The date 24th February, 2018 will forever be burned in the memories of cinema lovers across the nation. Sridevi, the beloved ‘Chandni’ of Bollywood, left us all in a state of shock and sorrow as the news of her untimely demise hit us all, in the middle of the night. And ever since, along with trying to report the happenings and mishaps of the case, we are trying to keep ourselves level-headed.
However, while reporting on a matter of national eminence is required, there is a code of conduct too which stops us from crossing the line. Seems like, in the case of Sridevi, the eternal diva, this particular rule has been overruled by many fellow media outlets. And mind you, we are talking some big names here, and not just the new ones that have just popped up.
As per the details that Dubai based media outlets have been reporting, Sridevi’s death was officially caused due to accidental drowning. This raised eyebrows as the cause that was told earlier was that of cardiac arrest. Out of shock and grief, there are certain conclusions that the family reaches to, even though they may turn out to be wrong, right?
But soon after, speculations started floating in, with reports outrageously going on to state that the actress had probably been murdered. The suspect? Of course the husband who was the only one there at the moment.
If not enough, some media channels went on to recreate obnoxious headlines like “What happened in those last 30 minutes?”, and we-kid-you-not “Maut ka Bathtub” (the Bathtub of death). One person even jumped into the bathtub to prove that no fully grown human can die drowning there, unless forced.
You can actually have a look at some of these examples here. It’s funny, in an eerily mocking way, a joke on the event which has destroyed a whole family, and not just the hearts of the countless fans.
So much was the media coverage, and unnecessary one, that various Bollywood stars started coming together and posting on social media, condemning the behaviour and requesting media to leave the dead actress Alone, and not taint her living memories with such rumours.
May they let you rest in peace…. pic.twitter.com/stoWljWkbf
— vidya balan (@vidya_balan) February 26, 2018
There’s no bottom in the barrel of the graceless.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) February 26, 2018
T 2627 – Get back to love .. it is the only sustainable !!
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) February 26, 2018
This does make one think, where to draw the line? Is reporting and scandalising synonymous now? We do know that we need some extra spice to liven it up, and this is something which even the stars enjoy, but there is a limit to everything, ethically and humanely.
We do not completely absolve ourselves of any blame, after all, we too are a media outlet and we too thrive on the content and news from the tinsel town. Our traffic too hits the roof in matters of birth and death. And we too, are stuck between a strange emotion of happiness and sadness, former being when the viewers come in, and latter because the fan inside us is mourning the loss of someone we revered. But we do try, as much as we can, to stay away from being contemptuously ridiculing when matters like these are concerned.
Dear comrades, let’s just sit back and think, just take a moment, before turning into insensitive versions of ourselves. These are the stars, this is the industry that gives us the chance of becoming who we are. They and us are mutually co-existent. Is it fair to subject them to such speculations and scandals, especially in the matters of death? No, right?
So, the next time you make ridiculous graphics and headlines of a star’s loss, remember Sridevi, her two daughters who never thought their mother would not come home, and a husband who is having to deal with the fact that some of us are marking him the murderer of the love of his life. Think of the word that keeps us all together; family. May these pictures of Sridevi with hers, make you think twice before you scandalise another death.