December seems to have a very odd and unsettled bone to pick with Tamil Nadu. The death of M.G.Ramachandran, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (1987, December 24), Tsunami (2004, December 26), The floods (2015, December 1) and now the death of the Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa.
Although the events that unfolded since Sunday evening were tragic and depressing, there was one teeny tiny moment when the people went on berserk mode, exhibiting the inherent humour in them.
While Jayalalithaa or “Amma” as she was popularly known and acknowledged laid in Apollo Hospital, battling for her life, the media went crazy. One particular TV channel, the Thanthi TV, took the craziness to a whole new level when the reporter, Mr. Rangaraj Pandey, announced on television that Amma had passed on. This was when Apollo was denying reports of her demise in parallel and when there was no official information being announced yet.
While we all know how TRP hungry the mainstream media is these days, even at the cost of sounding ridiculous and preposterous at times, this was atrocious. Soon after that announcement, other channels followed suit in announcing the news by way of “BREAKING NEWS” and news scrolls at the bottom of their pages. The fact that the Egmore office of the Thanthi TV was shattered in response to this untimely and incorrect reporting is a totally different story.
When Apollo authorities came out to deny these reports, the channels did a Kejriwal and inserted a measly “?” at the end of the images displayed on their screens, thereby converting the assertive statement to an interrogative one. Well played, Media, very well played! But the damage was already done (Apart from the Egmore Thanthi TV incident, I mean).
Twitterattis just lost it and went complete gungho about it. Within minutes the hashtag #RIPThanthiTV was trending just below #Jayalalithaa that night. While some people went on to curse the mainstream media for its callousness that is only well known, some of them took to twitter to create and circulate memes and exhibit their artistic capabilities.
Some interesting tweets go as follows which is promptly followed by some hilarious memes and screenshots-
“Only in India do news channels give health reports while hospitals give press releases
#RIPThanthiTV #Ripamma #JayaHealth #ApolloHospital”
“அடேய் இன்னுமா தந்தி டிவி ஆபீஸ் இருக்கு சென்னைல??
#jayalalithaa #RIPThanthiTV” @Justwatchreview
While the former image is from the cult comedy “23aam Pulikesi”, the second one precisely points out the capability and talent of the medical marvel of media that is Sagarika Ghose.
No complaints there.
On a serious note, Tamil Nadu has lost one of its best administrators and never will that void be filled again. It all ended where it had begun, in 1987!
Rest In Peace, Amma!