Bollywood actress Sridevi's death came as a punch in the gut for all of us, around the country. Her sudden demise was so heartbreaking, that the possibility of it being a hoax was more believable than the news of the actress being no more.
According to a report by IANS, a day after the media reported that she had died following a cardiac arrest on Saturday night, a Dubai Police forensic report stated that the 54-year-old actress had passed away due to accidental drowning in the bathtub in her hotel room.
The untimely death of the legendary actress left the country in utter shock. The President, Prime Minister, Sridevi's loyal fans, her friends, colleagues from the industry, and several others took to Twitter to express their disbelief and passed on their prayers and condolences to her family.
Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace: PM @narendramodi
Shocked to hear of passing of movie star Sridevi. She has left millions of fans heartbroken. Her performances in films such as Moondram Pirai, Lamhe and English Vinglish remain an inspiration for other actors. My condolences to her family and close associates #PresidentKovind
Have witnessed Sridevi's life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificeint lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved. Many happy moments with her flash through my mind including the last time I met her. Sadma's lullaby haunts me now. We'll miss her
The official cause of death was not immediately declared by the officials handling the procedures, but that didn't stop the Indian media from going on a wild goose chase, speculating the cause themselves and broadcasting it from as many news channels as possible.
The lack of sensitivity while dealing with the actress's death showed the awful TRP-driven mentality of TV journalism, and the resulting news coverage was distasteful, to put it mildly.
From flashing headlines such as 'Maut ka bathtub', to news channels literally reporting the death from an actual bathroom, it was a sad day for Indian journalism, especially when it came to the utter lack of respect for the actress' demise and the painful ordeal that her family is going through.
Navdeep Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, took to Twitter to speak about the frenzy of speculation spread by the media, and requested that they treat the reporting with utmost responsibility.
The media interest in untimely demise of #Sridevi is understandable. But the frenzy of speculation does not help. Imp to note that: 1. We are working with local authorities to ensure that mortal remains can be sent to India at the earliest. We are on the job. 1/2
2. We are in regular contact with the family of #Sridevi and other well- wishers. We share their pain. 3. Our experience in similar cases tells us that it does take 2-3 days to complete processes 4. We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise Let's be responsible
It is our pride and responsibility as the fourth estate to recognise the kind of power and influence we yield on society, and treating something as grievous as a person's death like it's some kind of show pony in a circus is despicable. Media is power, and power needs to be treated with care. It's about damn time that we realise the same.