Indian Express Mixes Shillong with Sikkim…or at least some people at The Indian Express think so. I wouldn’t have otherwise posted about this ‘oversight’, but for the fact that the news item in question appeared in the ‘From the Northeast’ page of the newspaper.

The news was about an altercation between two groups of students (‘locals’ versus ‘outsiders’) at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), my alma mater.

To add to further ignorance, the accompanying photo carries a caption that mentions the name of the university (NEHU) as Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology. It is possible that this photo is possibly related to another unrelated incident.

The Express is one of the very few national newspapers that give regular coverage to the otherwise neglected North Eastern India and I assume that the people in charge of the page would at least be aware of the geography of the area.

I wouldn’t blame the reporter Tilak Rai for the gaffe, Tilak has been reporting from the region for quite some and would know where Shillong is.

Though, on, they seem to have made amends to the headline but the body of the story still mentions ‘Sikkim’.

All the years I have been away from home, there have been numerous instances when I felt like an unknown Indian. And occassionally we are made to feel by the authorities that we from the North East are different and therefore should adhere to an additional set of rules when in the capital of the country.

For those who didn’t take their geography classes in school seriously, Shillong is the capital of the state of Meghalaya located south of Assam. Sikkim is a different state, north of West Bengal and the capital of Sikkim is Gangtok.

Also the largest university in Shillong is the North Eastern Hill University (also known as NEHU), a Central University.