Our Take

Death as a Product

Death as a Product

Consumers of social media can be called nothing but zonked out voyeurs. Else how does one explain 2,750 people watching the live streaming of a suicide by 24-year-old Munna Kumar? A letter where he claimed full responsibility for the suicide as he had failed to clear the Indian Army entrance exam does not quite put out the correct picture. None of these people bothered to report the video immediately to the platform where it was posted, or inform the police or family as the noose tightened around his neck. So the viewers must share the blame, collectively.

But the precedent had been set sometime back. How often do you see people whipping out their smartphones, switching on the cameras to record an accident or even a mishap like a molestation? Who can forget how passers-by filmed a woman being raped in broad daylight in Vishakhapatnam rather than stepping in to save her last October. Empathy, sensitivity, courage, public spiritedness are words that now seem to be relegated to textbooks and dictionaries. For we have become nothing more than consumers of mass social media, where everything is to be watched impassively like a movie rather than being participated in. Just like games, or a rape or even a suicide.



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