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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

We have nothing to fear, say celebs from Northeast

Team HT Café, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 17, 2012
First Published: 18:36 IST(17/8/2012) | Last Updated: 01:09 IST(18/8/2012)
There’s a dark cloud hanging over the country: First, there were riots in the city, at Azad Maidan, when a peaceful demonstration condemning the recent attacks against Muslims in Assam turned violent.

Now, driven by rumours of possible retribution, northeast Indians are fleeing major metros like Bangalore, leaving their jobs and homes behind. We speak to celebrities from the northeast who insist that the current chaos will soon be under control. They tell us that Mumbai will remain a safe haven for all Indians.

Danny Denzongpa
Actor
I condemn it (the violence) from my heart. It’s unfair and insensitive. Lack of knowledge — geographical and cultural — among people is the prime reason for such discrimination. Times have changed, so the perception and approach need to change too.

Shruti Agarwal
Model and actor
I am half Sikkimese-Buddhist on my mother’s side, and half Agarwal Hindu on my father’s. I grew up in a mixed family and I have also studied abroad, I can’t relate to violence on the basis of caste or religion. I’m an Indian, that’s all. We need to be more compassionate than those who are trying to stir up chaos.
Indian boxer Mary Kom

Mary Kom
Boxer
When India is celebrating my Olympic victory, it pains me to see that my fellowmen from the northeast are being targeted. My appeal to them is to not panic. Rumours only compound the problem. The government is taking steps to protect everyone. We must have faith in the police.

Dipannita Sharma
Actor
The news (of the chaos at Azad Maidan) made me sad. We are as Indian as anybody else. But it was heartening to see local governments assure
northeast Indians that we have nothing to fear. As someone who’s lived in Mumbai, I assure fellow Assamese that they need not to be worried.

Papon
Singer and composer
Modern society shouldn’t resort to such violence. While it’s important for each individual to be aware of such situations, the main responsibility lies with the government. Personally, I’ve never felt unsafe living in Delhi, or in Mumbai. I’m greatly concerned for anyone who feels they have been victimised.
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