Monday, May 17, 2021
Home Media Feasting on the dead: Reuters' morbid obsession with watching Hindus burn amid the rising...

Feasting on the dead: Reuters’ morbid obsession with watching Hindus burn amid the rising COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic, the suffering, the death, none of it really matters to Reuters. What matters is that India is suffering and that gives it an excuse to humiliate us even further.

One photograph that we saw splashed all over social media, Twitter, Facebook or even family groups on WhatsApp, was one that had an aerial view of a burning ghat in India by Reuters. Some shared it with ire, talking about the insensitivity of the journalist who clicked the photo, some to spread propaganda and a vast majority out of fear.

Sharing this picture on Twitter, Danish Siddiqui, the Pulitzer prize-winning chief photographer of Reuters in India, had written, “As India posted world record of COVID cases funeral pyres of people, who died due to the coronavirus disease were pictured at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, April 22, 2021”.

Where there is death, there are going to be funeral pyres. But what really irked people about this photograph? The insensitivity of journalists clicking pictures while several were making their last journey was not lost on anyone. Dignity in death is certainly far more a precious right of any human being than the right to report. While COVID-19 is a crisis that must be reported, journalists who turn themselves into vultures and their profession into that of voyeurism often draw the criticism of their readers.

People all over the world died, and are still dying in large numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. But the vulturism and morbid obsession over their funeral pyres is somehow seen only in India, for white publications that could not really care to accord dignity to Indians, especially, to Hindus.

This picture was shared by Danish multiple times of Twitter. Thanking people for the compliments.

It is our DUTY to document what is happening around us, he said. Nothing ‘heroic’ about it.

On April 15th, Danish posted more pictures of the deluge. Thousands of deaths. Many out of breath.

While many complimented Danish for his heroism, Reuters milked the images of Hindus being cremated to the hilt. Current on their home page, there are several articles that talk about the COVID-19 deluge in India, several with pictures of the burning pyres.

Reuters headlines on their home page
Reuters headlines on their home page
Reuters headlines on their home page
Reuters headlines on their home page
Reuters headlines on their home page

And another, nestled in an article slideshow.

Another picture of the cremation grounds

6 articles and 7 pictures in a span of two days, splashed across their current homepage. This morbid obsession that Reuters seems to harbour of watching Hindus burn is not related to telling people about the COVID-19 deluge, as one would expect Reuters to say. To write about the COVID-19 deluge and tell people just how alarming the situation is, one does not need to splash images of burning Hindus on their front page, all over their website and in multiple articles published. One needs to only talk about the truth, the cold, hard numbers, even those of death.

But Reuters would rather splash images of crematoriums, denying Hindus dignity in death. And why not? After all, the photographer for Reuters is an Indian and Indian vultures are feasting on the dead as well.

One recalls how Barkha Dutt has parked herself in front of crematoriums and often, reports from inside them. After reporting from inside the crematorium a few days ago, Barkha Dutt was parked outside it yet again yesterday. Proudly patting herself on the back and calling this the ideal way to report a humanitarian crisis.

Frankly, the crisis is truly unfolding in government officers of the chief minister who could not care less. Of babus who did nothing knowing that the second wave was afoot. The news is how hospitals are ill-equipped to handle a calamity this size. The news is asking why private hospitals did not ramp up their oxygen supply or why state governments did not set up the oxygen generation plants they were allocated money for. The real story is how people are scrambling for beds and the fear-mongering in the media that is backing up our healthcare system. Those who don’t need hospitalisation or oxygen support are desperately running for it as well, because of the feeding frenzy in the media, leaving little space for those who need it. Those who are ending up in the crematoriums.

But those stories are not as enticing as showing pictures of them burning Hindus. Tragedy porn sells and Reuters is perhaps ensuring that they simply not let a tragedy go to waste.

The sheer lack of empathy is clear not only from how they splashed images of burning pyres across their home page but also from what they chose to cover and what they did not.

Reuters diligently covered the Kumbh Mela amidst the rising COVID-19 pandemic.

But even as the pandemic rages on and Reuters writes stories on pictures of Hindus’ funeral pyres, and their chief photographer in India talks about the Kumbh Mela amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases, for some extremely odd reason, Danish has not managed to click even one picture of the farmers protest that is raging on till date. Or if he has, the editors at Reuters think it is a story unworthy of being covered by Reuters. They believe that the unmasked protestors who could just as easily become superspreaders have a right to protest amidst a growing pandemic because propaganda must always reign supreme.

Even as the Delhi government imposed lockdown till May 3rd, a piece of news reported by Reuters, none of their reporters has managed to reach the Delhi and Haryana borders where the farmer’s protest is still raging on unabated. None of them has managed to click pictures of the ambulances and other supplies that are sporadically finding it difficult to cross borders due to the raging protest and the borders that are still blocked.

Reuters has still not managed to report how Yogendra Yadav claimed that the government is trying to use the pandemic as an excuse to end the farmers’ protests. They have not managed to report how amidst the growing pandemic and with India looking at 3 lakh cases per day, the so-called farmers have yet against declared that they will march from Punjab to Delhi.

In a span of a week, this is how Reuters covered PM Modi, religious rallies and the farmers protest.

On the 16th of April, Reuters wrote about India battling record COVID surge as rallies and HINDU festivals drew huge crowds.

Reuters article from 16th April 2021

On April 20th, Reuters wrote about Prime Minister Modi being “scorned” over “reckless rallies, religious gatherings”.

Article by Reuters on the 20th of April 2021

But guess what they wrote on the 15th of April, just one day before they scorned Hindus festivals? Indian farmers vowing to carry on protest despite “concerns” about Coronavirus. Notice the difference in tone?

Reuters article on 15th April 2020

And only weeks ago, in the run up to the brutal COVID second wave, Reuters had reported how poor farmers are vowing to garner more support because PM Modi can be ‘scorned’ for religious gatherings, but out of control, violent protestors must carry on.

Reuters article on 22nd February 2021

Punjab has seen over 74 deaths and 7,000 cases in the last 24 hours. Delhi has seen thousands of new cases and an acute oxygen shortage with the Chief Minister being rapped by the Delhi High Court.

This is the graph that shows the number of new cases in Delhi.

Source: Google News

Of course, none of this really matters to Reuters. The pandemic, the suffering, the death, none of it really does. What matters is that India is suffering and that gives it an excuse to humiliate us even further.

We all remember those headlines wondering how India has managed to tame COVID-19 surge after the first wave. We all remember how western media almost denied India’s success and almost prayed for more deaths so they could watch us burn. Now that they have the opportunity, what would be better than images of Indians.. nay.. Hindus actually, literally burning?

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

Related Articles

Trending now

Pakistan based CNN contributor Adeel Raja says world needs another Hitler amidst Israel-Palestine conflict, has history of anti-Semitic tweets

Adeel Raja, freelance contributor at CNN, has said that the world needs a Hitler today amidst the Israel-Palestine conflict.

From ‘lagbhag mana’ to putting up poster by AAP leader as DP to attack PM Modi, things have come a long way for Rahul...

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had put up the poster and urged PM Modi to arrest him. It is imperative to note here that Rahul Gandhi himself is out on bail in the National Herald corruption case as well as many other cases.

‘F*ck the Jews’, ‘F*ck their daughters, mothers’: Viral video from London shows pro-Palestine protesters advocating rape of Jewish women

A video has gone viral on the internet that purportedly shows pro-Palestine demonstrators abusing Jews in the vilest of words.

Malerkotla: All you need to know about the 23rd district of Punjab with a Muslim-majority population

Muslim appeasement at display? Congress-led Punjab government announced Muslim-dominating Malerkotla as district

Understanding Cytokine Storm: What it is and how it may be responsible for Covid-19 related deaths

Cytokine Storm happens when the body releases too many Cytokine, it leads to immune system attacking own body cells

Rakesh Tikait threatens to defeat BJP in Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are slated for next year

The 'apolitical' farmer movement has been nothing but political from the beginning.

Recently Popular

Legendary Australian cricketer slams world media for ‘vulture’ journalism, says Incredible India deserves respect: Here is what he said

In a recent post, the former cricketer has expressed his overwhelming support for India and slammed international media for vulture journalism

Watch: Pro-Palestine mob attacks Jewish man in Canada while chanting Allahu Akbar

A jewish girl who went tried to save the girl was also molested in Canada by pro-Palestine mob

Pakistan based CNN contributor Adeel Raja says world needs another Hitler amidst Israel-Palestine conflict, has history of anti-Semitic tweets

Adeel Raja, freelance contributor at CNN, has said that the world needs a Hitler today amidst the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Assam: Six arrested for disrespecting national flag, accused caught using tricolour as table cloth for Eid feast

An image of Rejina Parvin Sultana, a resident of Assam's Tengnamari village, feasting lunch with her family on the occasion of Eid had gone viral on the internet.

Malerkotla: All you need to know about the 23rd district of Punjab with a Muslim-majority population

Muslim appeasement at display? Congress-led Punjab government announced Muslim-dominating Malerkotla as district

‘This man is filming us, beat him up, so what if’s a cop’: Mob beats up policeman in a kabristan in Ahmedabad on Eid

Bhavsingh, who was following the orders of his seniors, was on duty to gather intel in Juhapura when he found his way to the kabristan and saw COVID protocols being flouted.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,133FansLike
544,913FollowersFollow
24,300SubscribersSubscribe