Executive Editor of India Today and Aaj Tak, journalist Anjana Om Kashyap, has kicked up a massive storm on social media after her report from a hospital in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur.
Reporting on the encephalitis outbreak, which has killed over a 100 children in the district, Kashyap reached Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital
In several tweets shared by Aaj Tak and its Bihar subsidiary Bihar Tak on Twitter, Kashyap can be seen describing the state of a ward – how it was unhygienic with multiple children in each bed, and how everyone was left “bhagwaan bharose”.
However, what angered netizens is another clip where Kashyap, who was now in the ICU, pulled up a junior doctor who was tending to patients, and started asking him about the infrastructural failures in the hospital, to the point that it turned from questioning to heckling.
‘Why Heckle a Doctor On Duty?’
Many viewers took to social media to say that Kashyap’s style of reporting from inside the hospital’s ICU was unethical and distasteful.
Kashyap told the doctor that if she hadn’t come, he “wouldn’t have turned around to look at the patient.”
In another clip she was seen telling him, “camera aur mic ke roshni mein ilaaj nahi hota. (Treatment can’t happen only in the presence of cameras and mics)”.
Many Twitter users condemned the reportage, saying that Kashyap should not have been allowed into an ICU in the first place and definitely shouldn’t have obstructed a doctor from doing his work.
After the Twitter outrage, Kashyap put out a tweet explaining her actions. “The truth of mismanagement and indifference in these hospitals had to be brought out,” she wrote, adding, “Those who are shedding crocodile tears for the doctors, please stop your propaganda of heckling.”
But what use is bringing up the number of child deaths in front of a doctor who is just trying to save lives? Ironically, Kashyap seems to know that it is a fruitless exercise as she is seen telling the doctor, “main apko dosh nahi de rahi hu (I am not blaming you).”
‘Why is She in the ICU? Is She a Doctor?’
Others asked why someone from outside, who was not a doctor or a nurse, was allowed to enter an ICU without any precautions.
However, some also pointed out that Kashyap was not the only journalist who was reporting from inside hospitals, and that there was a need to revisit journalistic ethics in such scenarios.
To this, others on Twitter said that while there were many who were in hospitals, it was Kashyap’s act of heckling a doctor on duty, to the point of obstructing their work, was condemnable.