Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Tribute to Loitam Richard

A week ago I never knew who Loitam Richard was. He was just a normal 19 years old kid aspiring to be an Architect enrolled in the Acharya NRV School of Architecture. He was a good football player and won many accolades during his school days and in college. He loved strumming the guitar and used to have crazy moments with his friends. He represents the entire youth of North East who left home to pursue their dreams sacrificing the comforts of home and adjusting to new cultures and food habits.

On the fateful night of 18th April, he was beaten to death following a quarrel with some of his hostel mates. The concerned authorities are still paying a deaf ears to all the hue and cry of Richard's family and friends claiming that Richard was a drug user and his death is accidental. They even mentioned of a minor accident which occurred 2 days prior to his death citing it as a possible cause of death. It is a shame that the college authority and the hostel warden are not able to come up with valid responses to the queries whilst the culprits still walks free oblivious to the massive anguish of hundreds of thousands of people.

Richard's death bears witness to the increasing rate of crimes due to discrimination against youth especially North East people. May be this is the sole reason that this incident touched the hearts of thousand of North East people and the facebook group created to seek justice for Richard went viral and crossed 1 lakh members within a week of its creation. It is as though every youth belonging to the geographically isolated North East could empathize with Richard and put themselves in his shoes coz they have faced discrimination is some way or the other. Of course, citing the sole reason for Richard's death as racial discrimination would be a one-sided affair as such incident is also common among Indian mainlanders as well. When a North East student becomes a victim of ragging, it is a case of discrimination but when a North Indian student becomes a victim of ragging it is just a case of ragging. So are we stereotyping the whole issue here?

I guess its better to fight for justice alone. With students and youths coming forth voluntarily in major cities for protests an candle light vigils, I am sure the repercussions will be heard by many ignorant people who still believe that all people with small eyes and flat nose are either from Nepal or China. Richard's death unified people from all sections of the society to fight for the sole purpose - JUSTICE FOR LOITAM RICHARD.

Back at home, Richard's parents waits for justice for his son, clad in white attire unable to reconcile the loss, tears running dry and lost in a trance. Without saying a final goodbye their son had left. One phone call was enough to bring their world to an end. Never will his Mom feel him in her bosom again nor will his Dad ever worry that he'll come home late. But inspite of the mass awakening that their son's death has caused, when justice sought has been given and acknowledged, when the massive uproar has dwindled down and when every one else live life in their own pace........they will be the only ones who will live with this cruel reality......that their son is never returning home.

Justice for Loitam Richard


  1. Well written post. I didnt know much about Richard except for his gruesome death which was highlighted everywhere with little or no details. Great article!

    1. Thank you Da Binny..really kind of you!!
      Richard's death is due to sheer negligence of the college authority. May his soul find peace. Let justice prevail!!


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