By: Obbana Rajah
An article on the Hindustan Times, contributed much speculation to the cause of actor Sridevi Kapoor’s death. It was initially reported that she died due to cardiac arrest. However, shortly after, the Dubai Police posted on their Twitter handle that Sridevi drowned in her bathtub after losing consciousness. There were also forensic reports on other media platforms citing ‘accidental drowning’ as her cause of death.
Dubai-based Gulf News however, reported that the actor was under the influence of alcohol when she drowned. Following this, the news website also posted a copy of the UAE government’s forensic report which cited accidental drowning as Sridevi’s cause of death. The report also had a stamp of the “Ministry of Health UAE” and was signed off by the director of preventive medicine, Dubai, Dr Sami Wadie.
Popular Bollywood actor Sridevi’s death was a shock to many, as was the mystery surrounding it.
While there was all the speculation going on as to the cause of Sridevi’s death, India’s news coverage of the issue sparked much outrage. The images broadcasted on popular news channels were of rather poor taste, where one depicted an image of Sridevi floating in a bathtub, and yet another showed a bathtub with the words ‘The Bathtub of Death’ across it. Indian news channels did not have confirmed reports on her death and chose to broadcast unsympathetic speculation.
Many took to social media to express their anger and outrage at how distasteful and crass these news reports were. In these moments, journalist Barkha Dutt coined the Twitter hashtag, #NewsKiMaut”, or “The Death of News”.
The comments then started pouring in.
Navdeep Singh Suri, High Commissioner of India to UAE posted on his Twitter account saying, “The media interest in untimely demise of #Sridevi is understandable. But the frenzy of speculation does not help. Imp to note that: 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”. He also added that, “We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise. Let’s be responsible”.
Bollywood actor Vir Das also posted on Twitter, “Dear Indian news channels, show a little tact. Parasites. #Sridevi”. Similarly, Indian Actor Kushbu Subdar posted, “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”.
The anger expressed on Twitter was very much palpable. Twitter user Ruhi Rizvi
(@RuhiRizvi) said, “I’m afraid that in a bid to beat the rest, some anchor might just decide to wear Sridevi’s face, fill up a bath up, get drunk, fall, drown and die on camera while the newsroom plays it LIVE #NewsKiMaut”.
Many outwardly criticised Indian media for their lack of respect to both the deceased and her family.
The star of classics such as Thunaivan, Moondram Pirai, Himmatwala, Mr India and English Vinglish, leaves behind a huge fan base, husband Boney Kapoor and two daughters, Jhanvi Kapoor and Khushi Kapoor.