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CHENNAI, India — It has long been known that India has its own brand of racism, manifested in a number of ways. Largely out of sight from the rest of the world, the malaise needed the gutsy chief minister of India’s northeastern state of Mizoram, Pu Lalthanhawla, to get dramatic exposure.

“I am a victim of racism,” he told an international forum on water recently in Singapore, leaving his fellow delegates red-faced. “In India, people ask me if I am an Indian. When I go south (India), people ask me such questions. They ask me if I am from Nepal or elsewhere. They forget that the northeast is part of India.”

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