Mumbai, Feb 27: The India media is truly "sensational". It talks, walks, breathes, eats and feeds on sansani (sensation) to win the war of TRP. In fact, there is a Hindi television crime bulletin named, Sansani, aired on ABP News daily. Imagine the amount of "sansani" the programme manages to create with its extra dose of "masala" (spices) to real and gory crime events.
There seems to be no end to the whole game of "sensational reporting" to grab maximum eyeballs by the Indian media, especially the television news channels (that does not make newspapers and websites any wiser or holier).
The latest case in point is legendary actress Sridevi's death. While her family, friends and fans are mourning and waiting for her body to arrive in Mumbai for her last rites, the India media is busy investigating what actually happened hours before the 54-year-old superstar breathed her last in Dubai on Saturday night.
Initially, the India media reported that Sridevi, who was in Dubai to attend a family wedding, died due to a massive cardiac arrest. Now, according to a forensic report seen by the Dubai media, the Bollywood actress, popularly known as India's first female superstar, died due to "accidental drowning" in a bathtub. She was staying in Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai.
The forensic report released by the Dubai Police also mentioned about finding traces of alcohol in the actress' body. According to Gulf News, she accidentally lost balance, fell into the bathtub and drowned.
Since the investigation is still on, the authorities in Dubai are yet to hand over the body of the deceased to her family. As the "mystery" surrounding the much-loved actress' death deepens, our Indian "investigative journalists" have taken upon themselves to find out the truth by recreating a "bathtub" in their studios. Hindi TV news channel, Aaj Tak, did a programme named "Maut Ka Bathtub" (The deadly bathtub) to tell viewers how exactly Sridevi died.
Q- What's the state of Indian media?— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) February 26, 2018
A- Drowning in a tub. pic.twitter.com/BMlJUVkFXG
OK, final analysis, who played the TRP game better?@abpnewstv - Sridevi in the bathroom@aajtak - News anchor in the bathroom@CNNnews18 - Sridevi in the bathtub@TV9Telugu - Boney Kapoor in the bathroom— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) February 26, 2018
No need to RT - just keep keep Sridevi and future of media in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/3zwSb449XT
Such bizarre way of presentation of news is indeed the "drowning" of the Indian media. It has sunk to the bottom and probably nobody can save Indian journalism from dying an inglorious death if such kind of reporting continues. Remember how Sheena Bora murder case back in 2015 resulted in a similar frenzy among our journalists. As the case offered elements of sex, alcohol, money and murder, media houses lapped it happily. Sad but true, farmers' suicides will never get such "in-depth reporting".
"I don’t know about #Sridevi drowning in the bathtub, but we definitely saw journalism drowning and then floating on the surface of the water much like faeces does."@Rajyasree on last night's primetime circus.https://t.co/hitUKWrNFK— newslaundry (@newslaundry) February 27, 2018
Every day the Indian media sinks to new lows getting the most desperate publicity hound Amar Singh to comment on #sridevi drinking is sick. Stop tarnishing a dead woman. Let some official statement come— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) February 26, 2018
Some media houses also indulged in character assassination of Sridevi as alcohol was found in her body. Journalists also came up with theories if someone forcefully made her drink alcohol, raising doubts that the actress could have been murdered. While the Dubai police recorded the statement of Sridevi's husband, producer Boney Kapoor, television channels told the audience that he was "interrogated".
"As per standard police investigation procedures, director and husband of late Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, only provided his testimony on Sunday morning. The conversation between police and the director took place when her body was discovered at Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel on the night of her death," a Gulf-based paper reported.
The frenzy shown by the Indian media did not go unnoticed by India's envoy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navdeep Suri. Suri asked Indian journalists to refrain from speculation, as it "does not help".
The media interest in untimely demise of #Sridevi is understandable. But the frenzy of speculation does not help. Imp to note that:— IndAmbUAE (@navdeepsuri) February 26, 2018
1. We are working with local authorities to ensure that mortal remains can be sent to India at the earliest. We are on the job.
2. We are in regular contact with the family of #Sridevi and other well- wishers. We share their pain.— IndAmbUAE (@navdeepsuri) February 26, 2018
3. Our experience in similar cases tells us that it does take 2-3 days to complete processes
4. We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise
Let's be responsible
The lack of sensitivity shown by the media while reporting such a tragic incident was slammed by social media users on Monday evening. Hashtags like #NewsKiMaut and #HumanityKiMaut trended on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
The netizens raised doubts that the whole media hysteria over Sridevi's death could be an 'escape route' to avoid airing any news related to the Punjab National Bank (PNB)-Nirav Modi scam and mysterious death of Justice BH Loya in 2014.
For the last 48 hours, Nirav Modi is off the headlines courtesy Sridevi's tragic death! It's almost as if today's news is tomorrow's history! Gnight, shubhratri..— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 26, 2018
Sridevi's mysterious death is indeed very sad & a great loss to our film industry.Who gave the false story of cardiac arrest&why? If media gave 10% of time they devote to Sridevi, on Judge Loya's murky death, the case would be cracked. Why was the false Heart attack story cooked?— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 26, 2018
Others called Indian news channels "vultures" and "parasites" and asked journalists to stop "dissecting the dead soul".
Dear Indian news channels, show a little tact. Parasites. #Sridevi— Vir Das (@thevirdas) February 26, 2018
can we please stop dissecting the dead soul?pls understand there are two young girls who have lost their doting mother..a man who lost his loving wife..a family that lost their lovable daughter..it is beyond to what #Sridevi was to millions..do not hurt the family more..please.— khushbusundar (@khushsundar) February 27, 2018
As we mourn Sridevi's death, RIP Indian media for throwing away all ethics of journalism and failing to do its professional duty with accurancy and integrity.