The ensuing news below would once again prove the notoriety of Assamese media known best for plagiarism and writing or broadcasting news without verifying the source independently. Bonti Chutia a congress party worker and a ward member of 10 No Bekajan Gaon Panchayat under Titabor sub division had come down to Jorhat to take part in the talk show with congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi on the 26th February 2014 along with a total of six hundred woman who lectured and were lectured by Gandhi on women empowerment and 50% reservation for women. In between the talk show which was live broadcasted through various private news channels there was a moment when two woman from among the audience kissed congress prince. Though the show concluded successfully as claimed by congress party man but soon the next day, TV screens throughout Assam show exclusive news, talk shows, debate over the kissing and its aftermath on the traditions and moral values of the Assamese society. In general what was being depicted as a wrong message as shown to the youngsters who were glued to their TV sets on the day of Rahul’s visit.
But yesterday that is 28th February 2014, when a private news channel Dy365 was broadcasting a program on the kissing affair by taking in bytes from College going girls, educationists etc, a breaking news appeared in the scroll about a woman from Titabor who kissed Rahul Gandhi to have committed suicide. First hand information pouring in confirmed that the woman had self immolated and within minutes another channel picked up the news with a scroll about the woman committing suicide because of the kissing news in the other channel. And ever since that the news didn’t seem to fade from their breaking category, phone in and live discussion until the filing of the news at Times of Assam. The climax point came when the national media too jumped into the foray but without local input was lagging behind in publishing the news. This was when Times of Assam decided to investigate the matter and very shockingly came out the facts which were till now distorted without proof.
Bonti Chutia – attended the talk show that fateful day and after finishing off the program set forth on the journey back home. Bekajan being situated in the interiors of Titabor where night transport is not easily available, she reached around 9 pm. Bonti’s husband who was intoxicated as learnt from nearby villagers had an altercation with her and questioned her late coming and doubting her integrity. This led to a quarrel which according to an elderly village man was a daily affair and is supposedly a routine exercise of almost every household. But none knew what exactly happened within the house but at around 12 midnight Bonti had to be admitted to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital with 100% burn injuries where she succumbed at 2 am the very same night. Meanwhile Bonti’s husband Dharmeshawar Chutia with 60% burn injuries was hurriedly referred to the Assam Medical College Hospital in Dibrugarh. His condition is stated to be critical and is battling for life.
In between all this when the suspected suicide, murder is yet to be ascertained a third angle has already emerged thanks to the media for whom the Chief Minister of the state Tarun Gogoi speaking to media people has confirmed that Bonti Chutia was nowhere present in the meeting with Rahul Gandhi and that there were six to seven Bonti’s as well in that media. The Chief Minister hinted about a political conspiracy to malign the image of the party. When asked from where he learnt about the absence of Bonti Chutia in the meeting, the CM stated to have been informed by the DGP, Assam Police, Khagen Sharma. Now the question is not whether Bonti was present or absent in that meeting and Times of Assam would not be amazed at the slightest if tomorrow there comes a statement from the Congress declaring Bonti as not a congress party worker but the issue here is that this is the same politics which until a decade was restricted to popular man and woman has now ruined the brains of the common people like Bonti Chutia. The same politics for which Bonti had to attend the party meet and remain stranded for the whole day to cheer their vice president who is also the prime ministerial candidate and who had come down from New Delhi. One scenario where Bonti Chutia who could not reach her home at time in three hours and the other scenario where Rahul Gandhi reached New Delhi in three hours in his chartered flight. Politics as a game of power, money and reputation has infiltrated the common people to such an extent where just by becoming a ward member of the ruling party, one could get government schemes allotted, jobs at just a request to higher ups and not to mention the lucrative earning of money through various means as is commonly seen with the politicians’ of India.
The very same congress party which provided vehicles to bring loads of supporters to grace the event and show their strength and popularity should have equally taken measures to send back the loads of swarming supporters in time and this could have averted situation like and the loss of life of woman like Bonti Chutia. This is the same Assam where a man has to self immolate arising out of instigation and where woman like Bonti too has to self immolate for an question raised by her husband on late coming. Sooner or later the incident will be forgotten with a mistaken case of identity, suspected murder or suicide.
But to whom would our readers attribute the reason behind this immolation? It’s none other than the dirtiest of dirty that is the Indian Politics.
Aamir Hazarika served as Staff Reporter in Times of Assam. Hazarika is an investigative Journalist for more than a decade.