The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has been unprecedented in our lifetimes. While many are doing their due diligence in making sure the correct information is passed around with regard to developments in the situation, a few others have taken to rumour mongering in these times.
Badhaai Ho actor Gajraj Rao insists that people should act sensibly when it comes to forwarding messages. He points that false news creates unnecessary pressure on the police and the government, who are already doing much to combat the crisis.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Gajraj said about fake news in the time of COVID-19, “Usse hum sabko bachna chahiye. I’ve asked my friends and family members to first verify the messages they get on WhatsApp, check its authenticity on news sites before believe. This is not a relay race or a kho kho match – if you get a message, it’s no compulsion that you’ve to forward it. People must control their actions.”
He continued, “This creates unnecessary and undue pressure on the administration – the police and the government. I remember recently there was some rumour in a district in Uttar Pradesh and some news channel was showing it, but the police did a very timely job. Within a couple of hours, they not only opposed the new piece, but also proved that the situation was otherwise.”
Gajraj added, “I understand this is a situation that nobody has faced. It’s an unchartered territory. But that doesn’t mean we’ll do as we please. That will fail the efforts of so many who’re working round-the-clock to control the crisis. I feel some people would take it seriously only when some of their close ones get into the virus’ grasp, which is very sad.”