“Insensitive, sycophancy and the height of event management,” say twitterati.
The Indian media is facing flak for its coverage of the earthquake in Nepal with complaints in the social media that it was treating the tragedy as a “public relations exercise” on behalf of the Indian government.
As Nepal picks up the pieces in the aftermath of last month’s devastating earthquake that killed over 7,000 people, some have picked holes in the “relentless and aggressive” coverage by the Indian media.
By Sunday evening, #GoHomeIndianMedia, which was created on Twitter for slamming the Indian media, was the top trending hashtag in Nepal with more than 60,000 tweets on the topic.
As grief-stricken people in Nepal took to social media in droves to complain what they called as the Indian media’s “insensitive” reportage of the worst earthquake to hit the Himalayan nation in 80 years, the criticism ironically came on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day on Sunday.
The negative reactions in the social media have drawn comments that the Indian media coverage was “largely responsible” for how the rest of the world saw the Nepal tragedy and even influencing global response.
While grateful for the aid and help in rescue efforts, some sections of the media were panned on the social media for pitching the tragedy as a “public relations exercise” for the Indian government.
“ … Media humiliated poor Nepal in order to take credit & cheap publicity in the hour of crisis. Sad,” said one tweet.
In a blog published on CNN, Sunita Shakya of Nepali origin writes, “Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials.”
She also goes on to describe a couple of instances where she says the reporter did not do enough to help the injured person in need.
Some tweets said Nepal is a sovereign country and not a “satellite state.”
“Dear@narendramodi our Dharahara may have fallen not our sovereignty! Sincerely Nepalese #GoHomeIndianMedia,” said one tweet while another sarcastically said, “Mr. @narendramodi please call your media back. They r just hurting us more.”
Ajay Bhadra Khanal, a veteran journalist, was quoted as saying that the Indian media’s “aggressive presence” and the way it was highlighting only New Delhi’s role in rescue and relief efforts has affected the perception among Nepalese of the Indian government.