The glitzy, grey world of Mumbai’s paparazzi

They have a seemingly symbiotic relationship with celebs, but what about issues like consent?

ByPriyanka Agarwal
The glitzy, grey world of Mumbai’s paparazzi
Shambhavi Thakur
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On February 21, Bollywood star Alia Bhatt slammed a popular news outlet for photographing her at home without her permission.

“I was at my house having a perfectly normal afternoon sitting in my living room when I felt something watching me,” she posted on her Instagram stories. “I looked up and saw two men on the terrace of my neighbouring building with a camera right at me.”

“In what world is this okay?” she asked.

The actor tagged the Mumbai police, which encouraged her to file a complaint. She hasn’t yet, though her PR team is reportedly in touch with the publication in question, which is part of the Times Group.

Bhatt was widely supported by members of the Bollywood fraternity, some of whom shared their unhappy experiences with the paparazzi. Among them was Anushka Sharma, who has been photographed in private spaces without her consent. Moreover, photos of her infant daughter were made public, despite appeals from Sharma and her cricketer spouse Virat Kohli to not do so. 

But this is just one of the many episodes from the world of Mumbai’s paparazzi. Do these instances really constitute a breach of one’s privacy, or are they an occupational hazard, a necessary evil if you’re a public figure?

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