India is currently the world’s worst COVID-19-hit country. Apart from an overall lack of healthcare facilities, hospital beds, and life-saving drugs, the lack of oxygen cylinders has led to thousands of deaths on a daily basis. Patients at many hospitals across the country are dying due to acute oxygen shortage. As per a TOI report, 12 COVID-19 patients which included a doctor died at a Delhi hospital just yesterday. That’s just one example and the numbers nationwide are said to be so much higher. However, amidst widespread loss and devastation, the elections have continued (after weeks of rallies) and news channels have continued to cover the election results. One channel, in particular, decided it was okay to compare the oxygen shortage to votes and seat shortage in the elections. Anyone with a grain of empathy will tell you, it is decidedly not okay!
Revealing the number of votes coming in from the Assembly Elections 2021, this TV reporter casually talked about the “oxygen of seats,”.
— Saloni Gaur (@salonayyy) May 2, 2021
Meanwhile, an oxygen truck shows up in the backdrop as she carries on with the horrid analogy saying, “BJP did not get much oxygen from this tanker, and looks like Congress is on a ventilator,”
The shocking coverage garnered a lot of flak on social media. People are outraged with the utter disregard for a massive health crisis unfolding in India at this very moment.
— Rahul Mittal (@rmittall12) May 2, 2021
Whoever wrote this, and the anchor who took a call to speak it out, you guys have hit the new low. Please introspect. May be leave your jobs, not journalism for sure. Please take coaching classes @Samdish
— Manish Pandey (मनीष पाण्डेय) (@join2manish) May 2, 2021
— Cabin Fever Jesus (@StonerJesus) May 2, 2021
This is a new low even for Indian journalism.
While we’ve seen a barrage of bad headlines and terribly managed news broadcasts, several Indian journalists have chosen to steer clear of elections coverage and avoid reporting on the elections altogether in order to shift focus on bigger problems – the pandemic. However, reports on the country’s second wave and the government’s management of the crisis have emerged worldwide. Read on for truths about the COVID-19 pandemic Indian media won’t tell you:
Cover image: Twitter