Manipuri girl subjected to racial remarks at Delhi airport, EAM extends apology

Monika Khangembam, Facebook, Sushma Swaraj NM
Monika Khangembam, Facebook, Sushma Swaraj NM

A Manipuri woman took to Facebook to let out her anger for facing racist behaviour from an immigration officer at the Delhi airport.

Monika Khangembam, corporate communications professional, was travelling to South Korea for a conference when this happened.

The officer told her that she didn’t look Indian, a common and much disgraceful racial prejudice that surrounds the north-east Indians.

In her Facebook post she wrote:

The bloody racist immigration desk at it again! Looks at my Passport and says, “Indian toh nahi lagti ho”. I get that all the time so don’t react much to it but then he goes on, “Pakka Indian ho?” with a smirk. I still don’t react. What really got me was when he said, “See… You yourself need to know your Indianess. How many states are there in India?” The lady at the next counter is giggling. I tell him I am really running late. He goes, “nahi nahi bolo bolo”. I helplessly answer him as he is not proceeding with the process. And then he continues, “kaha se ho”. I said Manipur and he is like, “so tell me how many states Manipur shares borders with. Name them”. I totally lose it and I look away and roll my eyes and don’t answer. And he is still insisting me to answer. This bloody moron has all the time to ask all this. I said I was really getting late and he goes like, “aircraft aapko chodke kahi nahi jaa rahi. Aaram se jawab do”. What a bully and never felt so humiliated. It was like it was his mission to make me realise my ‘Indianness’ and he thought he was being funny. I was running late and felt I was giving in to the bully. Spoiled my night.
Is there a way to complain against these bullies?

Monika plans to file a complaint against the officer on her return from Seoul after 15 days.

A top official of the Bureau of Immigration says that an inquiry will be made in case of a formal complaint being registered.

Monika has put up another post expressing her angst stemming from the discrimination faced by the people of Northeast, India. Many others also retaliated with comments matching Monika’s views and experiences.

External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, also took to twitter to apologize for the unease that Monika was put through. She also attested her support by saying that she would take up the matter with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

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