On October 30, several media houses reported that during a concert by singer Shaan at Guwahati, stones and paper balls were thrown at the stage, in protest against a Bengali song sung by the singer.
Assam: Stones and paper balls were pelted at Singer Shaan during a concert in Guwahati’s Sarusajai stadium yesterday after he sang a Bengali song. ‘Please respect the performer’ Shaan told the crowd. pic.twitter.com/SRaAvmyOa5
— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2018
#Shaan had to halt his concert mid-way after a section of the audience pelted stones and paper balls at him when he started singing a Bengali song at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati.https://t.co/M3Hn5KSRon
— Firstpost (@firstpost) October 30, 2018
The reports use the word ‘stones’, implying that multiple stones were hurled at the singer.
But the fact is that no stone was pelted at Shaan at the event, and only a paper ball was thrown at the stage. But a section of media decided to sensationalise the news and added stone pelting to it. The video below shows exactly what happened at the concert.
The incident was caught on camera and it can be seen that while Shaan performing a Hindi song, someone had thrown a piece of paper crumbled as a ball at the stage. After it was thrown, Shaan, picks it up, unfolds it, folds it again and throws it back. The singer also gets visibly agitated for his performance being interrupted like this and asks that the person to be brought to the stage. While the orchestra keeps playing the music of the song, Shaan continues, “whoever you are, never throw things at an artist”. Among the roar of the crowd, he says, “learn to respect a performer, if you don’t like, go away”.
After this, he continues with the song and completed the concert as scheduled. He didn’t halt the concert as reported by some, there was only a pause for about a minute. It was a minor incident that is not very unusual at such public events.
Seeing the reports of stone pelting at his concert in Guwahati, Shaan tweeted to say that it is a lie. He posted on Twitter “Complete lies!!! One Paper ticket folded up was thrown on stage by One Person…”
Complete lies!!! One Paper ticket folded up was thrown on stage by One Person after vigorously gestering and shouting to stop singing.. That’s all … please stop these wild speculations and lies https://t.co/F6QdEuT761
— Shaan (@singer_shaan) October 30, 2018
The singer was responding to a report of the same by Quint, which also included a video clip of the incident. However, very cleverly Quint had shown only Shaan’s response to the incident on the stage, removing the part where the piece of paper (and not stone) was thrown towards him.
In Assam, some organisations are trying to create a divide between Assamese speaking people and Bengali speaking people of the state. In the context of the proposed amendment to citizenship amendment bill which seeks to give citizenship to people of religious minority in neighbouring countries, some organisations believe that it is a ploy to settle Hindu Bangladeshis in the state which will eventually make indigenous Assamese people minorities. And now certain people are trying to colour any incident into Assamese-Bengali conflict, like this one, and national media houses are contributing to that by such wrong reports.