HINDU: Jyoti Exhibition
refers to the news piece "Celebrating the spirit of a freedom
fighter" (January 18, 2004, Page 2). While, it is a matter of
pleasure that a creative event related to Assam got suitable space
in an esteemed national daily, it is unfortunate enough that the
news contained some dangerous misinformation.
the title itself is quite misleading. In no way, Jyoti Prasad may be
titled as a "freedom fighter". He was a multi-faceted
genius: musician, lyricist, filmmaker, playwright, thinker, and what
not. He was also a freedom fighter, but that does not at all
personify his stature. He is popularly known as the "Prince of
Aesthetics". Every year, all villages and towns in Assam
celebrate "Artists’ Day" in his memory. He is a cultural
icon of Assam.
it is very defamatory to the whole of Assam to dub Jyoti Prasad as
"a freedom fighter from Marwar." The news item sadly seeks
to establish Jyoti Prasad as an outsider to Assam, suggesting as if
"he was born in Rajasthan". The fact is that his
forefather had migrated from the then Rajputana in 1830, and lived
four generations in Assam, when Jyoti Prasad took birth at Tamulbari
Tea Estate, Dibrugarh, Assam in 1903. He is one of those, who
despite retaining their family surnames, are Assamese to the core; -
products of the potent assimilative forces that have given rise to
the composite Assamese culture down the centuries. He is regarded as
one of ten best Assamese of all time.
news refers to the painting exhibition, based on Jyoti
Sangeet, as "part of the National Museum’s new Assam
Initiative..." The fact is that "Assam Initiative" is
an absolutely independent group of culture-conscious young people.
This group has organised the said exhibition on its own, only in
collaboration with the National Museum and National Museum
Institute. It is not part of any new or old initiative of the
only the reporter had gone through the brochure available at the
exhibition desk before preparing the news piece, she could have avoided
coming up with a report full of very serious mistakes.
we desire promotion in the national media; we seek to generate
awareness and thus encourage wider appreciation of the creative
treasures of a region, which is otherwise highlighted merely as a
"Disturbed Place". But, we are sorry to say that the media
should not play with facts, particularly when they concern the pride
of a rich and yet sensitive culture.
TIMES OF INDIA: The Assamese Cap
This refers to a news
piece published on February 9, 2004 (page 8), carrying a photograph
of Congress President Sonia Gandhi being presented
with a traditional cap during the All India
National Convention of Seva Dal in New Delhi. The
caption mentions that the cap is from Himachal Pradesh.
While, the fact is that it was a traditional Assamese cap, called
"Jaapi". Gandhi was also wearing a "Folam
Gamosa" of Assam.
The news piece shows how sadly the ‘national’ media is
ignorant of India’s rich and diverse heritage and culture,
particularly those of Assam and other northeastern States