Given this age of breaking news and whatsapp forwards, there are high chances that one must have heard, read or watched those cringe worthy episodes of crime specials on a TV channel about the Burari Suicide.
Few days ago, 11 members of the same family were found dead in one house in Delhi’s Burari Suburb. As insensitive as this may sound, this news was a pot of gold for media outlets.
One old woman was murdered, 2 of her sons, daughters in law, 6 grand children found hanging under mysterious circumstances. The dead bodies were reportedly discovered by a neighbour after he found the door ajar.
Now under given circumstances police should have conducted a thorough investigation. But probably the media interest in the case made them share the investigation reports prematurely.
Police happily shared the details of an under investigation crime to media. A diary and a few notes which indicated that this could have been a ritualistic suicide pact now became the focus. The diary was unverified by police and handwriting not sent to forensics for investigation. Yet the diary was taken at face value. Not one person questioned the veracity of this diary. Not one person wondered why the door was left open during a suicide pact. No one bothered to investigate if this was a murder staged as suicide.
On the other hand, media sensationalised this case. Panelists debated over this, despite their being no two sides to this case . Scenes of this gruesome death re-enacted without viewer discretion. Death trivialised for TRPs.
While the police investigates this mysterious case, what needs to be spoken of is the hype around it. If this case was murder, then media needs to respect the investigating authorities and give them time to solve the case. Editors must learn to take a step back from their breaking news syndrome. And police must look beyond the diary and hunt for real clues.
Secondly if this were indeed the first case of mass shared psychosis suicide, then making a joke out of it will only act as a setback for mental health care. When a person decides to end their life regardless of the reason, it shows their fragile state of mind. If one decides to trivialise it, then many others will refuse to seek help and will be trapped in the vicious circle. Mental health is ignored in India. Many mental health care believe that if the family sought professional help then the suicide could have been prevented.
11 lives with a bright future ahead of them would still be with us.