Sinlung /
22 November 2013

India Decries ‘Assam rape festival’ article

Most blame misinformed people for publishing article that maligns the country’s image

By Karuna Madan

New Delhi: A cross-section of the Indian society feels that an American website’s satirical rape article is a “clear Western propaganda” to malign India, its men and its main religion Hinduism, with the author not having even minimum knowledge of Indian culture.

“Worse than the article is the photograph of ‘Sadhus (saints), rushing to take bath in holy river Ganga at the time of auspicious Kumbh Mela,” said Delhi-based journalist Hemender

“This is a direct religious-racial attack on India. Hinduism is the religion where women have been given topmost priority, so much so that they are attributed as source of ‘Shakti’ (power).

“The defamation of Indian culture has been happening since the beginning of time. The people out there who believe that Indian society is regressive need to get their heads examined,” .

Famous corporate trainer Sarandeep Singh believes no culture is perfect and as part of human progress, civilisations must try to remove social man-made flaws and uplift women and the downtrodden.

“Having said this, the article on the purported Assam Rape festival is utterly disgusting. However, learning about the true nature of the article is an even bigger shocker. The writer has shown his disrespect to two groups of people at least. First, insult is brought on India and the Indian people, whose name has been maligned [by being shown as allowing] a gross tradition. Any such association wrongly projected in the name of satire is deep rooted offence and not humour. Secondly, this is a huge disrespect to women in general,” Singh added.

Women’s rights activist Kusum Sehgal said it was one thing to dominate women and keep them downtrodden due to lack of equal education, employment opportunities and social and legal rights, but joking about gang rape was simply outrageous.

“It is shameful and thoroughly offensive journalism,” Sehgal said.

However, some people who saw no wrong in the write-up. Delhi University Professor Reena Bhatt said: “On National Report’s website, they clearly state that they produce fake news. They do not hide this important piece of information.

“People saw a sensational story and ran with it. They did not bother to look at the source.”

Bhatt said it was not National Report’s fault that legitimate media sites were lazy in their fact checking.

“Personally, I wish National Report would change their name to something more befitting to them, maybe ‘National Joke Report’ or ‘National Faux News’ because too many of their silly stories keep getting picked up by the world media,” Bhatt added.

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