Guwahati: It’s the month of July, the onset of the yearly monsoons, and just like the season, the havoc of floods return to Assam. Thousands are affected every year, and many lives are lost, yet the national media turns a blind eye barring a few aberrations.
The pangs of 10.75 lakh people affected in 18 districts of Assam causing a total death toll of 61 amid the havoc of COVID-19 finds a negligible coverage in national media across the country. In a bid to wake people up from the “monotonous Assam flooding” slumber, acclaimed stand-up comedian Abhineet Mishra shares some hard-hitting facts of the massive devastation in a style he knows best for; satirical comedy.
In a recent video entitled, “Assam Floods & Our Silence” by the artiste, Mishra personifies himself as Assam, trying to grab the attention, aka footage from acclaimed national media houses in the grim reality of Assam floods. Just as he starts, the entire screen goes black which he rightfully states, “Whenever we try to express our pains we are always pushed into the dark,” adding, “at least try to shine some light on us.”
Mishra goes on to compare the massive coverage a simple water logging issue in metropolitan cities like Delhi or Bangalore gets. However, in a place where not only humans, animals, houses, roads, etc. are washed away, no is bothered. Taking a jibe at the national media, he states, “You (national media) would obviously be less TRP from covering Assam floods but would get plenty evidence.”
Showing gut-wrenching visuals of a man crossing just his road in “above the head” floodwaters, houses being washed away, animals of national parks stranded, cars and properties submerged underwater, Mishra shows the ground reality of the Assam floods.
“Swimming which you consider luxury is a basic essential service for us,” says Mishra personifying the state of Assam. He adds that here the land beneath our feet is being swept away and so implores journalists to come out of their “AC fitted” studios and start asking the right questions to the right people who are facing the pangs of flood and not just a mouthpiece. For this time “The nation really wants to know,” he said.
Mishra also took a jibe at the government of Assam by not comparing which government led by which political power did what, but by asking “What did you do about the yearly flood havoc better than the previous year?”
This is not the first time Mishra was vocal about the Assam floods. In 2019, he spoke about the very same issue in his video entitled, “Northeast India – Staying Afloat I Stand Up (Not) Comedy.”