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Posts Tagged ‘disaster’

I have been away for some time. Some of my absence was intentional. I was in the tricky stages of my novel and didn’t want to let my attention wander. But most of it was unintentional. I, like scores of Bombayites, have been glued to the television in shock, horror and disbelief.

I saw the destruction of Bombay’s famous landmarks – Café Leopold (years ago when I first came to Bombay Leo’s and Mondegar’s were the first places I visited), Taj Apollo Bunder and Oberoi. I haven’t been to the Taj that often. I’ve been to the Oberoi more frequently. Actually I’ve not been to many five stars that often for two reasons. One, I can’t afford them and two, I always end up feeling slightly sick afterwards having spent in one night what is my maid’s salary for two months.  

But what horrified me most was the uncouth and frankly irresponsible behaviour of the media. They repeatedly broke security cordons and gave away strategic information on air. This after repeated appeals by the NSG commandos and security forces not to do so. Arnab Goswami of Times Now did a lot of posturing, urging his on ground reports to adhere to the strictures given by the security personnel and left no opportunity alone to bitch about his rivals when they did that. He made a great deal of adopting the moral high horse and yet I didn’t notice him reprimand his reporter when he, with his cameraman took up a vantage position atop one of the rooftops at Nariman House.

And when Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai descended on the scene, I thought, well, now the circus truly begins. And indeed it did. Barkha grabbed unsuspecting and traumatised victims and gushed at them in very Simi Grewalesque tones, “How do you feel?” And they both kept badgering the victims even after the latter kept saying they didn’t want to speak to the media as they were either too tired and overwrought, or they had promised the commissioner.

I have to mention here that, amongst these, the most sensible coverage that I saw as on News X. No overreaching boundaries and no hysteria.

Just yesterday I was watching IBN7 Hindi news and was shocked and appalled to see the reporter actually pick up bullets from the floor at Victoria Terminus/CST in what constitutes a serious contamination of the crime scene.

Of course, it is as much the police’s fault for not securing the crime scene as it is the media’s for invading it. The real problem, I think is that we simply do not know what to do at a crime scene. Noticed the hordes and hordes that gathered at Nariman House even before the operation there was fully over?

Last night, I had gone to watch Guy Ricthie’s RocknRolla when I received a message. Vishal Dadlani (of Vishal-Shekhar fame) was filing a PIL against the presence of media at such sites.  I’ve joined him. If you also wish to join, then do go to this website and register.

On a separate note, someone sent me this link. Check it out. It is unbelievable.

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