Live newscast from Bangladesh has been integrated in my daily routine lately.

Thanks to the news shows from different channels, I was having a live commentary of poet Shamsur Rahman’s illness.

There was a progressive decline in poet’s health over the weeks preceding his death.

I saw an ill health, disheveled poet lying in his ICU bed. Over the next several days I was shown an unshaven poet struggling to breathe. Following days the world saw a confused and improper poet lying restless in his bed. Footage of semiconscious poet trying to remove his oxygen mask, pulling off IV lines and other tubing was telecast by different channels with great pride. Then we saw a hole in poet’s throat through which he was getting mechanical breathes.

I am glad that no news camera was around when poet breathed his last. Otherwise I probably would have to endure the commentary and live transmission of poet struggling for his final breathes.

However our TV channels made up for their missing of poet’s final breath during the four and half our long live telecast of mourning and grieving of poet’s immediate family, occassionaly with closeup of wailing family membes.

I find this sort of TV coverage is overzealous journalism. When as a nation we will comprehend the concept of privacy?

There may be many people around who has met or visited poet Shamsur Rahman at his home or office when the poet was in good health. Every time you will visit him, poet will show up, very well dressed, hairs are nicely done, a nice shirt and a nice sandal on, wearing his trademark glass. When coming to public programs, or TV, you would have seen him in his starched, ironed “panjabi”. There was no way he could come out in public or in TV or even in front of his friends in the unkempt condition or improper dress as we all saw the poet in last couple of weeks.

One might argue, well, poet was sick, there is nothing wrong in showing a sick man look sick. But we should understand that what the poet would not have allowed to happen when he was in control, why would we do that when he lost that control? Why should we take the opportunity of sickness to invade the privacy of this pristine poet ? Be it poet , be it anybody else, the privacy must be respected at all time.

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