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February 16th, 2018

You run & you learn

The regular expression is “you live and you learn”, right?

But this morning’s long slow run through central Delhi was most definitely a case of you run and you learn.

As we ran past Jantar Mantar, we saw a crowd of people seated on the ground, in neat rows, behind a police barricade.

So, naturally, we stopped to see what was happening (“we”, by the way, was my running mate Ripu Daman and yours very truly).

The protestors were from the small north eastern state of Tripura and they have come to Delhi for 3 days to protest against immigration from Bangladesh in their state.

They were delighted to answer our questions and explain their grievances, which are, in a nutshell, that they have become a minority community in their own state.

When you take a look at the map of Tripura, with its 856km border with Bangladesh, it’s hardly surprising that migration is an issue. 

I just read a report online from late 2017, about the additional threat of Rohingya migration from Bangladesh to Tripura.

It sounds to be an interesting, although paradoxical state, with high literacy rates coupled with high unemployment.  That is a combination which might explain why there has been a Communist government for the last 25 years.

Coincidentally, the Prime Minister was in Tripura yesterday, campaigning before elections there on the 18th, so who knows?

Perhaps with the limelight currently being shone on this little state, tucked away and largely ignored by mainstream India, perhaps something will be done for the local people, who are clearly feeling threatened – at least on today’s showing.

But what a delight to chat with such lovely people, happy to explain their position, happy to take loads of selfies, and – when Ripu & I finally made tracks – waved us off with huge smiles.

I wish these dear people nothing but the best, and hope their grievances are addressed, while they stoically camp on the Delhi streets.


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1 comment to You run & you learn

  • Naithok Noatia

    At the first I must thank u,I m very glad to see that u hv written about our demonstrations,we thankfully to u.I humbly request u plzzz write more about us how indigenous peoples are living in Tripura. If we will cant protest it than Tripura will become Bangladesh.

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