Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
Triggering outlash, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday, April 6, slammed a section of the media and "cursed" them, saying that they "should get coronavirus."
According to The News Minute report, the CM was upset over a report by a newspaper on an alleged attack on a doctor at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital by the kin of a coronavirus patient last week. The report had questioned the safety of doctors and highlighted the issue of shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital staff in the state.
"There are some newspapers, whether they know it or not, that are writing nonsense. I'm sorry for that. I won't take names, but the other day a newspaper wrote horrible things," the CM was quoted as saying by the media.
"Will the government not ensure the safety of doctors? Will the media do it? Why should they write like that? There should be some 'sanskaar' (culture)" he added.
The CM further "cursed" the media and said they "should get corona."
"Write good things if you can or go to sleep and home... At least now, those who have crooked minds should get better. I pray that it happens. It's your karma otherwise... you should get corona, I'm cursing you. Why are they writing like this in such a time (of crisis)?" he said.
"You'll know the trauma if you get it (the virus). I'm saying this with a heavy heart. I'm sorry," he added.
He pointed out that the state had ordered 40,000 PPE kits and if media outlets continue to write lies, the state government would file a case.
Meeku (Yellow Media) Carona virus takalani nenu shapam pedtunna - KCR during Press Conf— Raj Karsewak (@rajkarsewak) April 6, 2020
( I curse Yellow Media to get infected by Corona Virus )pic.twitter.com/DshfhzgWtL
Later in the press meet, he further said, "I'm not against media, don't misunderstand me. What I said is not for all media outlets. It is for those who are spreading lies. During this time, instead of lifting the spirits of doctors, they are hurting their morale. Even other journalists should not tolerate this. There are many who are doing good stories at this time, highlighting stories of human courage."
As India grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, media outlets across the country have been reporting on various aspects of the outbreak with great courage. From going to hospitals to various COVID-19 hotspots across the country, reporters on the ground are putting their lives at risk.
At a time when the entire country is under a 21-day lockdown, media is the only source of reliable information to the public.
While reporting facts, it is also the media's role to question the government and hold them accountable. The total positive cases in the country have crossed 5,000 and it is imperative for the media to question the measures taken by the government to combat COVID-19.
If the healthcare professionals are putting their lives at risk at the frontline due to a shortage in PPEs, it is the media's duty to hold the government accountable.
It is irresponsible for a public figure like the Chief Minister to curse a section of the media to suffer from the deadly coronavirus, at a time when over 80,000 people have succumbed to the disease across the globe.
It is also insensitive for an elected representative to so callously use coronavirus when governments across the world are struggling to contain the spread.
If a section of media did misinform, legal action should be taken against them, rather than resorting to hate-mongering in public.Also Read: Without Lockdown, One COVID-19 Patient Could Infect 406 In 30 Days: ICMR Study
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