Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 4: The North East India Association for Women’s Studies (NEIAWS) has strongly condemned the ‘outrageous and insensitive behaviour’ of Zubeen Garg during an award show on January 30.

The NEIAWS has also sought an unconditional collective public apology from the singer to the two women he had targeted in the incident and to all women in general whom he has insulted by the blatantly gender insensitive act of his, and also to the trans community of the region.

“In what has been widely condemned as an outrageous act, the singer was caught once again on the wrong foot as he heaped sexist language on actor Nishita Goswami, the anchor of the show. Zubeen blatantly referred to her anatomy sexually, verbally assaulting her before turning to another actor Prastuti Parashar, whom he embraced making an overt physical reference to her body,” the association said here today.

“As if this was not enough, he also dismissed and chased away from the stage Milin Dutta, founder of socially progressive NGO Anaajoree and a transman, who felt deeply humiliated that the award for his film Fireflies – Jonaki Porua a movie on LGBTQI, the gay and transcommunity was not treated with the respect and dignity it deserved from a singer of Zubeen Garg’s stature,” the association said.

While strongly denouncing the public misdemeanour of the singer and taking exception to his speech which was injurious, insulting and extremely sexist in nature, the organisation led by academics and activists of the region, condemned the gender abuse by the singer. It also demanded a written statement of apology to both the actresses Nishita Goswami and Prastuti Parashar as well as to transman and social worker Milin Dutta for showing disrespect to their individual dignities and for making sexually offensive and abusive remarks.

The NEIAWS further stressed the need for gender awareness and sensitisation across society also, observing that a good number of people present that evening, including those present on the stage, cheered and regaled the singer as he carried out his shocking act.

“As someone who represents the aspirations of huge sections of the young generation in Assam and is acknowledged as a cultural icon, Zubeen Garg has shown utter indifference to public sensibility and committed a grave offence to the people of the State and to women in particular with this shameful behaviour,” the organisation stated.