Social media slammed Indian model Poonam Pandey for faking her death. The actress stirred controversy on Saturday when she said in an Instagram video that she intended to raise awareness about cervical cancer and hence, faked her demise.
How Did The Incident Unfurl Itself?
The model-actor Poonam Pandey has recently become the talk of the town, all because of a death hoax surrounding her.
To raise awareness about cervical cancer, her team, on February 2, announced on her official social media handle that she had succumbed to the aforementioned illness. “This morning is a tough one for us. Deeply saddened to inform you that we have lost our beloved Poonam to cervical cancer.”
There were also reports of her funeral being planned in Kanpur. The PR team confirmed that Poonam’s sister had called and said that the model had died. As per the sources, they tried to contact Poonam’s sister later in the day for details on her last rites but since the last call, her phone was not reachable. The team also tried contacting Poonam’s other family members but they were all unavailable.
The news of her death had left her followers shocked and many of them had paid their tributes in the comments section. A few, though, had suspected this to be a marketing gimmick and considered that her Instagram handle was probably hacked.
On Saturday morning, February 3, the news agency, India Today, spoke to Poonam’s bodyguard, Ameen Khan, who mentioned that he last dropped her off on January 29. He also said the model-actor never mentioned her illness to him or any of her staff.
This death hoax ended on February 3, when it was revealed that she was alive. Poonam shared a statement saying that she was in excellent health and although the news of her demise was startling, it served a ‘greater purpose.’
The Reaction Of The Celebs:
The netizens, including the celebs, called it a ‘cheap publicity stunt’ and did not like the way the awareness was spread. They believed that other means could have been used to highlight the seriousness of cervical cancer and that this death hoax was like a mockery to survivors of cancer.
“I never delete tweets but did so in the case where I expressed my shock at news of Poonam Pandey’s demise due to cervical cancer. Why? Turns out the news was engineered by a digital/PR team. Absolute disgrace & disservice to those battling the same-her included,” said actress Pooja Bhatt.
“Wow, so #PoonamPandey is alive. A friend of mine told me in private last night that this is a campaign by a digital agency, but I was skeptical. Because could we really fall this low? Looks like we have. So many things wrong with this. #Thread” tweeted Nikhil Taneja.
Singer Rahul Vaidya added, “And I was right!! Now that Poonam is alive, I can surely say RIP PR/ marketing. New low of creating a sensational/viral campaign .. welcome to kalyug.”
“With the emerging challenges of SM, I think there should be some regulations, specially, for the newsmakers and those who call themselves influencers. Normalising sensationalism and gimmicks is dangerous. Fake death news is just the beginning. Aage aage dekho hota hai kya (just wait and watch),” said ‘Kashmir Files’ director, Vivek Agnihotri.
“I don’t know what you (Poonam Pandey) have done is right or wrong. For me, it’s wrong. I am ashamed that we have people in the industry who have to fo such publicity stunts. You have hurt many people and I am one of them. I know you are a pure soul but I don’t know what are you doing,” added Prince Narula, sharing a video from an airport for his ‘Lock Upp’ inmate Poonam.
Cervical Cancer, The Second Most Prevalent Cancer In India:
The GOI has announced free vaccination against cervical cancer for girls aged 9 to 14 in the Interim Budget. It is referred to as ‘a silent killer’ and requires regular screening such as Pap smears or HPV tests for early detections. Awareness about this type of cancer is extremely crucial.
One must learn about this only through credible sources, such as competent doctors, to stay away from misinformation.
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Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth
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This post is tagged under: Poonam Pandey, PR, publicity, cervical cancer, model, actor, celebrities, Bollywood, social media, death, Pooja Bhatt, Rahul Vaidya, Nikhil Taneja, GOI, vaccination, HPV test, pap smear, silent killer
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