Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his concern over the alleged attacks on laborers from Bihar working in Tamil Nadu. In a tweet on Thursday, Kumar instructed officials to contact their counterparts in Tamil Nadu and ensure the safety of Bihari workers in the southern state.
“I have learned from newspapers that labourers from Bihar who are employed in Tamil Nadu are being attacked. I have asked the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Bihar to speak to officials in Tamil Nadu and ensure the safety and security of Bihari workers there,” tweeted Kumar.
This concern comes in the wake of Tejashwi Yadav’s visit to Tamil Nadu to participate in Chief Minister MK Stalin’s 70th birthday celebrations.
However, Kumar’s inaction on the plight of labourers had recently drawn criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, accusing him of ignoring the welfare of labourers for his political benefit.
Lately, there has been a surge in derogatory remarks against North Indian workers, referred to as ‘Vadakkans’ in Tamil, in the state. One such instance is a speech made by Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) leader Seeman, which can be seen on social media.
The situation further escalated when a video of a Tamil man assaulting a Hindi-speaking migrant labourer on a train went viral on social media. The accused, Mahimaidas of Villupuram, was identified and arrested by the Railway Police.
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In Chengalpattu, Kshetra Mohan Burman, a labourer from Bengal, lost his life after being brutally beaten by a group of local youth who suspected him to be a thief.
A significant number of Tamil media outlets publish and amplify stories about the ‘uncivilized behavior’ of North Indian migrants. Many influential ideologues and political leaders, who declare themselves as ‘Dravidianist stock,’ often indulge in calling north Indians as ‘pani puri sellers’, ‘pan parag vaaiyans,’ and worse.
In conclusion, it is high time that the authorities take decisive action to curb the attacks on labourers from Bihar and other North Indian states in Tamil Nadu. Such incidents can only damage the image of the state and its people, besides threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers who have moved to the state in search of employment.