Some are mistaking us for relatives of Bear Grylls: BJP Minister Temjen Imna Along calls out racial discrimination against Naga community

Responding to a Naga woman at 'Surajkund Mela' in Faridabad being asked by people whether Nagas eat dogs and snakes and whether regular foods are available in Nagaland or not, Temjen Imna Along said Nagas are not relatives of Bear Grylls

BJP Minister Temjen Imna Along calls out racism against Nagas
Temjen Imna Along and the viral video

On Sunday (February 12), BJP Minister Temjen Imna Along wittingly called out casual racism directed at residents of Nagaland. The development came after a video of a Naga girl, narrating the harassment meted out to her, went viral on social media.

On the question of whether Nagas consume dog meat, Temjen Imna Along tweeted, “Some people are mistaking us for relatives of Bear Grylls.” It must be mentioned that Grylls is the face of the show ‘Man Vs Wild’ wherein he eats the meat of wild animals and insects to survive against the odds of nature.

The BJP Minister made it clear that Nagas did not have the ability to consume any meat imaginable like the British adventurer Bear Grylls. He urged people not to harass the Naga community about their dietary preferences and instead search for answers on Google.

“This is not right. If you want to ask, then, address the questions to Google. If you don’t find your answer, then, ask me directly,” he tweeted with a wink emoji.

Earlier on Friday (February 10), a video of a Naga woman, recounting her experience at ‘Surajkund Mela’ in Faridabad city of Haryana, went viral on social media.

“People come to my stall and ask me strange questions – Are you from Nagaland? Do you eat dog and snake meat? Do you have wheat or lentils at your place?”, she narrated her ordeal to ‘Voice of Faridabad.’ She said that people should ask about her stall, about the culture of her state, but instead, people are asking whether they eat dogs and snakes and whether regular foods are available in Nagaland or not. “I feel extremely bad and feel like returning back to Nagaland. This should not happen,” the woman had lamented.

‘We are also Indians, why people are criticising us, we are hurt. People think that we are from jungle, they think we are surviving by eating snakes,’ she told the reporter. ‘Yes are from a far away state, but it does not mean we are uncivilised,’ the girl said.

In July last year, Temjen Imna Along shot to fame for his witty response to racist jibes about his ‘small eyes.’ He had remarked, “People claim that residents of North East India have small eyes. That’s true but it does not cause any issue with my vision.”

The BJP Minister further added, “Because of small eyes, dirt does not enter our vital organs and also helps us to take a power nap in between long political meetings.”

His response drew applause from the crowd, who praised him for dealing with a sensitive topic in a humorous manner. Temjen Imna Along is the Minister of Higher Education and Tribal Affairs in the Government of Nagaland. He is also the State President of the BJP.


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