Recently there was a news story in which Delhi police cop tells JNU students, who were arrested on serious charges of sedition, that people from North East eats human. 

According to the two students who were arrested in the aftermath of the JNU controversy, the students have revealed to the media the mindset of the police who were interrogating them .

Popular newspaper The Telegraph was quoted as saying that the Delhi Police officer kept addressing his colleague from the Nagaland Armed Police as ‘chinki’ in front of the boys who were being interrogated .

The pathetic mindset towards the Northeastern people is clearly seen when the Delhi Police officer told Umar  not to move without permission because the ‘chinkis’ did not understand Hindi and they ate humans!

In response to that news, one Mr Johnson Rajkumar wrote an open letter to Delhi Police on his FB timeline.

Here’s what he has to say to Delhi Police

Dear Delhi Police,

You might think that we, “CHINKIES” eat humans. Let me tell you what all we eat.

1. We eat PATRIARCHY. We don’t have female foeticide like you do. We don’t sell our daughters with dowry.

2. We eat FORCEFUL MARRIAGE. The concept of arranging the marriage of our son/daughters to a stranger happens only with you.

3. We eat CASTE SYSTEM. Discriminating people on the basis of birth and the idea of purity/impurity doesn’t happen in Northeast like it happens in India.

4. We eat MORAL POLICING. You tell your son/daughters what to wear, whom to love, what type of hairstyle they should have. But we don’t.

5. We eat MORONS. We don’t have morons like you in our part of our world.

We eat all of them and flush it down in the toilet just like your SHIT!

Sincerely,

A Chinky boy.

PS: Now you can charge me with Section 124A of IPC.

(This first appeared on the writer’s Facebook page.) His facebook post went viral and were shared by many news media.

Well it also got the attention of one Angellica Aribam from Manipur and she have given a reply to his open letter!

This is her reply!!!

I read your riveting open letter to the Delhi Police.

Of course, I found the statement of Delhi Police outrageous and damning; but that doesn’t mean we counter it by presenting a false narrative of our society. Since we are both Manipuris, let me draw your attention to the things we pretend to “eat”, but not really, at least in the Manipuri society.

1. We DON’T eat patriarchy. Maybe with growing social awareness, it is dwindling but unfortunately, it is still prevalent in our society. Our previous generation still prefer that a male child be the first-born in the family, no matter how euphoric they might at the birth of a girl child but there’ll always be that yearning in their hearts for a male child. Yes, we don’t sell our daughters with “dowry”.

The term might be alien but our daughters are sent off to the groom’s house with “gifts”. Parents who can’t afford struggle hard by taking loans so that they’re able to provide with these “gifts” which range from the latest LED flat-screen, compulsory bed and furniture, fridge, washing machine and whatever else is trending in those days. If a bride doesn’t bring a gift, she’ll be mocked by the lovely aunties from the neighbourhood.

Therefore, her parents incur debts so that she isn’t laughed at. Is it any different from dowry except for the fact that the demands aren’t specified by the groom’s family but has not it been pre-decided by the society? And let us not ignore the taboo associated with menstruation. Women can’t cook for or eat with males of the household when she is on her period, anything she touches is considered impure so much so that she has to sleep separately from her husband. How is that not PATRIARCHY?

2. Maybe we eat forceful marriage but not entirely. Yes, arranged marriages aren’t the norm; but let’s not ignore the instances when a guy elopes with a girl without her consent. Of course, the elopement will be nullified by the elders by making the guy pay a ransom for stripping her off her “izzat”. And hence, she won’t be treated the same by all around.

3. We DON’T eat caste system at all. Maybe our version of caste system isn’t the same as the varna system but we do have it. Majoritarianism condescending attitude towards the minorities be it the tribals or “Lois” is evident at all spheres.

We also don’t give our children the complete liberty to marry whom they want if they come from different communities. Coming from a Meitei-Brahmin family, I can tell you first hand about how my aunt was ostracised for not marrying a Brahmin, the number of years my mother was NOT allowed to enter the kitchen for not being a Brahmin, or the hue and cry created by our relatives when my sister decided to marry a guy from Uttarakhand. The same treatment is seen wherever there is inter-community marriage – be it between Meitei and Tribal, Meitei and Nepali, Meitei and Loi, et al.

4. We DON’T eat moral policing. Our daughters are not allowed to venture out uninformed after dark, the general perception when a girl stays out after sunset is that she has ELOPED. They are not given the freedom to wear what they want once they are married. Many married women, who live in metros and wear jeans-skirts, change into “phanek” or “salwar-kameez” once they enter Manipur.

5. Of course, we would love to eat morons. Let’s start with the ones within ourselves first.

I am sorry for breaking the mainland image of the so-called “liberal” Northeast, but I am tired of this facade. Skirting issues and presenting a false narrative won’t bring about the much-needed change in our society. Our daughters should have a real chance at equality, which won’t be possible unless we acknowledge our shortcomings. Yes, we are better on many fronts than mainland India and I could list them all (maybe I’ll write a book) but I will end this letter by saying let us strive together for real change. And until then, we must continue shedding light on ignorance – be it the Delhi Police or the next-door neighbour.

Always,

A Chinky girl

Any comments! We are leaving the discussions to you! 

24 COMMENTS

  1. May be that is the narrative of a chinky meitei gal, but that ain’t the case of Nagas. You can’t bring into accountability the whole liberal North East just because of your conservative meitei mindset, the so called a chinky girl.

  2. Omg! I’m lucky dat i’m born in Arunachal Pradesh not manipur as here we dont follow what ever the other letter said.

  3. I think u are a fool. Instead of showing others that Northeast is united and strong u r showing your people’s weakness n conflict among brothers and sisters. Uff….girl, After reading all the comment n arhuments made made coz’ of you…Damn you….coz’ u set a fire to sell Northeast people.

  4. Well it happens only in manipur. . Im from arunachal n my state is exactly what johnson described

  5. This is something which can be termed as an over exaggerated issue. I don’t find any point in discussing such an opinion under the banner of “popular narrative” get your facts clear and corrected about the term popular narrative. I respect both the person’s opinions and ideas regarding the practices in their community. But one should be reminded that these are simply opinion based articles and whether it holds and empirical backing is ambiguous. First, even for a lay people’s proper understanding of the society requiers one to refer to the intensive emperical research and until the opinions expressed are not backed by such a deep understanding of the society, I feel does not hold any point of contention. Ofcourse everyone’s opinion matter and even I pass opinions about my society without having full knowledge about it. But, I would definitely stop such an opinion from becoming such a huge discussion. People are now comparing each other’s state which is making me laugh. Until the counter argument was produced we all were proud of our northeast and as soon as an argument was produced agsinst it, we started sao dekineate our own state and indeed blamed that this does not happen in my society although it might happen in Manipur! Dear lord. Anyway it feels good to read both the arguments and explanations. I am glad that I live in such a country where opinions can be expressed with such freedom.

  6. The things are rather facts than opinions to me as I have been doing nonacademic kind of observation for 20 years

    1. North East has been undergoing relatively less (in some cases least)Patriarchal, Caste, Marriage and Moral Policing related violence.
    2. But since Hinduisation or connection with mainland India began the violence in the question and also many more incivility like offensive garbage habbit, brute traffic behavior, mens ‘ oggling eyes on women are on rise.

  7. U Guys Can Imagine Hows The State Manipur Is By This Argumentation. This Thing Always Happening Since Time Immemorial. And It Shows That We Manipuri Are Good In Argumentation And Always Bothering And Disturbing To Anybody For Doing Anything That Is Good To Our Society. But Never Take His/Her Own Decision Until We Quarrel Among Ourselves.

    Its Shameful!

  8. Dear ‘chinky’ girl
    While I applaud your eloquence and tencity to reply to this Chinky boy. I wish you only that you would have done your research a little but more. The matters that the boy talks about are true for most north-east society esp tribal North East . hindu majority meiteis Nd Assamese are culturally very similar to the rest. Having said that, I am glad that you have rightly and poignantly pointed out the ills that prevails in meitei society but I must request you to kindly put a blanket on generalisation :
    1) most tribal societes these days do permit the inherintence by daughters hence sons/daughters makes not much of a difference.
    2) dowry or ‘compulsory gifts’ are not a part of most communities in the north-east apart from Hindu communities.
    3) most communities in the North East excepting your’s in Manipur have no restrictions on what to do and not to do during periods. Periods are seen as a sign of fertility and welcomed and treated as a normal occurence and are not shunned or considered impuure. Rather the not having of periods is a cause of worry. I
    4) there are no restrictions on ones attire. However one is encouraged to be decent in appearance and attire and dress according to ones body . so women wear anything but are encouraged to not overly expose parts if the body they shouldn’t.
    5) most communities have on or the other form of elopment and the kidnaping that is popular among meitei community is rarely seen in others. Elopment if any is mutual and either side of the party may object by separating them the same day or a few days later . however in most cases, parents understand and accept their children’s decision of their partners( however disagreeable) at the same time, if after elopment their daughter thinks she has made a mistake or for some reason wants to return home, parents ensure that she can return no questions asked. Though working it out is encouraged.
    6) inter community marriages happen often, and societies where they aren’t encouragd, it’s not becuse of caste hierarchy or anything concerning religion, it dates back to the customs of that particular community ( example the matter of the daughter or son being excommunicated from the community upon marrying an outsider ,this has scientific basis as elders previously considered it unwise to mix blood as it would lead to impurity – read disease , which were previously unknown to that communtiy ,)
    I could go on and on
    I admire your courage to speak out the ills that prevail your society, but I request you to understand that most communities in the north-east are tribal at large and hence the features and practices of meitei community do not apply.
    I encourage you to write a book, but please do so after proper research and after emphasizing which community u speak of.

    • 1. nupi chenba is a consesual act mutually agreed by the two party not a forced marriage to any unknown strangers
      2.awonpot is an optional gift not any fixed demands .
      3. grooms bore all the expenses of marriage which is way more than any of the bride family expenses i bet there was a marriage ceremony in our neighbor where groom spend around 9 lakhs but his brides family expend roughly around 5 lakhs including awonpot
      4. lastly about the moral policing we don’t want our daughter and sisters to be easily befooled or cheated by those fraudulent male or man who are married or either have childern or be found in a very compromising position.. we don’t object meeting ur partner in a nice place like fast food/ garden …

  9. I think we should treat everyone equal. There should be some proper disciplinary action against any person who treats people ill mannered.If it is a government official who has such a ill mannered thinking then he must be taught some manners. And we are one nation we say blah blah. But at the end we try to protect our own state.I m from here and i m from there. Phew wen we die we are not judged as a tribe , culture or rituals . We are judged by our human nature towards other humans.

  10. I am from Assam and whatever Angellica Aribam says is true for most communities in Assam, at least among the Assamese-Hindus (both General and Scheduled Castes) and the Muslims.It may be present at a lesser degree than rest of India but we cannot deny the fact that these practices do exist. Among Scheduled Tribes in Assam it may be less common. Assamese Hindus and Muslims together being the largest number so it can be said that patriarchy and dowry etc. are the norms in at least Assam. So whatever Mr Johnson Rajkumar says is may be a norm for most Northeastern communities but not for all.

    I feel Northeast is home to a heterogenous mix of different communities with different cultures, ethos and norms, some progressive and some regressive, but we shouldn’t homogenise them. If we see everyone through the same lens it will be difficult for us to fight against evil practices of patriarchy and dowry etc. that exist among some of our communities. If these discussions come out in the open than regressive societies would learn from their progressive counterparts.

  11. I mostly disagree with her even though I am a bamon too.
    1) Patriarchy – Unlike other states in India, Manipuri considering as a group of people, we never encourage PATRIARCHY. We never feel and experience that male predominate female in any fields. For instance, in sports and social activities, female seems to overpower the male. Nobody cares at least in our generation in Manipur. I have many friends who are happy with the only daughter they have.
    2) Forceful Marriage – Eloping must not be considered an issue. When a male elopes a female, there is almost negligible chance that the female doesn’t incorporate the male. Some way or the other, perhaps not on that particular day, the female entity might have helped the male counterpart to take the step. Eloping an unknown is rare in Manipur. We heard of some cases while we are kids and when there were plenty of goons in each locality. Those days were too different.
    Again it is quite negligible considering the patterns following in the other states. Yes, there are many instances where the male party
    has to pay some amount to close the case and sometimes it never happenned.
    3) Caste System – Partly true however almost insignificant as it is not a major scene now-a-days. It would sooner or later be eradicated. We are not discussing about a family in particular. I feel pity that it happened to your family.
    I do believe that the way Caste System has been practised all around India is absolutely different how the same has been incorporated in Manipur. I do hope that folks would put into perspective what has been in news every alternate days in India regarding the Caste System. Fortunately, it is not happening in Manipur to that extent in any period of time (Past, Present, absolutely not in Future).
    4) Morale Policing – It is undeniably true that Manipur is practising the system. In other words, it is taking the law in our hand. It can genuinely considered as a failure of the authority.
    Punishing somebody for their wrong ( perhaps not wrong at all sometimes ) deeds is to be taken care of by the authority. For example, demolishing a house or expatriating the family if one of the member of the family behaves immorally, beating up someone blue and black if he/she is being caught in the scene while stealing something, some non-authoritative orgns. raiding restaurants or cafes where young lover-birds gather etc.
    However wearing Phaneks or whatever one desires after marriage , is not a thing to be considered morale policing. I do agree that women after marriage are different from what they look before marriage. So it’s been a tradition in Manipur for the married women to wear clothes decently. It’s beyond our culture and feasibility that a female (married or unmarried) wears bikini or lingerie in public as if Manipur is Goa or LA. That’s where Morale Policing kicks into place. Lets preserve our culture and tradition. It is us who have to maintain our decorum not by some people from Uttarakhand or other states.
    I dont think we need further explanation in this case.

  12. First of all the saddest part of your context is I’m seeing lots of hate and anger. Secondly I don’t know what was/is the scene here. I found some of the point you’ve mentioned is not what I have experienced. I’ve not seen the world like you did sister but i did some.
    *Stop complaining about the society. You live in the society. If you want the better society, You need to change yourself first. As of my knowledge women in developed countries during 16th,17th, 18th centuries were not treated the same way they are treated now. People change with time. If you’re more concern about being getting mocked by lovely aunties for not bringing gifts in your marriage, WHY BOTHER THEM.

    *You have mentioned ”women can’t cook and eat with males on her period”. Wow! I’m still wondering if I’m a hindu living in Manipur, because we don’t do such practise at our home. We eat together on dinning table everyday. Hmmmm Well not everyday, when dad goes off to a party we don’t. And about wearing jeans, skirt after marriage, I can only say, wear whatever you feel like. What you’re afraid of? On one side you’ll say “Phanek” setpa meitei gi chatnabine and on the other side you’re complaining. Does this make sense!

    *I do household work being a guy, and I will do it in the future also. I help mom too. I ain’t saying dad doesn’t. I have seen him helping mom since my childhood. He goes to office, comes back and helps mom. I don’t see patriarchy here.
    You might have seen gender stereotypes but next generation is changing. Society is changing. I’m your next gen, I’m changed and I’m sure my next generation won’t be like me.

    See I’m not here for debate competition. I didn’t post this for controversial purpose. And dear sister you’ll definitely hit me back but I don’t care, I ain’t going to reply nor follow this post. Don’t drag me into this and keep me anonymous.

    You’ve skills, capability put it in some good use. If you want the change, it need to be start within.
    Do little act of kindness with your power and money, you will feel good. Do not hate others. I still believe in humanity.

  13. 1) Patriarchy – Unlike other states in India, Manipuri considering as a group of people, we never encourage PATRIARCHY. We never feel and experience that male predominate female in any fields. For instance, in sports and social activities, female seems to overpower the male. Nobody cares at least in our generation in Manipur. I have many friends who are happy with the only daughter they have.
    2) Forceful Marriage – Eloping must not be considered an issue. When a male elopes a female, there is almost negligible chance that the female doesn’t incorporate the male. Some way or the other, perhaps not on that particular day, the female entity might have helped the male counterpart to take the step. Eloping an unknown is rare in Manipur. We heard of some cases while we are kids and when there were plenty of goons in each locality. Those days were too different.
    Again it is quite negligible considering the patterns following in the other states. Yes, there are many instances where the male party
    has to pay some amount to close the case and sometimes it never happenned.
    3) Caste System – Partly true however almost insignificant as it is not a major scene now-a-days. It would sooner or later be eradicated. We are not discussing about a family in particular. I feel pity that it happened to your family.
    I do believe that the way Caste System has been practised all around India is absolutely different how the same has been incorporated in Manipur. I do hope that folks would put into perspective what has been in news every alternate days in India regarding the Caste System. Fortunately, it is not happening in Manipur to that extent in any period of time (Past, Present, absolutely not in Future).
    4) Morale Policing – It is undeniably true that Manipur is practising the system. In other words, it is taking the law in our hand. It can genuinely considered as a failure of the authority.
    Punishing somebody for their wrong ( perhaps not wrong at all sometimes ) deeds is to be taken care of by the authority. For example, demolishing a house or expatriating the family if one of the member of the family behaves immorally, beating up someone blue and black if he/she is being caught in the scene while stealing something, some non-authoritative orgns. raiding restaurants or cafes where young lover-birds gather etc.
    However wearing Phaneks or whatever one desires after marriage , is not a thing to be considered morale policing. I do agree that women after marriage are different from what they look before marriage. So it’s been a tradition in Manipur for the married women to wear clothes decently. It’s beyond our culture and feasibility that a female (married or unmarried) wears bikini or lingerie in public as if Manipur is Goa or LA. That’s where Morale Policing kicks into place. Lets preserve our culture and tradition. It is us who have to maintain our decorum not by some people from Uttarakhand or other states.
    I dont think we need further explanation in this case.

  14. This is quite relevant in Assam too. Good to know finally someone’s speaking about this.

  15. Iam also a chinky from manipur , just want to drop a line for you Angillica Aribam , I think u should send this message to your own meitei culture not here in the NE post. You just ruin everything the face of NE, next time be careful on your statement. Don’t be over smart again.

  16. A chinky boy’s letter applies to majority of Northeast. But a chinky girl’s reply applies to some specific society only .

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