“Racism and Hatred needs to be met with strictest punishment!"
Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has called for the “strictest punishment” against incidents of racism against people of northeastern states in India during the coronavirus pandemic.
The actress took to Twitter to condemn such acts stating such perpetrators are attempting to divide Indians.
Anushka’s statement was a reaction to the news report concerning a Manipuri woman who was maliciously spat on in Mumbai.
An unidentified biker spat on the 25-year-old woman while driving past on Monday, 6 April 2020, in Santacruz in Mumbai.
The woman was said to be walking with her friend from Geeta Vihar Junction leading to the Military Camp in Kalina.
In her FIR, the victim recalled the unprovoked act. She stated how the unknown biker removed his mask and spat on her before fleeing the scene. In reaction to this hate crime, Anushka Sharma took to Twitter to voice her opinion. She said:
“Racism and Hatred needs to be met with strictest punishment! A few miscreants cannot create divide among Indians.”
Racism and Hatred needs to be met with strictest punishment! A few miscreants cannot create divide among Indians.https://t.co/SD73QjtWcX
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) April 7, 2020
Previously, actor Meiyang Chang, who is of Chinese descent, recalled a similar incident he faced.
According to an interaction with The Times of India, Meiyang Chang recalled the racially motivated verbal abuse he suffered. He explained:
“I go for a jog every day near my house in Mumbai. The other day, two guys sped past me on a bike, screaming ‘corona’ and laughing.
“I wanted to scream back and hurl the choicest of gaalis (swears) but I didn’t see any point in it. How do you punish people for their stupidity or ignorance?
“Over the years, I have become used to these comments and yes, they are hurtful.
“I try to move on and be optimistic, but it does affect you.”
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray has also warned the public with strict action against those individuals who are spreading hate.
His announcement came after various videos spreading communally divisive messages have been circulating on TikTok, Twitter and WhatsApp.
In a Facebook Live video, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stated:
“Like COVID-19 virus, there is a communal virus too. I am warning those who are spreading wrong messages to citizens and uploading such videos even for the sake of fun. This COVID-19 virus sees no religion.”
Undoubtedly, such behaviour is unacceptable. The coronavirus pandemic does not differentiate based on religion, everyone is vulnerable to the virus.
Unfortunately, such racially motivated acts during this uncertain time make matters worse for communities.