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Ethnic relations in India

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Title: Ethnic relations in India  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Transport in India, Unemployment in India, Standard of living in India, Literacy in India, Social issues in India
Collection: Ethnic Groups in India, Racism by Country, Racism in India
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ethnic relations in India

Ethnic relations or discrimination in India pertain to the attitude of Indians to people of other ethnicities or races. Within India, almost each province has its own distinct style and flavour in its folk form of music and dance, and mutual influences are not rare. Distinct style and character can be seen in paintings, sculpture architecture, poetry and other traditions of the country.


  • Constructive relations 1
  • Destructive relations 2
    • Attack on Bihari people 2.1
    • Prejudice and discrimination against North-East Indians 2.2
    • Attacks on non-natives in North-East India 2.3
    • People from other countries 2.4
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Constructive relations

People in different regions respect the culture and tradition of theirs and others'. Unity in diversity prevailing in India makes the country secular.[1]

  • People of different religions/castes take part in each other's festivals/occasions.[2] People from one religion has provided protection to an occasion of other religion, which happened in 12 August 2013.[3]
  • Inter-caste marriages happen and these becomes a unifying factor of the nation.[4] Certain state governments encourage the inter-caste or inter-faith marriages by providing incentives.[5]
  • People speaking different languages live in same place (Linguistic diversity). India is one of the top 10 Linguistically diverse countries. Most linguistically diverse state in India is Arunachal Pradesh.[6]
  • People visit other religion's shrines. Some of the Hindus visit Ajmer Dargah(Islam).[7] Some of the Muslims visit Sabarimala temple(Hinduism) and Vavar shrine.[8] Other religion's people visit Velankanni shrine(Christianity).[9] Any religion people can visit and take food in Amritsar Golden Temple(Sikhism).[10]

Destructive relations

Attack on Bihari people

The most infamous racial attacks and also the largest number of racial attacks has been towards the bihari people. The state of Bihar has been extremely ignored by the central government in terms of social welfare and economic development. Also the state government in 1990s has been blamed for heavy corruption. Especially the RJD government of which the leader is Lalu Prasad Yadav. Thus bihar had lower economic growth than the rest of India in the 1990s, and as a consequence many Biharis have migrated to other parts of India in search of work. Bihari migrant workers have been subject to a growing degree of xenophobia, racial discrimination, prejudice and violence. Biharis are often looked down upon and their accent ridiculed. In 2000 and 2003, anti-Bihari violence led to the deaths of up to 200 people and created 10,000 internal refugees.

There are significant bihari community in Northeast states like assam, manipur and nagaland. There has been a number of racial attacks against them, which includes a number of massacares. almost all of which has been carried out by the militant groups. this has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of bihari people and has internally displaced thousands.

The most recent one was on 18th jan, 2014, when Four youths from Bihar were shot dead after being pulled out from a bus by NDFB militants in Assam’s Kokrajhar district. Three others, also from Bihar, were injured in the incident.[11]

Prejudice and discrimination against North-East Indians

In recent years there have been many reports of discrimination against Northeastern Indians. In 2007 the North East Support Center & Helpline (NESC&H) was started as a separate wing of All India Christian Council, with the goal of increasing awareness of prejudice and attacks against people from North-East India.[12] Many people from Northeast face difficulty and discrimination for accommodation.[13] Many north-easterners are called "chinky" by people in New Delhi,[14] in reference to the appearance of their eyes, though it may not widely be applicable to Assam because of mixed demographics where an equally significant number of the population are "Indo-Aryan" and thus lack Mongoloid phenotypes. A spokesman for the NESC&H, said that abuse and harassment of north-easterners had became more.[15]

In 2012, in an attempt to prevent racial discrimination against people from the North East, Indian government 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. A person found guilty under this act, can be jailed for 5 years.

In 2014, Nido Taniam Death Incident case attracted a lot of media attention.

in October 2014 two seaptae incidents when a student was beaten by 3 men in Bangalore for not speaking Kannada [16] [17] and 7 men beaten a student in Gurgaon [18]

Attacks on non-natives in North-East India

In North-East India, there have been many attacks on those from outside the region. In 2007, thousands of Hindi-speaking labourers fled from Assam after a series of massacres and bomb attacks. In May 2007, nine of them were killed and another 20 injured in violent attacks.[19] In August 2007, 26 people from other parts of India were killed in a series of attacks over a period of six days. The police blamed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Karbi Longri National Liberation Front for the violence.[20] The members of Purbottar Hindustani Sanmelan (PHS) staged a hunger strike in Dispur to protest against the "merciless killings of innocent and defenceless Hindi-speaking people".[21] Overall, 98 non-locals were killed in Assam during 2007.[22]

In March–April 2008, a banned Meitei outfit killed 16 non-locals in Manipur.[23] PHS alleged that anti-social elements in Assam were carrying out a continuous hate campaign against the Hindi speakers in the region.[24] In May 2009, nine Hindi speakers were killed in Assam and Manipur, after the attackers set around 70 houses ablaze.[25]

During 8–10 November 2010, 21 Hindi, Bengali and Nepali speakers were killed by a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in Assam.[26] In January 2014, five men from Bihar were killed and another three were injured after being pulled out from a bus and shot at.[27]

People from other countries

People from other countries are treated differently by some Indian people based on the country they come from and Colour. Especially African people are affected more.[28] African people coming to India for studies are affected. Some people are denied for accommodation and improperly treated.[29][30]

See also


  1. ^ "Unity in diversity is basis for India". The Hindu (Dindigul, India). 9 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Unity in diversity". Times of India (Bhubaneswar, India). 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "When Muslims escorted a Hindu baraat". The Hindu (Srinagar, India). 13 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Inter-caste marriages in national interest: SC". Indian Express (New Delhi, India). 20 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Govt incentives for inter-caste marriages". The Hindu (Lucknow, India). 13 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Arunachal Pradesh has the most linguistic diversity in India: Survey". Economic Times (Kolkata, India). 16 July 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ajmer blast carried out to deter Hindus from dargah visit". India Today (NewDelhi, India). 10 January 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Sabarimala tragedy: Muslim devotee among the dead pilgrims". Zee News (Kumil, India). 16 January 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mother of good health beckons all". The Hindu (Bangalore, India). 25 January 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "A Sikh Temple Where All May Eat, and Pitch In". NewYork Times (Amritsar, India). 29 August 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "About NE Support Centre & Helpline". North East Support Centre & Helpline. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Delhi won't lend a home to students from northeast". Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India). 9 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Students from North East tired of discrimination". NDTV (New Delhi, India). 26 October 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Northeast students question 'racism' in India". India edunews. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Subir Bhaumik (23 May 2007). "Persecution of Assam's Hindi speakers". BBC
  20. ^ Wasbir Hussain (12 August 2007). "30 Killed in Northeast Violence in India". Washington Post.
  21. ^ "Hindustani Sammelan stages fast-unto-death". Hindustan Times. 17 August 2007.
  22. ^ "Militant Attacks on Non-Locals in Assam". SATP. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  23. ^ "Manipur rebels kill Hindi speakers". UPI. 18 June 2008.
  24. ^ "Allegation of harrassment of Hindi-speaking people". DNA. 16 June 2008.
  25. ^ "Nine Hindi-speaking people among 12 killed in Northeast". Hindustan Times. 12 May 2009.
  26. ^ "Nine attacks since Monday, toll now 22". Indian Express. 10 November 2010.
  27. ^ "Militants fire on Hindi-speaking bus passengers, five dead in Assam". The Hindu. 18 January 2014.
  28. ^ "India Is Racist, And Happy About It". Outlook (India). 29 June 2009. 
  29. ^ "African students often victims of racism, stereotyping". Deccan Herald (New Delhi, India). 12 March 2013. 
  30. ^
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