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Assamese Journalism Reaches a New Low


Pratidin Time, an influential news channel in Assam recently did a news piece on girls who wear shorts. They said that women in and around the city cite comfort as an excuse to wear shorts and slam men when catcalled or harassed. The media group actually uploaded a video that compared women to monkeys while the journalist rambled on for a good 3 minutes about how those women in shorts are corrupting the culture of Assam.


The video piece created a huge furor in the state. The youth and imminent personalities alike denounced the news, forcing the channel to take down the video and post an apology on their Facebook page.

There were multiples articles on various national dailies criticizing the channel and a satirical page was opened on Facebook.

Moving Forward

While, this incident is most certainly troubling, it is not the only one. News channels in Assam have become this group of self appointed guardians of Assamese culture. There have been instances where they’ve ambushed women coming out of bars and pubs. They’ve been known to barge into cottages in dhabas where alleged couples hang out.

These channels have convinced themselves that wearing shorts equate degradation of society, women hanging out by pubs and bars indicate loose morals and couples in private cottages means they’re outraging modesty.

If a legal course of action is taken, these media houses can be sued for violating a person’s privacy, which is protected under Right to Freedom and Right to Life. Personal information of a person that is not connected to any public activity or interest cannot be made open without their explicit consent. In other words, what a person wears, who they date and what they drink is not the business of e-media.

It is also ironical that these same news channels runs beauty pageant shows during Saraswati Puja and Durga Puja, where women are pitted against one another based on their makeup and clothing.


It is the responsibility of a news channel to publish reports that are relevant and important to the electorate. They are not supposed to conjure news packages out of thin air for the sake of TRP.

On one hand, the Assamese e-media acts like the moral police of the state, while simultaneously sell women as creatures aesthetically pleasing to look at and call it news. It is about time we put them back in their place.

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