Sinlung /
10 February 2014

Bangalore University sets up separate hostel for Northeastern students

Bangalore: After the tragic death of Arunachal boy Nido Taniam in Delhi, one the largest varsities in India - the Bangalore University - has now set up a separate hostel for Northeastern students. The university said that the idea behind it is to protect students from racial discrimination.

"We will build the hostel, install CCTV cameras, make security arrangements and put security also. That's how we can protect the safety and interest of the north east," said B Thimme Gowda, Vice-Chancellor, Bangalore University.

While students from the Northeast have a mixed opinion on a special hostel for them, the larger question is, will such a move isolate them further in the name of security? Will such a hostel prevent their mingling with others, failing the very purpose of integration? A 19-year-old BA student, S Henna from Manipur, who stays as a paying guest near her college, has a mixed feelings over the proposal.

"This hostel is going to provide protection only in the hostel but they aren't going to give security throughout the places wherever we go. When we are in hostel, yea, we are secure but what happens when we are outside? We can't just stay there, live there and just stick to the hostel," said Henna.

"I don't think it is necessary because we all have our own places like flats, PGs. I think it should be open for the working class," said another girl.

But there are people who support this idea. "I think it's a good idea but personally, I think we should involve the others, with locals so that we can live together peacefully," said a boy from the Northeast.

Meanwhile, the university has defended its plan saying efforts will also be made to mainstream Northeastern students. "We may accommodate 50 per cent of people of Northeast and also from other places for interactions," said Thimme Gowda.

It has been only 2 years, since Bangalore witnessed a temporary exodus of Northeastern students after fears of racist attacks. And now, days after Taniam's death, the university has said it's only reflecting the fears of immigrant students.

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