Across the country, the innocent fun of taking a ‘selfie’ is going badly wrong. Indians are dying while clicking themselves in fun events or novel situations, trying to be creative with wacky angles and bizarre backdrops. A Mumbai girl drowned in the sea recently when she and two friends lost their footing on a rock jetty near Bandra fort. A man who jumped in to save her also perished in the choppy waters. In Cheni, a teeged student was run over on rail tracks in January last when he tried to sp a selfie with a train speeding in from behind. During a class trip in shik, a student drowned in a dam trying to take a dramatic selfie on a rock; his friend too died trying to save him. In March last year, as many as seven teegers drowned in a gpur lake after they overturned their boat while standing up for a selfie. Even foreign tourists are catching this bug in India. In the latest such incident in Goa, five tourists fell off a cliff at Anju village when a gate they were leaning upon suddenly opened. Two women fell on their backs upon the rocks below, likely to become paralyzed for life. In September last year, a Japanese tourist died while taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal after he fell down the steps. India is becoming known as the selfie-death capital in the world, with the highest 19 such deaths out of at least 49 deaths worldwide since 2014. Mumbai authority has now banned selfies in several high-risk spots; some other city administrations may also follow suit. No-selfie zones have even been ordered around some large religious gatherings where selfie-caused bottlenecks could lead to stampedes. In other countries, people have shot themselves accidentally, blown themselves up with gredes, crashed planes and cars, and have been fatally attacked by animals — all in the quest for the perfect selfie. Spain has banned selfies during bull runs, Japan has done likewise in rail stations. Russia has begun a campaign against bad selfies driven by the craze for ‘likes’. Advisories issued in the US can enlighten us too — that it is ‘cool’ to take selfies only after looking carefully around and getting into a safe position!
food for thought