The next time you call a person from North East India a 'chinki' you could end up behind bars for five years.
How many times have you heard someone call a person from the North East 'chinki'? How many times have you called someone from the North East 'chinki'?
Now is the time to watch your tongue before you stereotype someone, because calling someone 'chinki' can land you in jail for up to five years. The term, even though derogatory, has become synonymous with people from North East because of their mongoloid features.
But in an attempt to prevent racial discrimination against people from the North East, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all the states and union territories to book anyone who commits an act of atrocity against people from the region under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Cyberspace has already started debating the pros and cons of this law, and while some people think a rule like this was long due, some feel that five years in jail is a little extreme. We asked people from the North East residing in Delhi if they think that people should be jailed from calling them 'chinki'.
Five years? hell, ya!
Of course it's fair to send someone to jail for calling us 'chinki'! What did Gandhi do when he was thrown out of the train because of his colour? He started a movement. That was in a foreign land, here we are treated differently and called names in our own country! - A 26-year-old sales executive
In Delhi, people call North Eastern women 'chinki', implying that they are "easy". This is an attack on a person's integrity and dignity. I am glad steps are being taken to stop this kind of discrimination. - A 20-year-old DU student
Sending people to prison is going to result in resentment and hostile behaviour. But sometimes these measures need to be taken because the discrimination against people from the North East in Delhi is appaling. - A 25-year-old JNU student
A little too extreme
Being called 'chinki' is very common in Delhi. For that, years of imprisonment isn't exactly required. A week should suffice. - A 24-year-old call centre employee
Imprisoning people for five years is a bit extreme. A few weeks should make the difference. But I'm glad this initiative is being taken because it's really difficult for people from the North East to settle down in a place where people just look down upon them all the time. - A 21-year-old DU student
Ask me this question after somebody is sentenced to jail for calling someone 'chinki'. I have my doubts. In case it is acted upon, then also I feel imprisonment for five years is way too much. - A 27-year-old journalist.