After Dilip Kumar’s Death, Kriti Sanon Requests Paparazzi To Not Cover Celebrity Funerals. No Coverage Also Means No Trolling.
The passing of Indian cinema legend Dilip Kumar at 98 after a prolonged illness felt literally like the end of an era. It’s only natural that everyone who was aware of the seminal influence Dilip sahab had on the industry and the actors, or anyone who had watched his films, would want to know everything they could about his last journey. But the thing about media coverage of funerals is that they lack tact. As much as one tries to see the paparazzi as people who are simply doing their jobs by clicking pictures that are demanded by their places of employment, it’s hard to not get angry when intimate moments at funerals, where the loved ones of the personality who has passed away are mourning a tremendous loss, get blasted across all media in the most ungracious manner. No wonder, many celebs, most recently Kriti Sanon, has urged the media to not cover funerals for this very reason.
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The Bareilly Ki Barfi actor took to her Instagram stories to blast the media for not being sensitive enough at such a time, and flashing their cameras at everyone’s faces as they visited the late Dilip Kumar’s Bandra residence to pay their respects and meet his wife, actor Saira Banu. If you were to go online, you’d see several photos of Shah Rukh Khan sitting next to Saira Banu and consoling her. There are videos too, and perhaps those are even more insensitive than photos.
Kriti wrote in her story, “Is it necessary for media and paparazzi to cover someone’s funeral? A funeral is a very personal affair and media should let people mourn in peace without a camera flashing in their faces! It’s disturbing to see videos of such a sensitive event with photographers talking casually in the background. I urge the media to please not cover funerals and give the family and closed ones their privacy. Would you like such a personal loss being flashed all over? Lets change things a bit.. Lets put humanity before profession!”
This isn’t the first time Kriti Sanon has called out the media and paparazzi for being thus insensitive on the passing away of a celebrity. In 2020, when Sushant Singh Rajput, who was her ex-boyfriend and costar, passed away, Kriti wrote a very similar post lambasting the paps’ behaviour during SSR’s funeral.
And she isn’t wrong.
Funerals are one of the most awkward and difficult social events that we have to attend/ You have to wear white or black or a certain type of outfit only. There’s something as crying too much, because that is perceived as overacting. And there is something as crying too little, which invites judgement that you’re a cold-hearted jerk. If you’re hungry, you have to pretend you aren’t. And if the bhajans playing at the prayer meet are putting you to sleep, you have to fight it. The most awkward of them all is talking. What do you say to someone who has suffered an irreparable loss? Or worse, what do you say to someone who tells you “strength and prayers to you and your family” when you’re the one who has lost someone? And if you’re a celebrity who doesn’t adhere to any of these acceptable norms, then you get mercilessly trolled for it.
Now imagine, this entire awkward exchange being covered by a ruthless mob of paparazzo, hell bent on capturing any goof-ups or moments of weakness. Images scores of people, who have absolutely no relation or feel no grief, not like the way you do after having lost someone, watching you bawl like a baby, on what is perhaps one of the worst days of your life, and judging you for it. And then, imagine those videos and photos of you sending off a loved one, a friend, an important person in your life on their last journey, splashed across every possible media, open for scrutiny. You didn’t think it could get worse than losing this person you’re mourning? Well, think again.
Also Read: Mandira Bedi Is Being Brutally Trolled For Performing Her Husband’s Last Rites And Not Wearing A Traditional Outfit At His Funeral
But here’s another reason why media coverage of funerals should actually be stopped. And it has got a lot to do with what happened with Mandira Bedi during the funeral of her husband Raj Kaushal, and what has been happening with women who are famous or are related to someone famous who has recently passed. The moment paparazzi cover funerals, the pictures find their way on to social media, where every single Joe or Jane has an opinion on what the family members are wearing, what they’re thinking and who according to them is faking their tears.
And I am not making these things up. All you have to do is go to the comments on any such paparazzi post of a celebrity’s funeral, and you will see the kind of things that people write. Recently, when an actress who was holidaying at the Maldives returned and had to immediately attend a sudden funeral, she was trolled for shifting from a bikini into a white salwar kurta easily. Seriously? The trolls probably meant it as a joke, but seriously?
I looked at Shah Rukh Khan, sitting there in his casual white t-shirt, blue jeans, sunglasses and ponytail, next to a grieving Saira Banu, and it got me thinking, why is no one asking him why he didn’t dress in traditional Indian attire? I could be wrong. There might be trolls buried deep in the comments below who might’ve not spared him, just as they didn’t spare Mandira Bedi, who chose to dress in casual western for her husband’s funeral, and even conducted all his last rites that women usually aren’t permitted to do. But my point is, none of the trolling, of any woman or man, should happen at all during a funeral! It’s a funeral, not a spectacle.
All social customs, in some way or the other, are spectacles and involve a lot of pretence. Sure. But it gives nobody the right to judge people for who they behave in it, Everybody deals with grief in their own way, and we do not need a blow-by-blow account of such a private ceremony. As for the fans and followers, we managed to survive not knowing all that happened at celebrity weddings recently. We can handle not knowing the same for funerals also.
Paparazzi needs to seriously stop hounding celebrity funerals and let the families mourn in peace. And for anyone who wants to argue that most celebrities actually enjoy these photo ops, well then, all the more reason to not give them the superficial things they want. Enough is enough.