Indian news media has come under fire for its allegedly insensitive and jingoistic coverage of the Nepal earthquake, with #GoHomeIndianMedia trending across social networks in Nepal. Several Nepalis have accused Indian news networks of exploiting the disaster, which has so far killed over 7,200 people, to carry out a "public relations exercise" on behalf of the Indian government.
"Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials," Sunita Shakya, a non-resident Nepali, wrote, in a blog published on CNN. "If your media person can reach to the places where the relief supplies have not reached, at this time of crisis can’t they take a first-aid kit or some food supplies with them as well?"
The media was also accused of asking insensitive and irrelevant questions such as "How are you feeling?" to earthquake survivors, and of playing up the role of the Narendra Modi-led government in relief and rescue efforts in Nepal.
"We already have enough to deal due to the quakes we don't need you to terrorize our nation anymore," read one tweet. Here is a look at others criticizing the coverage.
Go home Indian media pic.twitter.com/geGK2Gq6Lo
— Manoj Kureel (@ManojKureel) May 4, 2015
— सूचना घिमिरे ツ (@artless77) May 3, 2015
— Rahul Bajracharya (@RaulBuzracharya) May 4, 2015
#GoHomeIndianMedia isnt a result of anti-India sentiments. It is a response to bad journalism, unhealthy to a nation recovering frm tragedy.
— Neha (@NehaRaySays) May 4, 2015
The death toll from the April 25 earthquake, which is the worst to hit the country in over 80 years, has reached 7,276, according to media reports. The government has warned that the death toll is likely to climb further as rescue workers reach remote mountainous villages.
"There are still villages where we know that all houses have been destroyed, but have not yet been able to reach," Nepal's Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat reportedly said on Sunday. "The aftershocks have not receded and we expect the final casualty numbers to climb much higher."
Nepal's government, meanwhile, has urged foreign rescue workers in the capital city of Kathmandu to return home, even as the United Nations urged the government to ease bottlenecks on foreign aid entering the country. According to a report on Monday from The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, which cited Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh, the country needs one million tents to provide shelter to victims rendered homeless by the quake.
Nepal's Information Minister Minendra Rijal said on Monday that major rescue work in Kathmandu and surrounding areas had been completed, and that the remainder of the operations can be handled by local workers, the Associated Press reported.