By Sanskriti Pandey:
Irony looms large upon us Indians today. This World Press Freedom Day, Nepal has reacted to Indian media’s insensitive coverage of the devastating earthquake that hit the region last week – #GoHomeIndianMedia is now trending on Twitter. “Thanks to tons of reporters who came to Nepal from those rescue planes of India, you took a seat where a victim could be transported to hospitals/health camps. Thanks to you all reporters, you took a seat where a bag of food and supplies could be placed to send to those hardly hit (sic) places,” Sunita Shakya, a non-resident Nepali wrote in an open letter featured on the CNN’s citizen journalism website.
Dear Indian media, we shall welcome you back once you learn the basics and ABCs of journalism. For now leave. #GoHomeIndianMedia
— prakriti khadka (@khadka_prakriti) May 3, 2015
Amidst indignation at the skewed focus of the disaster coverage towards promotion of the Modi government’s efforts in relief and rescue work, the “How are you feeling?” sort of callous questions are being called out and condemned as being TRP-hungry and insensitive to the mass suffering.
While headlines like “India’s rescue teams at home in Nepal while Chinese struggle with language” and “Nepal earthquake: India scores on aid diplomacy, China lags” reeked of promoting Indian supremacy over China in relief efforts, others like “Nepal quake: Pak serves ‘beef masala’ to ‘Hindu kingdom’, says meant for non-Hindus” were quashed as exaggerations in India media’s attempts at taking a dig at Pakistan. These non-relevant aspects to the humungous tragedy and destruction that has befallen Nepal have been resented in the past few days, culminating in the trending hashtag asking Indian media to go home.
“Indian quake relief is one thing, Indian (tv) media coverage of it is quite something else,” Kanak Mani Dixit tweeted, accompanied by a cartoon that seems apt in a sensationalist world.
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) May 1, 2015
One person also shared a status that appeared on his Facebook timeline, highlighting how correspondents were asking selectives questions about Modi and his efforts, condemning ABP News and ANI.
Most reactions have indeed been those of condemnation, but some chose to believe that despite the irresponsible approach, our coverage helped bring the tragedy into focus and share it with the world.
Sections may have over hyped India’s role but the focus was never away from the tragedy.
— Anubha Bhonsle (@anubhabhonsle) May 3, 2015
Indian media coverage has been largely responsible for how the rest of the world sees the Nepal tragedy. Even driven global response. 1/2 — Indrani Bagchi (@horror06) May 3, 2015
Here are some more tweets on the same:
When you turn another nation’s tragedy into an opportunity for self-glorification, #GoHomeIndianMedia kind of things happen. Inevitable. 1/n
— Nilim Dutta (@NilimDutta) May 3, 2015
#GoHomeIndianMedia Dear Nepalese , Next time when someone from Indian Media asks you “How are feeling ?” Slap them advice from Indians
— fakecelebrityCK (@fakecelebrityCK) May 3, 2015
Featured image credit: MIR Suhail
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