Discrimination on the basis of skin is a global phenomenon: Indian students from the northeastern state of Manipur were denied access to the Taj Mahal because security guards thought they were foreigners, The Indian Express reports.
Apparently, the students — who came from the Manipur's Central Agricultural University — were asked to provide proof of their government identity cards by Central Industrial Security Force officials, since they thought the students were pretending to be Indian to get the discounted price.
Non-Indians pay $14.68 to enter the Taj Mahal while Indians pay only 58 cents.
Even after the students showed their identification cards, the staff didn't backpedal.
Speaking to The Indian Express, RP Pandey, SHO of the Tourism police station, outlined the alleged misconduct and subsequent action.
"The students alleged that CISF personnel misbehaved with them and that they were asked to show their nationality proof," he said. "They then called the tourism police, who reached the spot and intervened to allow the students to enter."
An inquiry has been issued regarding the incident, and staff has been asked to produce video footage from the main gates of the attraction.
The blatant discrimination stems from internal racial prejudice against some northeastern states of the country, since the appearances of people in these regions vary from those in the main part of India.
Perhaps the incident, although unfortunate, will shed much-needed light on the issue at hand.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, Christopher John SSF