Hasmukh P. Modi and his wife came with their young daughter to Shillong in 1979. A Gujarati family from Rajkot, they had settled in Africa, but were forced to leave during the civil war in Ethiopia. Their quest for a suitable school for their daughter, a place where they could strike roots and establish means of livelihood ended during a holiday in Shillong. In Ethiopia, Hasmukhbhai had worked in the marketing department of French and British firms selling everything from pins to jet planes. In Shillong he decided to take up the business of his grandfather— grocery—and deal in spices imported from Kerala—cardamom, cinnamon, cloves—and from Gujarat—coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel seeds (jeera, methi, sauf ).
I believe most of us are racist in some way or the other. Our primal tendencies to create divisions or noting differences among ourselves is unfortunately inherited from age old legacy of our ancestors. Though the levels of racial indoctrination may differ from person to person, the concept of racism itself is being taught to the young unknowingly, and at most times without reason. It just happened. One of the outcomes of such an indoctrination is evident in the rampant offensive stereotypes that the Khasis have for each and every ethnic group they had ever intermingled with; Dkhars, Khyllahs, Riewkhlaw, Muid, etc. to name but a few. In fact, we even express a form of xenophobia towards our own fellow Khasis just because they belong to a different sub tribe.
In light of all the hatred, directed towards hawkers and other people of the street, I want to stand up and publicly cheer for them.
A far greater threat to the jaidbynriew is within and not from outside. The external fear is an alibi so that the internal problems are not exposed. There is self denial and pretentiousness of the real problems. All problems are blamed on the mynder ri (outsider)
A poem by Chandrajit Bose
Avner Pariat on migrations – legal and illegal