#GoHomeIndianMedia: Angry Nepalis Slam Indian Media's Disaster Coverage

04/05/2015 3:14 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
David Ramos via Getty Images
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - MAY 03: Men pull down a damaged building with a rope on May 3, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 6000 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

KATHMANDU — The Indian media is facing flak for its coverage of the earthquake disaster in Nepal with complaints in the social media that it was treating the tragedy as a "public relations exercise" on behalf of the Indian government.

As Nepal picks up pieces in the aftermath of last month's devastating earthquake that killed over 7,000 people and injured more than 14,000, some have picked holes in the "relentless and aggressive" coverage by the Indian media.

By Sunday evening #GoHomeIndianMedia, which was created on Twitter for slamming the Indian media, was the top trending hashtag in Nepal with more than 60,000 tweets on the topic.

As grief-stricken people in Nepal took to social media in droves to complain what they called as Indian media's "insensitive" reportage of the worst earthquake to hit the Himalayan nation in 80 years, the criticism ironically came on the occasion of the World Press Freedom day today.

At the same time, there have been critical responses to the negative reactions in the social media with comments like the Indian media coverage being "largely responsible" for how the rest of the world saw the Nepal tragedy and even driving global response.

While grateful for the aid and help in rescue efforts, some sections of the media were panned on the social media for pitching the tragedy as a "Public Relations exercise" for the Indian government.

In a blog published on CNN, Sunita Shakya of Nepali origin writes, "Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials." She also goes on to describe a couple of instances where she says the reporter did not do enough to help the injured person in need. "Thanks to tons of reporters who came to Nepal from those rescue planes of India, you took a seat where a victim could be transported to hospitals/ health camps. Thanks to you all reporters, you took a seat where a bag of food and supplies could be placed to send to those hardly hit places," she added.

Kunda Dixit, a veteran journalist, was quoted has having said that some Nepalis, not all, feel India media is a bit patronising in their attitude and that is perhaps why such sentiments are being expressed. That is how a section of the Nepali media also feels, according to Dixit.

The Indian media was accused by the Twitterati of being insensitive to survivors, asking them irrelevant questions such as "How are you feeling?" and not rendering help to those needing immediate medical aid.

The button below indicates how much has been raised on Crowdrise's "Nepal Earthquake Relief" page. Click to visit the site and donate.

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