Shillong: Stating that the North East was also mainstream, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said that it was the responsibility of the north Indians also to merge with the people of the North East.
Pointing out that a country is defined by its border, Rijiju said, "Delhi is the capital of India but Delhi is not the beginning of India... We (the north-east) are the sentinel of this country, we protect and safeguard this country."
"My concept of looking at the country is that a country begins from the borders. The country doesn't begin from the Centre," the Minister of State for Home Affairs said here.
Referring to people who stress on the need for bringing the north-east to mainstream India, he said, "But I differ and disagree with that by saying if Delhi is the mainstream, the N-E region is also the mainstream of this country and everybody must respect and adjust with each other."
"I need not adjust with the people of Delhi, because it is also duty of people of north India to merge with us (NE). It is responsibility of everybody," Rijiju, an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, said.
The Minister also announced that the Centre is all set to come up with a stringent law against 'racial discrimination' besides introducing a subject on the north-east region from the primary to PhD level, to commence from next year.
"After long deliberation for the first time we are sending this proposal to Cabinet to introduce a law that 'racial discrimination' will be penalized in this country in the strongest possible term. It is going to be made a provision in the Indian Penal Code," Rijiju said.
The Minister was addressing the Mega Arunachal Tribe Festival - 2015 cum cultural exchange programme in the city here today.
"So any kind of person who abuses on racial lines will be taken to task and we are coming up with a strong legislative provision," he said.
Stating that racial discrimination is the worst form of crime, Rijiju said, "We are all human beings and if we are discriminated because of our racial background, it is really unfair and unfortunate."
With India having faced racial discrimination under the British rule for 200 years, "We should ensure that we don't see anything of this kind in this country," he asserted.
The Minister also said that the Centre through the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has decided to formulate its decision to include subject about the North East region in the education curriculum from next year.
"We are formulating it probably by next year, right from nursery level upto class XI and from degree, MA, MPhil to PhD level will be having chapters about NE region," Rijiju said.
Stating that the NE will be integral part of the education system, he said, "Anybody who studies the CBSE courses, anybody who is pursuing courses under UGC, will get to read, learn many things about the NE? because it will become a part of the educational system."
Apart from this, Rijiju also said that the Centre as part of its Incredible India Campaign has been spending money to showcase North East region so that people of the country and the world know about the beauty of the region and its culture.
"The effort is to make people aware North East is not about bombs and AK-47," he said.