We Need To Let Sidharth Shukla’s Family Grieve In Private

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Sidharth Shukla family doesn’t deserve media scrutiny: In wake of Sidharth Shukla’s death, his mother Rita and girlfriend Shenaaz Gill became trending topics on social media. While many fans expressed concern for Shukla’s loved ones. If past record is anything to go by, it is assured that cameras and reporters will follow and document every move of his loved ones. But why does the spotlight shift to a celebrity’s family in case of their death or ill health? More importantly, do they need such scrutiny, simply by virtue of association with a famous person?

Television actor and reality show star Sidharth Shukla passed away due to a massive heart attack on September 2. The 40-year-old is survived by his mother and two sisters. Shukla had worked extensively in the television space, starting his career with the show Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na in 2008. However, it was his appearance in the hit television serial Balika Vadhu in 2012 that propelled him to fame. Following his successful stint, he even went on to work in films like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Soorma. 

Shukla’s popularity saw a huge jump after his stint as a contestant on Bigg Boss 13 – a reality show hosted by actor Salman Khan. His chemistry with Shehnaaz Gill was loved by the viewers and the two became to be known as “Sidnaaz”. Such was their craze among fans that “Sidnaaz” would trend on Twitter even during the later seasons of Bigg Boss or every time the couple was spotted together.

Did Sidharth Shukla’s family sign up to have their grief projected on television screens nationwide?

Shukla’s PR team released a statement after his death requesting the media “to draw a line and give his family and loved ones space and let them grieve.” But has that discouraged the reporters from swarming outside the gates of the hospital where his body still remains for a post-mortem? Will the media not cover the comings and goings of all family members, friends and loved ones at the actor’s house?

When a person, irrespective of whether they are a celebrity, is gone, what remains behind is a broken family that needs time and space to heal. Pointing cameras to their faces, thrusting mics at them, asking for a byte – do they need this in such times of distress, does any family need this? But this is exactly what most loved ones of celebrities have to endure after their death and somehow social media only makes it worse.

There exists a parallel universe of news production and consumption, where videos and photographs captured by paparazzi, or commoners are shared widely, that too without any censorship. What grieving fans or social media users simply caught in the frenzy may not realise is that such photographs, say a dead celebrity’s body, could circle back to his loved ones and only make their grief worse. Besides, isn’t this akin to robbing a person of dignity in death?

The views expressed are the author’s own.

Suggested Reading:

Sidharth Shukla Passes Away At 40 Due To Heart Attack

SidNaaz: Looking Back at Sidharth Shukla Shehnaaz Gill Relationship

Social Media Expresses Shock, Disbelief Over Death Of Actor Sidharth Shukla