mandag 24. mai 2021

Indian media have gone easy on Modi. That's changing because of the pandemic

Om Gaur is in the middle of the most heart-wrenching story of his career as a journalist. Earlier this month, Gaur — the national editor at Dainik Bhaskar, one of the world's biggest-selling newspapers — got a tip that dead bodies had been spotted floating in the Ganges River in Bihar, a state in eastern India. Given how decomposed the corpses were, officials in Bihar suspected they had come from further upstream — possibly from Uttar Pradesh, the highly populated state where Gaur is based. So he sent a team of 30 reporters to over 27 districts to investigate.

After hours of searching, the team found more than 2,000 bodies floating or buried along a 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) stretch of the Ganges, which is considered a holy river to most Hindus. Dainik Bhaskar, one of India's biggest Hindi-language newspapers, published its story last week with the headline, "Ganga is ashamed."

"I have never seen anything like this in my 35-year-long career," Gaur told CNN Business.
For weeks, India has been engulfed by a brutal second wave of Covid-19 infections, with millions of new cases. There have been nearly 300,000 Covid-related deaths recorded by the Health Ministry since the pandemic began, even though the actual figure is likely much higher.