The Indian media covered the demise of actor Sridevi recently. Correction. The Indian media created a circus around a tragedy – as always. The sheer thoughtlessness with which the entire event was covered, showed the media at an all time low.
From depicting the scene as it may have happened, by jumping in a bathtub, mic in hand – to the mind boggling accusations hurled left, right and centre by the national screamer who always demands that the “nation wants to know – there has been no dearth of demonstrations as far as sheer stupidity go.
Apart from being miserably off mark, the Indian media also managed to come up trumps as far as its conspiracy theories went. For a while, I even thought I may have mistakenly plugged into a Saas Bahu drama – such was the sheer quantum of nonsense being shovelled at the viewers. In case the Indian media was not aware – bathtub accidents are quite common. From the fixation on her alcohol levels to the fact that she may have suffered at the hands of Karma, the range of theories gone wild was mind boggling at best. Until a doctor screamed on national television that traces of alcohol by no measure points at excessive alcohol. The Indian media also decided to find out how she became unconscious first. They also wanted to know if it had anything to do with excess botox. Or had she been forcibly drowned?
The Dubai authorities were busy doing their job to expedite matters. But the Indian media knew no peace. They fed us statement after statement where the forensic reports have been judged as “too vague”. Too vague? And you are who?
In all of this, the Indian media did not realise one very crucial detail. The family is grieving. The family has lost someone. The needless speculation would only serve as a knife being turned where there is already a wide, gaping wound. The death is a tragic one – no doubt about it. A legend of Indian cinema has been lost forever – no doubt about that. Her fans are wounded and they will miss seeing her on screen again. Painful, yes.
But that definitely does not give the Indian media the license to go ahead and ask Arjun Kapoor for a reaction, pushing a smart phone in his face. That does not give the Indian media the leeway to wonder if Boney Kapoor may have indulged in some foul play. And that definitely does not give the Indian media the right to get into her private life. Whatever the unfortunate reason may be, we have to learn how to draw the line between the legend and the person, who is entitled to her private life.
And the drama does not end there. The Indian media has reached a whole new level of intrusion. From pushing pictures of young Taimur Khan and Misha Kapoor in our faces, even as the children watch with wonder struck eyes, to picking holes in the Anushka Virat wedding – there is nothing that these media people have spared.
Crass commentary backed by complete miscalculation of “when, what, where, why” seems to be the current state of the Indian media. At best, the media is supposed to be one’s voice of reason, giving us all sides of a story in a neutral manner. The Indian media is far from this. And the glaring reality of it all is that it is also holding up a mirror as to how we are evolving as a (voyeuristic) society. Give it a break. Bring it down. And calm the hell down.