How to prove you are Indian

India is arguably one of the most diverse countries in the world.

Just to give an impression: a staggering 780 languages are spoken on the subcontinent, and 66 different scripts are used, the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) recently found out. “Another 100 languages spoken in remote areas have escaped our attention and the total is around 880,” said linguist Ganesh Devy,  who was in charge of the project.

But: Many Indians are not aware of the ethnic and racial diversity. Especially the people from the remote North-East complain about being treated as outsiders in their own country. They have paler, more Central or Eastern Asian features than other ethnicities from central or southern India, and are considered to be more closely related to people in neighbouring Myanmar and China – which leads to harassment and often even physical assaults.

After the death of 20-year-old student Nido Tania, from the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, after a suspected racist attack, the media is discussing the problem. And Sanjay Panday, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, recounted a telling story to “The Hindu”:

national anthem

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