Assamese actors & fear of the English language

Saturday, 16 January 2021



Assamese actors & fear of the English language

Sidharth Bedi Varma | May 04, 2019 13:44 hrs

I am privy to the insecurity of the “Assamese folk and their language,” brought forward after two recent incidents I witnessed. As the older generation would put it, the Assamese language has been butchered by the young and the diction has been corrupted.

To explain things better, a local theatre artist was lambasted for having done a commercial in part English and Assamese. The comments being, “Dada, are you ashamed of being an Assamese? Apuni nijor bhaxa nokoi kio? Style maribo nalage, speak in Assamese” (Leaving all the abusive comments aside).

Another celebrity was apprehensive of speaking in English on camera because the audience had trolled her in her past videos. Since she spoke English fluently, we told her to go ahead with it anyway. It is then that she mentioned that audience has a problem with her speaking in English, not how she spoke.

In both the cases, here’s what I don’t understand. Why is a language that helps artists earn their bread and butter be subjected to debate by people sitting behind a 6 inch screen. Audiences for far too long have enjoyed maintaining their double standards. Because they watch free content on the internet, they feel entitled to comment on someone else’s work.

Where does this vehement interest of “cultural-preservation” go when people are out there spitting on the roads, harassing tourists, reporting absent from cultural events? 

Brands are paying artists for content, because they meet certain standards. Viewers are free to not view these, but it is disappointing to see artists live in fear of trolls, especially when these are the last people to buy tickets for an Assamese movie. Story line and narrative aside, if cultural preservation is paramount, support the effort anyway and leave constructive criticism.

But no, you’d rather tell everyone, “Moi je ki comment mari down dilu actor tuk. 50 likes paisu comment’ot!”

Art is the freedom of expression and what is freedom if someone is after your expression!

Comments (0) Post Comment