They are the flag-bearers of the North East who have won laurels for India in sport. The recent exodus of NE residents has left them concerned and anguished.
Whatever is happening is not right. People from the North East who are away from home are there either for studies or work. The
government needs to sort this out immediately. We play for the country and we are proud to win laurels for India. We don’t think we are representing a particular area. This regionalism has to stop immediately.
Jayanta Talukdar is an archer from Assam who is employed with Tata Steel. He represented India at the London Olympics.
Those who are thinking of leaving everything and returning home need to stay put. India is a great and unified country. They are also Indians and it is their right to study or work anywhere in the country they want to. This is a shameful thing for the government and it should act immediately to restore peace. Regionalism is petty and this is not good for the country.
Tarundeep Rai is an archer from Sikkim who is with the Indian Army. He won silver at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 and represented India at the London Olympics.
For me, Bangalore till recently was about a capacity crowd cheering India as we upset the UAE, then coached by famous Frenchman Henri Michel. It hurts to see this happening, Indians being made to feel unwanted in parts of India, but it’s only a handful of people who are creating mischief. I understand the anxiety of families whose loved ones are away and I hope this passes at the earliest.
Renedy Singh is a former India midfielder from Manipur who is now captain of I-League club Shillong Lajong Football Club.
I have not been following the incident much. But all I could gather talking to my friends and relatives is that whatever is happening is quite upsetting. For us sportspersons, representing the country is of paramount importance. We always think of India and not our region when we go abroad. I think the authorities should do whatever they can to stop the exodus from different places of the country.
Dingko Singh is a 1998 Bangkok Asian Games gold medallist, who works for Indian Navy and is now a coach. He is from Manipur.
When I stepped on the podium during the Olympics in London, I represented India and not any region. Everyone called me an Indian and I am proud to be an Indian. The country is vast and diverse. Whatever is happening is quite disturbing and is definitely not good. I hope this will end soon. Every Indian should live in harmony. Let’s all come together and give peace a chance.
Mary Kom is a London Games bronze medallist who works with Manipur Police.
Please stop this. It’s hugely disappointing to see this happening after 65 years of Independence. Targeting soft people, those who have left homes to study or make a living, is a terrible thing to do and for the sake of protecting the unity of my country, I hope the administration at all levels act fast. I have played and led the national team and we always believed in the idea of one India.
Bhaichung Bhutia is a former India football captain and hails from Sikkim.