With a COVID-19 tally of over 4,659,900 reported cases and 77,472 deaths as of Saturday morning in India, the pandemic is far from over in the country. Experts say we are yet to hit the peak of active cases – a reality that should make us very frightened. But news reporters seem to be braver than most? Coronavirus be damned, the issue of paramount importance to them appears to be Kangana Ranaut. So much so that they followed her inside the flight to Mumbai, amid her ongoing tussle with Shiv Sena. The Kangana Ranaut flight video was shared by a woman who was on the Indigo airline on September 9, sitting diagonally to the award-winning actor. The video is making people laugh or cry or both.

Posted by Quint Neon, the video is a 4-minute masterpiece that accurately captures the sense and nonsense of people during this grave era of COVID-19. Amid mask-glove-face shield wearing passengers, mic-camera-excitement wielding reporters can be seen jostling on the aisle to get the perfect snap of Ranaut, or maybe even a news bite or two. But all Ranaut gives them, per the videographer, is a royal ignore.

Here is the video that went viral on social media:

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Flight Mein Fight With Kangana

Naming a few channels who partook in this aircraft madness, the woman making the video aptly asks, “What were the editors of these news channels expecting from this crew of 3-4 members? An exclusive episode of ‘Flight Mein Fight With Kangana’? Given the loss of journalistic ethics on Indian TV news channels – evident in the way they have covered the death case of Sushant Singh Rajput – it is highly plausible that reporters came with that precise expectation.

Ranaut is currently in the midst of a high-voltage clash with Shiv Sena and its political leader Uddhav Thackeray. After her Mumbai office was demolished by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday, citing “illegal” constructions, Ranaut released a video statement, which has led to a police complaint against her for “defamatory” content against Thackeray.

Also Read: Whether She Is Guilty Or Not? Media Should Be Tried For Harassing Rhea Chakraborty

Media has Hounded Both Rhea and Kangana During COVID-19

With this drama unfolding on the back of Ranaut’s claims that CM Thackeray has links to the “Bollywood mafia,” how could news editors and reporters have resisted trailing her inside the flight? Anything Ranaut would have said could have qualified as ‘Breaking News’ or an ‘Exclusive’ newsflash at that point. Even at the cost of these journalists contracting the virus. India’s infamous chalta hai attitude.

But this is not just about the reporters who are apparently duty-bound and ready to put their lives on the line only to get a reaction out of Ranaut. This is about the multiple other passengers who were on that flight as spectators, in full disease protection gear. Should flouting all norms of social distancing in a time when it accounts for a matter of life and death be permissible? More, when it puts other people’s lives at stake? And for what – TRPs and ‘Exclusive’ content?

We saw another display of this frenzy, a more vicious one, when Rhea Chakraborty had reached the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office for questioning in Rajput’s case. Cameramen and journalists had swooped down on her from all ends, mobbing her, even as she tried to elbow her way through them.

Also Read: Journalist who Quit Republic TV, says it’s Running an ‘Aggressive Agenda’ against Rhea

DCGA Condemns Media’s Violations of Safety Norms

The question arises – Should media be allowed to hound any individual, whether they are a prime accused or simply just a celebrity travelling someplace, in this manner for their personal gains? Seeing how hazardous the situation is getting, both ethics-wise and virus-wise, should there be certain restrictions in the way media functions?

Thankfully, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) issued a statement saying, “We have seen some videos wherein media persons are standing too close to each other in the 6E 264 flight on Wednesday. It seems to be a violation of safety and social distancing protocols. We have asked IndiGo to submit a report on this incident.”

Here’s hoping more authorities stand up to situations like these, that are risking the lives of innocents, and that good sense prevails.

Views expressed are the author’s own. Have an opinion and want to contribute a story? Write to us stories@shethepeople.tv

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