Besides COVID-19, India is also fighting with vulture journalists, who are spreading more panic and despair than pandemic

No one, I repeat, no one should die due to lack of medical care. Every death is painful and heart-wrenching, even if the country’s medical system is overburdened and doctors are toiling hard to save the Covid-19 patients amid an unprecedented surge of cases in the second wave. Then, there are journalists and reporters, toxic ones, who rub salt into India’s wounds by manipulating national tragedy to carry out their agenda against the state. They go on to the extent of distorting certain facts of truth to make them look valid and convincing. 

They used COVID tragedy as a propaganda tool.

It is said whoever controls the media, controls the mind of people, or they try to. Second wave of Covid-19—which is more deadly and devastating than its first wave in India, because of its regional mutant variant in it—came as a golden opportunity for left leaning vulture media men to shame, defame and humiliate India on international platforms. And they grabbed the opportunity to sell the human tragedy for their vested interest. 

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NEW YORK POST used a photo of a gas leakage incident in May 2020.

To sensationalize the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India, NEW YORK POST used a heart-wrenching picture—which had an unconscious woman lying on the street, while another woman, appeared to be her daughter, trying to wake her up—to show the tragedy of the second wave of Covid-19. What is shocking is that the picture is of the Gas Leakage incident, which took place at LG Polymer chemical plant in a village in Visakhapatnam on 7 May 2020. NEW YORK POST ran the story with a misleading picture under the headline of “COVID surge swallowing people in India, the footage shows people dead in streets” on 26 April 2021. It is to be recalled the unfortunate incident had led to Gas leakage causing breathing problems to people over a radius of 3 KM in the surrounding area. 

However, when NY POST was slammed by netizens, they changed the feature image, but the article and headline remained the same. Why did NEW YORK POST go into overdrive to sell tragedy in India by using fake pictures? Do they wait for tragedy in India to manipulate as a propaganda machine?

Tragedy was used as a commodity.

British American Media Company, Getty Images is selling images of grim Hindu Funeral pyres lit ablaze in a crematorium to sensationalize non-Indian readers. Any media group can buy the largest size picture for Rs. 23,000. Be it Indian photojournalists or non-Indian photographers both are clicking; both are making money out of the pandemic by clicking photos at crematorium denying dignity at the tragic death of Covid-19 victims.

Check your self by clicking the following link: https://www.gettyimages.in/photos/covid-19-delhi-funeral?phrase=covid-19%20delhi%20funeral&sort=mostpopular

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There have even aerial shots of the crematorium. Did the photographer fly drones over the crematorium to click pictures? Is flying drones over crematorium permitted? The Guardian used the same aerial shot of the crematorium, which created a huge amount of buzz in international media. (We are not using that picture to say loud and clear pictures of final rites are personal and no one should be allowed to broadcast them.)    

Barkha Dutt didn’t spare even her father’s death for her propaganda.

If vultures are assembling at a place, dead bodies are scattered nearby. How can Barkha Dutt be far from the crematorium? She reported from the cremation ground in Surat on 19 April. What can be a better place than a cremation ground to create a ghastly and ghostly picture of death, despair and distress! Who can be better cunning than Barkha Dutt to amplify macabre elements of cremation ground!

Then, Barkha Dutt’s old father succumbed to Covid-19, unfortunately. But, the grieving daughter used every word to describe her father’s death to suit her propaganda. Selection of words is enough to influence readers deeply—My father’s last words, I am choking, treat me. 

What Barkha Dutt didn’t remind her audience and the CNN reporter that he was admitted to a premier hospital, Medanta hospital, and he was being treated by a group of best doctors. Even after being treated by the best doctors, the last words of Barkha Dutt’s father was, “treat me, I am choking.” Does it sound sane? Also, only Barkha Dutt can tell how she was allowed in ICU, where her father was admitted, to listen to his last words.   

Barkha Dutt is a perfect example of vulture media, who can use her father’s death to spin propaganda. Dear Barkha Dutt, your father was being treated by a group of best doctors in the best hospital, Medanta. Nevertheless, his last words were, “I am choking, treat me.” Then, who should have treated him? What about those who are struggling even to get a bed in hospital?

There is an unprecedented rise in Covid-19 positive cases in India. Medical facilities and infrastructure are overwhelmed. For a patient, it is a battle to get admitted to the hospital. However, India’s health infrastructures are working day and night to save as many patients as they can. The job of the media is to raise constructive criticism. But, media is creating a wave of panic even among those who are not suffering from Covid-19.

UPDATE from The Australia Today: After the Opinion article made ripples in India and around the world, Ms Barkha Dutt accused us of being “trolls” of the right-wing and fake website on social media.
We replied to her, “We don’t care who you support or oppose in your reports with other media outlets, but calling us right-wing trolls is insane. Looks like you can’t handle criticism well.”
In case we get some more details we shall put them here.

Author: Manisha Inamdar
This opinion article was first published on www.trunicle.com, We have republished it with kind permission from the author.
Disclaimer: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing images utilized within the text. The opinions, facts and any media content in them are presented solely by the authors, and neither The Australia Today News nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.