As India fights an unforgiving second Covid-19 wave, western media has been having field days on end reporting about the misery of our country and the suffering of its people. India had surprised many last year, when during the first wave that struck the country, we as a nation sailed past it almost seamlessly. Liberal mainstream media from around the world scratched their heads in dismay as they failed to witness India’s destruction last year. Now, however, India is being ravaged by a wave which we, frankly, failed to anticipate. And liberal media is loving it.
Indian media by and large is horrified with the scenes playing out across the country. For western media, however, an opportunity has arrived. The opportunity to deride India. The opportunity to blame Prime Minister Modi. The opportunity to laugh at India’s misery. Indian crematoriums have become photo shoot sites for international media. The privacy of Indians is being infringed, the sanctity of their last rites being made a show of. Cremation grounds with lit pyres are becoming first page pictures to be used by the likes of New York Times to sell more copies of their publications.
The New York Times recently published a picture of a crematorium replete with burning pyres on its first page. Interestingly, publications like NYT did not have the gumption to publish pictures of funerals taking place in America when the virus was ravaging their country. Because the privacy of Americans, it seems, is more important to foreign publications than the privacy of Indians. As a matter of fact, foreign publications and media houses have grown a rather voracious fantasy for Indian crematoriums.
The Washington Post, which claims that ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ decided to give space to Barkha Dutt to chip in with her two bits regarding the ongoing pandemic situation in India. Dutt was quick to write, “The second wave of covid-19 is sweeping through India with the ferocity of an inferno; misplaced triumphalism, complacency and willful incompetence have brought us to our knees… The Modi government has made many fatal errors. It had no contingency in place for the pandemic’s second wave. The vaccine rollout was inexplicably slow.” Almost all media publications are using pictures of Indian crematoriums as thumbnails for their reports on the Covid situation in India.
Guardian too carried a story in which it made luxurious use of pictures of crematoriums and healthcare workers carrying around dead bodies of those who had succumbed to Covid-19 in India. The theme in its report too, like all others, is that of attacking Prime Minister Modi for his handling of the pandemic. NBC was not behind either.
Annie Gowen, ‘National Correspondent’ for the Washington Post had called a drone image of multiple funeral pyres in Delhi ‘stunning’. Danish Siddiqui, who works for Reuters has been at the forefront of posting cremation images and aerial shots of cremation grounds, which are being used by international media to achieve its demented goals of minting money from India’s misery.
Wrote @AmitShah @DrSJaishankar seeking immediate expulsion of @anniegowen, India bureau chief @washingtonpost & declare her a "Persona Non-Grata" for mocking deaths of hundreds of people in the #Covid19 pandemic. Her behaviour is a real-life case example of unethical Journalism. pic.twitter.com/ph7sRMMt7U
— Legal Rights Observatory- LRO (@LegalLro) April 23, 2021
2 minutes read on what I saw last evening.
Delhi resident Nitish Kumar was forced to keep his dead mother’s body at home for nearly two days while he searched for space in the city’s crematoriums – a sign of the deluge of death in India’s capital. https://t.co/RKVUn9N972
— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) April 23, 2021
Finally, after one dreadful year of India fighting the pandemic like no other country, liberal media has been gifted with the opportunity to demean our country, to embarrass it globally and to spread falsities about it. How possibly can this section of spineless media let go of this opportunity? It is not always that such an open-ended chance arrives to launch an attack against Modi and his supporters. This, for international media, is the right time to bog down Indians. We already have our backs against the wall. This is the best chance foreign media will get to land punches on us.
In their drive to somehow paint a miserable picture of India, international media has only yet again exposed themselves. They cannot seem to be able to contain their glee at seeing ordinary Indians dying. It’s almost as if, according to Western liberals, Indians deserve to die for their political choices. What they do not know is that India will overcome this phase sooner than they expect, and then, things will not be as pretty for them as they are now.