Guwahati: In a bid to highlight the rising incidents of “racism” towards people from Northeast India, especially outside the region, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rapper Samir Rishu Mohanty aka Big Deal has released his new single Why call me corona? over the issue.
“I’m speaking Hindi but I bet you think I’m from China right,” goes the lyrics of the new song. “You spat paan on my face, how do I remove these stains from my brain?” the rapper asks through the song. Mohanty has tried to bring out the disturbing reality of how people from the Northeast are being discriminated against or attacked just on the basis of their Mongoloid features.
“I have seen many cases of discrimination on this flimsy topic of physical appearance, during this medical emergency right in front of my eyes,” said the rapper. That, he said, was the tipping point for him to do something against racism.
There have been many disheartening cases of students needing to prove their “Indianess” with Aadhaar card which is already humiliating enough but sadly does not stop there. There are many cases of Northeastern people being ridiculed as “Chinese-virus”, Manipuri girl being spat upon, Naga students being barred from entering shops due to their Mongoloid looks, and the list goes on. “Even the actor in my song has faced various racist attacks herself. She was the one who came up with the video story as well,” he added.
According to Mohanty, “There are two reasons as to why such cases are on the rise- first being lack of education and secondly the mob mentality of blindly following what the other says.”
It is a common knowledge that there is a lack of exposure and knowledge imparted about the Northeastern part of India as a whole, said the rapper.
Big Deal was born in Puri, raised in Darjeeling and currently resides in Bengaluru. The artiste is known to tackle issues of racism through his music. In 2018, he produced, wrote and sang another anti-racism rap song, titled Are You Indian, which garnered over 2 million views on YouTube.