Greeting! Your social media bio says you are a reporter serving Pratidin Time- a vernacular satellite news channel catering to the regional Assamese audience. It further states that you began your stint with News Live, another regional channel in 2009 and quit News Live to join Pratidin Time in 2013 where you continue to work. This goes on to say that your tenure stretches to a span of six years which is a pretty bulky experience. Thus, Sir compared to your experience I am mere novice in this vast arena of journalism. However, since you with your recent reportage ‘Scantily clad girls, a summer time nuisance’ you went on to establish that you’re an earnest believer that everything which we esp ought to be symbolic! Hence, trying to put forth my credentials before I opine. Sir, just humbly informing you that I have been into working journalism from the tender age of 17, having accredited with bylined reports at that age. Added to that academically, I am a graduate in Journalism and have been recently selected for fellowship in International Journalism at University of Sussex, United Kingdom with a full scholarship. I have contributed to regional, national as well as international publication including the BBC. The reason why I am stating about myself is because you have already proved to be a stereotypical person who tends to judge a person character through her attire. So, I hope given my credentials would help you to objectify my opinion.
However, I write to you today not as a journalist or your counterpart but as a common young Assamese who is hurt, ashamed and equally furious for wrongfully utilizing the forth state. By using your channel, Pratidin Time for moral policing and your voyeurism of women's clothes and bodies, you have tainted the sanity of journalism. Sir, you said in your report that attired in knee length dress is bringing disgrace to Assamese culture, but filming young girls’ body parts without blurring their face is neither safeguarding culture nor journalism. Sir, when confronted you went on to say with all audacity that, just because your mother or sister doesn’t wear knee length dress, thus your work doesn’t disrespect anybody. You didn’t even spare little girls from being captured on camera! If so, Sir what about those thousands of women of the state who are comfortable in their own attire? I am sure they too are mothers, sisters, wife, beloved or daughters of someone, so would you personify them as immoral and lose-character? You also spoke about male psychology and believe that it’s visually stimulated! No, Sir absolutely not, I being a male condemn and object to such irrational generalization. Your opinion only stripes off your own perverted, hypocritical, sexist and male chauvinistic set of mind
I and my sibling have been brought up in an environment where I was acclimatized to both foreign culture and taught about the essence of Assamese tradition. I am well appraised about the history and personae of Valentines day and also is exhilarated by the sound of a ‘pepa’ and celebrate Bihu giving my heart out to it. My mother looks as beautiful and respectful in a Mekhela Chadar and being a working lady she is equally respected when attired in a jeans, t-shirt or skirt! The same goes for my sister as well. But, who knows tomorrow just to feed your news sensitization and voyeurism you might film by mother and sister to objectify them as public indecency!
No, Sir, never! Enough is enough! If you think in the name of news you would do anything and everything, that’s not going to happen. You can’t go scot free. In a country where women are often involuntarily considered the flagbearers of morality, where have we left these women, who will now have to deal with families and a society prone to quick judgements and uncharitable tags? You and your channel have no business to use the television medium to propagate hatred against women in this fashion.
I am resentful when I come across the word ‘presstitute’, but what hurts me even more is people using such derogatory word have enough arguments to establish their claim and individuals like Hemen Rajbongshi are crux of their argument. But, the fact that people have started identifying the individualistic reason who brings a shame to the profession, ushers us with ray of hope.
Assam having a galore of news channels bounty of non-professional and untrained people are appointed in low stipend and these channels air stuff which are profitable for the channel owners. Thus, along with HEMEN RAJBONGSHI, the Editor-in-chief, NITUMONI SAIKIA along with the entire editorial wing at large is also accountable for granting permission to air such illicit package.
Please do not take me mistakenly for I ain't generalising, but perhaps representing the Hemen Rajbongshi strata believes having a logo engraved microphone and shoving it every now and then gives them the liberty to walk an inch above the ground. The outrage that you are presently espying is just the tip of the ice-berg. This flame will keep augmenting and look to burn down every mess created in the name of news. It will melt down every insanity thriving in the name of journalistic practice. This collusion of news maker, audience and news breaker will stitch a new dawn to the fabric of journalism, of which we will be proud of!
May you soon come out of your sick mindset,
(This letter comes in response to a news story entitled 'Scantily clad girls, a summer time nuisance,' by Hemen Rajbongshi who went on to claim in his piece that, knee length attire symbolizes public indecency. Later on a social media campaign demanding apology was run which wen viral and sparked a nation wide outrage and was further given mileage by national media. The details of the entire episode is available here-