When freelance writer David Emery from About.com came to the rescue of NationalReport.net for its ‘satitical article‘ on the Assam Rape Festival he perhaps forgot that even satire, no matter how ingenious they are, cannot flout the norms of propriety. The so-called US based “humour” website NationalReport.net on 3 November came out with a piece that the Assam Rape Festival will begin this week. “Men in India are already beginning to celebrate as the annual Assam Rape Festival is just days away. Every non-married girl age 7-16 will have the chance to flee to safety or get raped,” the horrifying piece said.
What made matters worse was that the article even created a head of the festival called Madhuban Ahluwalia, who claimed that the festival has been held in Assam for thousands of years. The piece, which has no satirical elements whatsoever, is vulgar and outrightly salacious. Read one of the quotes which the article claims to have been said by one 23-year-old Harikrishna Majumdar: “I’m going to get the most rapes this year. I’ve been practicing raping my sister and her friends every day. I will be rape superstar number one! I will get the Baalkrishan prize this year for sure!” As if this was not enough, the man who rapes the most will be awarded The Baalkrishan trophy. The story also provides a phone number to be contacted for more details. “For more information on the festival or if you would like to participate, please call the 24-hour Assam Rape Festival hotline at (785) 273-0325“—the piece said. Expectedly, the article went viral on social media and netizens from all over the globe slammed Assam for organising such a festival.
Emery, who correctly calls the article “fictitious”, has actually failed to judge the enormity of the negative impact that it is having on India as a nation and Assam in particular. He would surely agree that it isn’t a simple satire anymore if he goes through feedback on the piece. Comments below the piece like—”May God help this fallen nation!This is disgusting!!” (Vee), “this is really horrible … raping 7-16 year old girls. aren’t men suppose to protect us and not treat children like they are animals or whatever. something is wrong in India I’m hurt and disgusted” (Mo)—clearly suggest that it is no longer fun and the damage is already been done. The state police has already taken note of the matter. “We have got to know about the piece on NationalReport.net. The Criminal Investigation Department has already started an enquiry. We are looking to locate the source and the veracity of the website. Further action will depend on the report of the initial investigation,” Assam Police, Director General, Jayanta Narayan Choudhury told Firstpost from Guwahati. The link, which is now flying all over the place on Facebook, also evoked angry response slamming the article. “This is bizarre and stupid.. if it is a satire, it should be mentioned and if not the publication should be sued by both the government of India and the Assam government for defamation. Unpardonable,” said Ron from New Delhi.
What is perplexing is the disclaimer available on National Report as it simply washes its hands off from anything foul that goes out from its domain: “The National Report is an online portal for “citizen journalists”. The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional. National Report is not intended for children under the age of 18.” Indeed this stuff is not for anyone below 18 or above.
by Simantik Dowerah [Firstpost.com]