Fitness enthusiast Ankita Konwar called out the hypocrisy of people who only recognize her fellow northeasterners as Indians when they win medals for India in competitions.
Selective pride: Konwar, who hails from India’s northeastern state of Assam, wrote in a Twitter post how racist some people could be toward northeastern Indians.
- The 29-year-old wrote: “If you’re from Northeast India, you can become an Indian ONLY when you win a medal for the country. Otherwise, we are known as ‘Ch*nky’ ‘Chinese’ ‘Nepali’ or a new addition ‘Corona.’ India is not just infested with casteism but racism too. Speaking from my experience. #Hypocrites (sic)”
- Konwar shared the post days after fellow northeasterner Chanu Saikhom Mirabai, who hails from Manipur, won an Olympic silver medal in weightlifting.
- Mirabai, whose victory in the Women’s 49 kilograms (108 pounds) category placed India on the Tokyo Games’ medal tally, was given a hero’s welcome upon returning to Manipur, reported Indian Express.
This silver medal is even more special because of the love people of India and my state Manipur have shown me. I’m grateful to each and every person who came today to congratulate me and gave me their blessings. pic.twitter.com/f5ltSNqHXo
— Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (@mirabai_chanu) July 27, 2021
Twitter users react: Konwar’s message, which she also shared on Instagram, earned varied reactions from social media users. Some agreed with her points, while others considered her views as being “negative.”
- “Not sure if I should like this message as I am ashamed of this fact, discrimination (sic) is part of our culture,” one commenter said. Konwar replied, “Realising it actually covers the basics.”
- Another commenter agreed with Konwar but pointed out that there are many who “think everyone from Nagaland to Mumbai & from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is a proud Indian irrespective of their religion, caste & colour. (sic)”
- “Ankita, I am born and brought up in Assam. Please do not make negative statements like above as currently the NE is getting focus and reconnected to mainland after so many years (sic). So many people follow you, a positive message will definitely leave a nice impact,” another user wrote.
- One user called Konwar’s statement a “very negative approach… at least not expected from Mrs Milind. (sic)” To which Konwar responded, “I’m Ankita Konwar.”
- In a follow-up post on Instagram, Konwar conveyed the following message: “Your disagreement to my lived experience is not going to change the truth. If it makes you uncomfortable, look the other way like you always have been.”
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Featured Image via Ankita Earthy