20 October, 2020

Colour Of Xenophobia

Indian media can beam its tragedies starkly. We become racists if we do the same.

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Colour Of Xenophobia
It was a bright, crisp winter's morning and the dew glistened on the grass, across the rough little hedges and along her pale naked legs, which hung by their entrails from the branches of a tree in a corner of the field. I had only been in India a few days and one of my first tasks was apologetically to lead my freelance cameraman away from his friends in the press pack who were consumed by this 'great shot'. Hers was one of hundreds of bodies scattered around the Haryana village of Charkhi Dadri after a mid-air collision in late 1996, and I was explaining to my bemused colleague that I didn't want him to film any of them. I knew the BBC wouldn't show them because there was no reason to. Bodies in accidents at high altitude are ripped apart by the impact, the fall twists the remains into grotesque shapes and then they are burnt beyond recognition from the fireball created by the ignition of the jet fuel. But did this article need a photograph for you to understand the event? The answer, if you're a normal human being, is no.

There are times, though, when the answer is yes....


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