The title sounds nonsensical, does not it? But that is what it is: Indian media’s dismal truth. No sooner does a star quickly passes away than, media congregate around or about the actor’s residence or the hospital, howling like vultures, only to do what- click pictures of the departed one. It is quite natural that people just do their work, but someone’s funeral is a very private and sensitive matter and it is just as unfair and absolutely foolish to go around clicking images of the corpse or flash the cameras just to grab footage or capture pictures for their channels or magazines on the faces of those grieving of their loss.
Invading people’s privacy simply because they are celebrities is wrong, especially at a personal and sensitive event like a funeral procession. Nonetheless, it has become the standard. Is this really how a person should be treated just because he, she, or they are famous? Do they truly deserve their loved one’s final moments to be broadcast on social media and consumed in the name of entertainment journalism?
Celebrities make death famous when they die. People act as if the celebrity’s death is yet another wonderful accomplishment. When well-known persons die at a young age, decades after their peak, the world is amazed they were still living. When a star dies young, though, the death shares many of the characteristics of fame: it is exciting. Of course, there is sadness, but there is also an underlying joy among the living.
This is true for everyone. Indians exhibit several additional emotions and behaviors that may or may not be unique to Indians, but still characterize us. This was evident when news of the deaths of actors such as Sridevi, Sushant Singh Rajput, Dilip Kumar, and, most recently, Sidharth Shukla surfaced.
Yes, actors and their lifestyles are well-known, but it does not imply that they do not have the right to privacy. If we look at it from a legal standpoint, it is a serious infringement of their fundamental right to privacy. Is not this something that everyone, not just journalists, should be aware of? Is not it morally reprehensible to spread images of the deceased actor as WhatsApp forwards or through journalists’ social media pages?
However, from making insensitive, thoughtless comments about the actor’s death to interacting with his or her mourning family violently and tactlessly, certain news outlets sank to new lows in the name of reporting, ignoring basic human etiquette.
Nonetheless, under the guise of ‘on-the-ground reporting’ and ‘celebrity journalism,’ several channels have no qualms about crossing the line of ethical, responsible media once more.
What this reporting overlooks is that ‘celebrity’ is a media and public construct. Underneath the label of ‘celebrity,’ there is a human being with real feelings, beliefs, mistakes, and accomplishments.
The death of an actor is not a photo opportunity. The final rites of an actor are not the time to interview his family. We can not make a sensation out of an actor’s death.
Is it the fact that the photographs were widely circulated by the public that prompted the media to publish them? This is a question that should make us think about the consequences of our twisted voyeurism.
Yes, fans have the right to bid their favorite celebrity farewell, but where do we draw the line? Is not it possible that we have contributed to the problem? Are we allowing humanity to suffer a terrible death for the sake of reporting and consuming content? High time to rethink our mentalities and thoughts.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge