No Mr Nandan Pratim, You have No Business Shaming Women For Being At A Wine Shop, Festival Or Not!

Posted: January 24, 2018

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A journalist from a news house, Nandan Pratim, posted a picture shaming a pair of women for being at a wine shop in the traditional dress on a festival day. Not done.

This picture has been all over my TL since morning.

For the ones who don’t know, Monday was Saraswati Puja. These two young women were in a wine shop wearing our traditional Mekhela Sador. A journalist from a News House, Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi, uploaded this, trying to shame these two women being in a wine shop wearing our traditional attire.

The apologists jumped to the rescue, with the argument that the girls might be there to get a change or ask for direction, or so on. But the majority of users schooled the journalist about his mentality.

This picture is wrong at so many levels. It is terrorizing young women in public places, which lawfully belongs to them. Wine shop or a college. Public spaces belong to every gender. When we shame someone for exercising their rights, this is violence against them. Men can walk around impunity, where women need permission from the moral police.

Women in Assam or North East have always had traditionally made wine like Xaaj or Apong in public spaces with men in many places. The culture of shaming was never used. But if two young women are seen in a wine store, the Moral Brigade and the Apologia Brigade, lose their sleep and shit.

Do you know the mark of a civilized society? A society where women walk around with freedom where their spaces are not questioned, terrorized or shamed. And we are far, far away from that. Do you remember the trauma two young girls had to go through in the Dispur Molestation case, where they were molested and shamed with live recording because they were in the club and drunk? Don’t even get me started.

This act of terrorizing and shaming young women exercising their choices needs to be condemned and punished by law.

Update: Nandan Pratim has since apologised on twitter, after his post drew a lot of flak.

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