Around a month and half ago, I was sitting in a restaurant in Cherrapunjee having lunch with my friend Raymond when a group of seven or eight tourists walked in. They asked at the counter, on their way in, if the place served vegetarian food, and on hearing it did, they took a table about 10 feet away from where we were sitting. Then someone at that table probably spotted me eating a leg of chicken. Immediately, all hell broke loose.
Author: Samrat Choudhury
Samrat is a journalist and author from Shillong. Though he has spent most of the last 17 years in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, he still refers to his returns to Shillong as "going home". He is the author of several short stories and one novel, The Urban Jungle, a contemporary reimaging of Kipling’s Jungle Books.
Nicholas spent the first 14 years of his life in Mokokchung in Nagaland. It was, he says, a small little town, and he went to a small little school there. After clearing his Class 10 board exams, he moved to the relatively big city of Shillong for his junior college studies, and then his bachelor’s degree in arts, at the St Edmunds’ College.
The entry of refugees in large numbers is never welcomed anywhere. Demographic balances in Northeast India were threatened, even overturned, by the influx. The Bengali refugee, competing for scant jobs in the already impoverished economy, was a threat. The next phase of violence and ethnic cleansing began.