have had a traumatising impact on me and made me greatly conscious of my vulnerability as a tribal woman from Nagaland susceptible to racial discrimination. It has also created a sense of insecurity within, which is also affecting my academic and other everyday activities,” the student wrote.
Feeling vulnerable at her Chembur society residence, she has sought refuge inside the TISS campus with a plea to the authorities to provide her with temporary hostel accommodation till the current semester-end.
She has also urged the TISS to treat her letter as a formal complaint and take due cognizance of the discrimination and harassment she encounters, with proper remedial actions. (IANS)9