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Anushka Sharma, Farah Khan call for sensitivity in reporting on Sushant Singh Rajput's death

Hindi news channels in particular have come in for sharp criticism on social media for their insensitive coverage of the young actor's suicide.

Suyog Zore

As fans and the film industry mourned the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who ended his life at his Mumbai residence yestrday, some news outlets began to display their crudity by airing photographs of his corpse.

Others barged into the house of the actor's mourning family in Patna and began asking insensitive questions of his parents and other relatives.

This display of unprofessional journalism irked many netizens and also some within the film industry. Actress-producer Anushka Sharma tweeted, 'At this time of immense tragedy, I would request the media to be sensitive towards Sushant’s family and friends. I urge everyone to respect their emotions and let them grieve.'

Choreographer-director Farah Khan was furious at the pictures being circulated on social media and lashed out with a sharp comment: 'This is a tragedy NOT entertainment. Is this the world we live in now?'

Actor Vikrant Massey also expressed anger at the insensitive coverage of Rajput's death by television channels and snapped, 'Can you please fucking stop this ridiculous thing you call journalism?'

Media outlets such as Aaj Tak and Zee News came in for sharp criticism by netizens as well for their insensitive coverage with #ShameonZeeNews trending on Twitter.

The cyber cell of the Maharashtra police also issued a stern warning to those circulating ‘disturbing’ photos of the actor. In a series of tweets, shared on its official Twitter handle, the cell said circulating such pictures is against the law.

Of course, this is not the first time Indian media outlets have tried to sensationalize the death of a film star. A little over two years ago, following the accidental death of Sridevi in a hotel room in the United Arab Emirates, some of these channels had come in for sharp criticism for airing several so-called special reports sensationalizing the death and speculating on its causes it in an irresponsible manner.

Sushant Singh Rajput, who started his acting career with daily television soaps like Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil (2008) and Pavitra Rishta (2009), made his foray into Hindi cinema with the critically acclaimed Kai Po Che! (2013). In his seven-year career in cinema, he delivered memorable performances in films like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), Sonchiriya (2019) and Chhichhore (2019).

His last film will be the romantic drama Dil Bechara (2020), which marks casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s directorial debut. The unreleased film is a remake of the Hollywood film The Fault In Our Stars (2014).