‘Anek’ Actor Andrea Kevichüsa On Representation Of Northeast In Films & Facing Discrimination

In the past two years, people from the Northeast have faced tremendous discrimination due to the coronavirus pandemic. But even before that, a lot of people have spoken about the kind of hostility they faced in their everyday lives. For example, Ankita Konwar spoke about how people from the Northeast become “Indians” only after they win a medal. Actor Lin Laishram highlighted the lack of representation in Bollywood films.

And now, ‘Anek’ actor Andrea Kevichüsa has opened up about the kind of discrimination she has faced and the representation of the Northeast in Hindi films.

According to DNA, Andrea revealed that while growing up, she saw no one who looked like her on-screen. So for her to work in a Bollywood film is a huge step ahead.

“The fact that when I grew up I saw no one who looked like me have a major platform not just in this industry but any industry. And now if I got the opportunity to do it, I think it’s a really big step.”

She recalled one incident from when she was 16 years old – coming across a makeup artist who didn’t even know that Nagaland was a part of India.

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“I was probably about 16 years of age and I remember telling the makeup artist that I have a flight to Nagaland and I am dying to go back home because I miss being with my parents. And she was like, ‘Oh is it? When are you going back to your country?’ I was really taken aback because she didn’t really know that Nagaland is a part of India. These are the few incidents that people from the northeast actually face besides the blatant name-calling.”

Andrea Kevichüsa also shed light on the recent language debate that has been taking place in the country. While she understands the importance of speaking Hindi in metropolitan cities, she takes pride in our country’s diversity.

“I do understand the importance of Hindi in metrocities because of its convenience. I moved to Bombay just a few months prior to getting the role. I didn’t really feel that I will not be accepted because I didn’t know Hindi. I was always of the idea that the diversity of this country is so wide, beautiful and unique.”

She further went on to add:

“Even in the Northeast itself, all the states could not be any more different and diverse than one another but we are always like one community. It’s actually amazing the number of cultures or the number of languages that we have so that’s why I really didn’t have the thought of not being accepted just because I can’t speak Hindi.”

Can’t wait for the film industry to make way for more such talents from the Northeast!

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