The Ministry of Home Affairs on 4th June 2012 has directed states and UT's to take action against the usage of the word "chinki" for people from North East India, which has been appraised across the nation while also receiving brick bats for the longevity of the jail term proposed.
Chinki is a racial slur used for people with Mongoloid features and is often conferred copiously for people from the North Eastern Indian states like Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur etc. The offender will be booked under the under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and can face up to five years in jail.
While some people believe this was a move in waiting for the racial discrimination against the North East Indians was appalling, others feel that the move is an extremity and a week or so of jailing would suffice. Also North East Indian women feel that being called a "chinki" stereotypes them as easy and attacks their dignity and integrity. And many more say that they were treated as aliens and sometimes were also called "Non-Indians", and such a move would keep such kind of a differentiation in check. It’s not just the victim who can complain, the MHA letter says that anyone, who knows that such a comment has been passed can lodge a complaint. The law states that the accused can end up spending five years in jail and he could be denied anticipatory bail as well.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed all the states and Union Territories to book anyone found guilty of atrocity against people from the region.
Under the amendment, police have been given the powers to arrest the offender without any warrant and launch an investigation. However, if police fail to act on a complaint, the officer or in-charge could be imprisoned for not less than six months, which may even extend to a year.
Many more Non-North East Indians feel that jailing won't happen in this case for the law makers have better things in life to do, they believe "chinki" is not a racial slur just like "Bihari" is not.
A Bihari is a Bihari or a Marathi is a Marathi because that is the region they belong to.! But then the usage of racial connotations like Chinki for every person from the North East India or "madrasi" for every South Indian can be compared to offensive terms like "nigger" or "kike".
For not every human from North East India wants to be discriminated for their Mongoloid features as similarly as South Indians who are darker in skin and do not like been called "Madrasi". There is a disparity between every South Indian, a Tamilian is different from a Keralite and an Andhraite or a person from Karnataka. The term originated during the British Raj to designate people from the southern parts of India which were then in the Madras Presidency. What is digressive is that even after post-colonization this term stays disgusting every South Indian to glory.
During early 1990's, a term lungi hatao pungi bajao and Yendu gundu were coined by Shiv Sena in Maharashtra state of India to ridicule languages from south India. South Indians were derisively referred to as "yandugundu walas" and "lungi walas" Bal Thackeray, the Marathi politician and founder of the Shiv Sena lampooned the "Madrassi" in his writings and cartoons.
And we are the same Indians who were raising hell when Indian students were being attacked in Australia or killed in the U.S. Can we make an effort to desist the custom of selective segregation based on skin colour or facial features or some other bias in our land first, before finger pointing the west?
Why do we call the West racist? Can anyone beat us in ethnic discrimination? For we have a Chinki and a Madrasi fighting every day of their lives to shrug ridicule aimed at them, sometimes in an act of belittlement and many times in a frail act of fun making.