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Forget 'dirty world' behind the screen, even death of pet dog of TV actor is making news!

By Rajiv Shah
A couple of days back, I felt very strange: Two of the top online sites of India, one of the “Times of India” (TOI) – for which I worked for two decades before I retired in 2013 – and other of Daily News and Analysis, better known as DNA, carried a story which said, the Kapil Sharma TV show-fame "Bhuri aka Sumona Chakravarti is 'numb' and 'hollow' after losing pet dog Rooney.” 
Here I don’t want to comment on the Kapil Sharma show itself, already one of the most popular for its comedy (one may agree or disagree with the quality of humour), or the actor, Sumona. What shocks me is even the death of a pet dog belonging to an actor attracts “journalists”. While TOI carried a video, DNA did a write-up. And if journalists may do the story, what were the editors doing? Did they order them to prepare a write-up? After all every story at least in TOI is thoroughly scanned before it is published.
I am just quoting the DNA story, which is a writeup. it said how Sumona had “lit a diya in front of the photo frame, and kept a vase of roses, in his memory”, with the actor sharing images of “happier times she spent with 'her boy' -- whether playing at home or travelling together.” It quoted the actor as saying, “12.5 years... You have taken away a chunk of my heart with you Rooney leaving me empty, hollow and numb. My first baby.”
While I can fully understand a person’s (let alone actor’s) love for a pet – I have personally seen how one feels when one loses a pet, which is often considered as member of a family – I wonder if that makes news at all. Isn’t that extreme trivialisation of what news is all about?
There was a time when, during the British rule, whims and fancies of maharajas and maharanis made “news” – what they wore, how they smiled, how they smoked, what “good things” they talked etc. Some “big” journalists would attend their parties and write goody goody things, without one recalling how they were actually stooges of the British rule.
Now, when some “journalists” report on things ranging from pets of actors to what actor expecting a baby would be feeling, aren’t they also falling in the same category?
Given this framework, I wonder, what’s wrong if – despite the brazen and unabashed shouts by the anchor – a Republic TV seeks to investigate the narcotics angle in the Bollywood in order to lay bare what’s lying behind the world of glamour? One can have issues with the channel going out of the way and playing in the hands of the establishment in the process, but at least it is not trivialising things.

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