#ArrestPoonamPandey: Model slammed for faking death due to cervical cancer; stunt labelled 'cheap, shameful'
Poonam Pandey on Saturday made an appearance on social media and said she is "alive", a day after there were reports that the actor had died of cervical cancer.
Poonam Pandey, the controversial model and social media personality, faced severe backlash from netizens on Saturday for faking her own death to purportedly raise awareness about cervical cancer. What initially appeared to be a tragic announcement turned out to be a disturbing publicity stunt that triggered widespread condemnation, sparking calls of her boycott and arrest.
The uproar began when reports emerged claiming that 32-year-old Poonam Pandey had succumbed to cervical cancer on Thursday night at her residence in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur. An post on her official Instagram handle on Friday read, "This morning is a tough one for us. Deeply saddened to inform you that we have lost our beloved Poonam to cervical cancer. Every living form that ever came in contact with her was met with pure love and kindness."
"In this time of grief, we would request for privacy while we remember her fondly for all that we shared," the statement read.
Suspicions arose shortly thereafter, as numerous Instagram followers questioned the authenticity of the news, citing Poonam Pandey's recent sightings in Goa just three days prior, and her frequent appearances before that. However, the truth unraveled when she resurfaced on social media platforms on Saturday, asserting her existence and attributing the false news to raise awareness about the disease. Netizens were quick to denounce her actions, branding the entire episode as a shameful and cheap publicity stunt.
In a video posted on her Instagram account today, Poonam Pandey said, "I feel compelled to share something significant with you all - I am here, alive. Cervical Cancer didn’t claim me, but tragically, it has claimed the lives of thousands of women who stemmed from a lack of knowledge on how to tackle this disease."
Pandey said she wants to spread "critical awareness" about the disease and ensure every woman is informed about the steps to take. "Together, let’s strive to put an end to the devastating impact of the disease and bring #DeathToCervicalCancer," she wrote.
However, Pandey's attempt to justify the stunt fell flat as netizens criticized her for exploiting a sensitive issue to garner attention. Her experiment to grab attention by simulating her demise for the sake of awareness was met with outrage and disbelief. Many individuals expressed their outrage on various social media platforms, calling for a boycott of the model and her PR agency. The incident highlighted the gravity of trivializing serious health issues for personal gain and raised questions about the ethical boundaries of publicity campaigns.
"When #PoonamPandeyDeath was announced yesterday; the way it was portrayed seemed fishy and unbelievable. So naive of #Bollywood to even react and so idiotic of Poonam to do something like this. This is wrong in so so many ways. She needs to be ignored. #media should boycott her for such stunts @MIB_India There needs to be criminal offence registered against her for faking death," wrote one outraged user on X, formerly Twitter.
Another added, "She as a person is altogether fake, what ever she says is also fake. Boycott Poonam Pandey."
A third irked user said, "So Poonam Pandey is alive. She faked her death to create awareness about cervical cancer But truth is it was not about to create awareness All it was about to create fear and push people for Bill Gates funded vaccine Boycott such fraud people."
A fourth netizen called for her arrest, stating, "Arrest this attention seeker , fraud as soon as possible."
"Police should arrest her for misleading public and playing games pn cervical cancer She needs attention and publicity," added a fifth user.
Here's a look at how netizens reacted to Poonam Pandey's 'cheap and shameful' publicity stunt, with several calling for her boycott and arrest:
The incident underscores the need for responsible use of social media platforms and ethical conduct in raising awareness about critical health issues. Faking one's death, especially in the context of a serious illness like cervical cancer, is not only insensitive but also undermines genuine efforts to educate and support those affected by the disease.
The controversy surrounding Poonam Pandey's fabricated death serves as a cautionary tale against the pitfalls of chasing virality at the expense of integrity and sensitivity. It is a wake-up call for both influencers and their audiences to discern between authentic advocacy and attention-seeking gimmicks in the digital age.