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The current media circus around Sridevi’s death is not just saddening but also insensitive and disrespectful towards the late actress who was an icon.
Sridevi was my favorite actress and I grew up watching her movies. She was the heartthrob of 80’s and 90’s and had a phenomenal fan following. Her beautiful eyes expressed a myriad of emotions, they glittered with mischief, sparkled with joy, or shimmered with unshed tears, as per the demand of the scene. In an era when Indian cinemas made male dominated movies and heroines were present only for ornamental purpose, she had movies written for her.
The entire nation was grief stricken when the news of her sudden death came to us. However, what followed was unbelievable. Soon there where whats app messages being sent by self proclaimed nutritionists about how we should all eat wholesome food and exercise regularly. Some others sent messages about the fatal consequences of the obsession for beauty and the need to constantly look young. Till then all we knew was that she had died of a cardiac arrest.
The entire situation became ludicrous when news of her death in the bathtub was announced. Suddenly theories were being hatched and allegations thrown regarding her death which is ‘shrouded in mystery’. A news channel in order to gain TRP was actually running a headline which was – Maut ka bathtub. “Was she drinking when she died? Who found her body? Who moved her body?” – this was actually a strip below one of the news channel. Hence, moral policing and character assassination had begun. News anchors were showing the same clippings in a dizzying manner, repeating the same information that they had, but adding questions and accusations in their breathless and loud tone.
Once again some enterprising population quickly got to work and started sending across insensitive whatsapp jokes about how 5 star bath tubs were now providing lifeguards.
What all of us forgot was that two young girls lost their mother, a man lost his wife and many people lost a friend. People like me lost an inspiration, a woman they admired, loved and looked up to. Maybe she had secrets, sadness, issues, but who doesn’t? Just because she was a public figure does not mean that her personal life should be opened for us to judge. It is our own morbid curiosity which fuels media to sensationalize any and all news.
It is true that since she was a popular actor, her death should be reported and questioned. But not by us and certainly not by the media. There are proper authorities to do these things, and they are doing their work. Let’s wait for the verdict to come before media begins to run its own trial and proceeds to convict someone.
More then that, let’s show some dignity and respectfully mourn the loss of a woman who was a performer par excellence and a woman of substance.
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