From Anushka Sharma to Gauahar Khan, several Bollywood and TV stars have slammed Indian media over the coverage of TV star Sidharth Shukla’s death, calling it “insensitive” and “appalling.”
Shukla, who died on September 2, was cremated on Friday in a funeral procession that saw several close family and friends forced to fight through throngs of media personnel to reach the venue. Shukla’s rumoured girlfriend, Shehnaz Gill, cut a distraught figure as she attempted to reach the funeral while surrounded by mob. Videos showed police personnel pushing back the press to allow Gill and Shukla’s mother to reach the cremation.
Actress Khan, who was a friend of Shukla and, like the late star, a winner of the reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, took to her Instagram stories to slam the unrelenting coverage on news channels. “This is shameful! The media houses all alike should be ashamed of this kind of coverage! Hang ur heads if this is what u do to someone who has lost a loved one! Be ashamed, very ashamed. All media houses, you are only about sensationalizing even tragedy [sic],” she wrote.
Khan also didn’t spare other TV actors who were using Shukla’s death to get pictures taken. “An I actors flown personalities who are taking off their mask right near the media to be clicked , hang ur head In Shame too ! Disgusted with everything that is going on. If u really wanna pay respect say a lil prayer for the departed soul, rather than making this an opportunity to be clicked ! #Youknowwhoyouare #Sad,” the 38-year-old added.
Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu also took to her Instagram stories, requesting media to show some restraint. “I have never met Shehnaz Gill but my heart goes out to her… all should give her and #SidharthShukla family space and time to grieve through this heartbreaking loss. We need to remember to be human and sensitive about the loss of someone’s life,” posted Basu.
Former ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant Disha Parmar also took to social media to slam the paparazzi covering the funeral. “Shoving the camera in a grieving woman’s face to get her reaction is the most insensitive thing ever!! Why is it so hard to understand!!!?? Unreal!!”
Suyyash Rai, who had also featured on the same reality show, also requested media to show some respect to the late actor’s family. “PLEASE !!! Dear Media... Its brilliant how you guys come and be a part of our events and be a part of happiness and trust me we reallyyy reallly appreciate it and feel touched by that... but days like today when someone has lost their loved ones...you all should let them be...in their own space...and give them THEIR TIME... with THEIR LOVED ones to say a final goodbye in peace. Its heartbreaking to see them struggle just to step out of the car and reach there !! Its okay times to let it be ! I know most of you are doing your jobs but its a request from the bottom of my heart to let such events be just a family affair,” Rai wrote in an Instagram post.
Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma shared a poem posted by Indian comedian and YouTuber Zakir Khan that spoke about how celebrity deaths had become a circus for the media. Translating to English, the poem states: ‘They don’t think of you as a human being. Not because there aren’t any lines or boundaries. Your corpse is not a body without soul, but an opportunity to click photos. As many as they can click. It’s similar to how people try to steal crockery from houses burning in a riot. Because after that, what use will you be? At most, 10 pictures, five news pieces, three videos, two stories, one post. That’s it.”