A royal prank call and a ‘suicide’?

The very recent ‘suicide’ of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who was at the recieving end of the ‘royal prank call’ shook me up to the very core.

Just days before, Saldanha was no different from any other British working mother. But a prank call and the circumstances that followed made her want to quit life.


If this is a suicide at all, that is. And underneath there’s no conspiracy going on.


Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, more affectionately known as William and Kate, are expecting a baby.

The news was confirmed by St. Jame’s Palace after the pregnant Duchess was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with acute morning sickness.

She was expected to stay at the hospital for several days.

The media moghuls didn’t want to concede an inch. This was news!
This was money.

Trouble started brewing when two ambitious Australian DJ’s decided to gain mileage from this royal drama.

Employees of 2Day FM, radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian made a phone call to the hospital. And impersonated the Queen and Prince of Wales to dupe staff into giving a condition update on Kate, who is suffering severe morning sickness.

Saldanha was totally fooled and she transferred the call to Kate’s ward.

No one knew anything was amiss before the Australian radio channel started playing the audio of their ‘victorious’ prank call over and over again.

Soon it became international news. Security officials were left red faced. The British media made a big news out of this.

Maybe Saldanha was embarrassed. The hospital chief says she was not under any kind of pressure from the authorities.

You don’t need to be a genius to figure out whether or not she was pressurized.

Of course she was. And maybe that’s why she took the extreme step.

I have no problem with the prank callers. Or prank calls.
What troubles me is that the media is still to own up that they are responsible for this death. Partly.

Let’s face it. Not everyone likes being under the limelight. Maybe Saldanha was a shy, reserved person who kept to herself. And this sudden ‘fame’ was something she couldn’t handle.

The media needs to introspect. Regulations need to be put in place. And a public apology must be tendered by the British media. If at all, they own a conscience.

I can’t understand why this huge noise is created everytime the Royal family does something. No matter how insignificant. Days back, Prince Harry was in the news because of his Vegas adventures.

My point is what have they done to deserve such adulation?
Just being born in the right place ?
And at the right time? Is that fair?
While honest, hardworking ‘commoners’ toil away for a humble existence?

There is even a spoof twitter account called the ‘royal fetus’ – that tweets from Kate’s womb. It has already crossed 8000 followers.
This seems crazy to me.

No one deserves to be born to such opulence.

Soon, time will pass. And Jacintha’s plight will be forgotten. There will other important news.

But the truth is a hard working woman, a mother of two, has lost her life to this crazy adulation.
Behind her, she leaves two kids who have been scarred for life.

I’m not being melodramatic here. If you have a heart, you’ll understand. If don’t understand, then God bless you.


6 comments on “A royal prank call and a ‘suicide’?

  1. For the last 12 hours I’ve been watching my Facebook friends update their status’ with comments like “those Aussie DJs should go to jail” or “hope the DJs top themselves”, and so on. It fills me with such anger that these people are not seeing the greater picture, a picture that you as an outside observer, Subh, totally get. You describe exactly the situation as it really is.

    The prank itself was so innocuous no one was reprimanded. It was so harmless neither the nurse nor anyone else got into trouble, so what drove her to suicide? The good old British media. The nurse was used as a scapegoat in the hype created by the media over this non-story, so when she tops herself because of all the attention the media created, the media no longer has a scapegoat, so they turn their headlines to the DJs. The DJs become the new scapegoat. Meanwhile, people read a headline or see a friend’s status update on Facebook and just copy it without thinking what’s really going on here.

    The problem is further compounded by this British obsession with the royal family. “Ah, gawd bless the Queen, she’s such a good ambassador for Great Britain, she does wonders for our tourism industry”. No she isn’t and no she doesn’t. She and the rest of her family are a drain on resources and do nothing for tourism which, by the way, has been in decline for many years. I simply do not understand this blind patriotism towards Queen and country. I think it’s a localised sensation that foreigners like you and ex-pats like me neither understand nor care about. Their role is meaningless, their power diminishing, yet the headlines about insignificant stories continue to sell papers.

    And there’s the real crux of the issue: the British media can so easily whip up a non-story about the royal family and suddenly every Daily Mail reader cares. Suddenly they really do want to know what dress Kate Middleton’s sister is wearing on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s like the extreme end of celebrity culture. You may have some famous Bollywood film stars but WE’VE got the royal family, and we care about them so much we must know the details of Prince Harry getting drunk in Vegas, or what colour Zara Philips’s trousers are.

    This obsession has to stop. Not just with the royals but this obsession with celebrity. Hello!, Heat and OK! magazines fill our heads with nonsense, and the scary thing is we believe it, we want more of it, and we demand blood when someone gets in the way of it. It is a vacuous opiate for the people. It’s ok for us to ridicule gullible teenagers who can’t sing in front of millions of people on the X-Factor, but woe betide any Australian DJ for pulling a fast one over the royal family.

    The suicide of this poor woman is a very sad thing indeed, but it is not the fault of the DJs. The fault lays squarely with the British media and our obsession with a family none of us have ever met.

  2. Such a shame that even people living in the UK don’t realise the real problem. Perhaps the press and electronic media is eating up people’s ability to think on their own.

    • Sometimes you have to step away from the problem to see it for what it is. I’ve made comments in the past about India that perhaps you don’t understand or can’t see.

      That said, I do think a lot of people feel the same way I do, but it’s uncomfortable for them to express themselves without some bigot shooting them down in flames. Yesterday, in a Facebook thread on this very subject, an acquaintance was blocked because he’d expressed an anti-royalist sentiment. Someone didn’t like his comment so they reported him!

      The media in the UK is notorious for the lengths they will go to just to get a story. It’s disgusting and it is unnecessary.

  3. Yes I agree. It’s sometimes difficult to step away from the problem. To eliminate the ‘self’ and analyse the criticism independently.

  4. clara_w says:

    She really killed herself? Lord! It’s madness, I tell you. All of it.

  5. Whether she killed herself or not hasn’t been confirmed yet. It looks like ‘suicide’. She was found dead.

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