The analysis showed the existence of discrimination and racism against old settlers and their manifestations at institutional and interpersonal levels.
Bhasker Malu, Assistant Professor, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Santhosh Kareepadath Rajan, CHRIST (Deemed to Be University), Bengaluru, India.
Nikhita Jindal, CHRIST (Deemed to Be University), Bengaluru, India.
Aishwarya Thakur, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
Race-based stigma and discrimination have been extensively studied from the perspective of the northeastern community due to their minority status in most states of India. Discrimination experiences of the mainland Indians in the northeastern states, where they are a minority, are little discussed.
The Rajya Sabha (upper house of the parliament) Committee of Petitions in 2014 acknowledged that the old settlers were treated as “second-class citizens” in Sikkim. In the present study, we explored the existence and manifestation of discrimination experiences of old settlers who settled in Sikkim before 1975 and perceive themselves to be stigmatized.
This study focused on Sikkim because the state merged with India in 1975 and has had less time integrating with migrants or mainlanders than other northeastern states. We conducted nine semi-structured interviews with seven male and two female participants from the Marwari, Bihari, and Punjabi mainland communities. Using thematic analysis, we developed 1 global theme, 2 organizing themes, and 24 basic themes.
The analysis showed the existence of discrimination and racism against old settlers and their manifestations at institutional and interpersonal levels. The findings are important from a policymaking perspective as they provide evidence to the conclusion reached by the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions and provide valued suggestions for reports on race-based discrimination in India.
Published in: Psychological Studies
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