Buzz and rumor as credible sources of news

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India’s two leading newspapers have reported mother-in-law-daughter-in-law tensions inside the country’s preeminent film family, the Bachchans. The Indian Express and The Times of India claim that all is not well between Jaya Bachchan and her daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

The Express report, attributed to its own wire, says:

“Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai has been living in the Bachchan mansion ever since her marriage to husband and co-star Abhishek Bachchan in April 2007. But now buzz is that the Bachchan ‘bahu’ is not too happy with the arrangements.

According to reports doing the rounds, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is keen to move out and live separately with her daughter Aaradhya and husband Abhishek.

Apparently, there seems to be a bit of friction between Aishwarya Rai and mother-in-law Jaya Bachchan, who is said to be keeping a tab on her activities. Reports further suggest that Jaya Bachchan is believed to be constantly interfering with her private life.”

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The Times report, attributed to its own wire as well but quotes the Express report, says:

“Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai has been living as a dutiful daughter-in-law since she got married to Abhishek Bachchan in 2007.

She is known to share a strong bond with both her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan. However, if rumours are to be believed then Aishwarya is keen to move out of the family home and live separately with her husband and daughter.

A report in Indian Express says that things are not smooth between Aishwarya and Jaya. The report further adds that Jaya allegedly keeps a tab on all activities of her bahu and keeps on interfering in her professional as well as personal matters. It is said that Aishwarya is expected to update Jaya about all her professional activities, something that Aishwarya does not appreciate.”

Of course, there is no sourcing other than something completely reliable as “buzz” and “rumors.” The Express report depends on “buzz” and the Times report depends on the Express report as well as rumors. So at least the Times has the high professional standards to verify from at least two completely unrelated and unverified sources.

Hilariously enough, both reports, as if to cover their asses, add: “We hope they sort their differences and these reports are just a mere rumour.” (Express) and “Well we sure hope that they resolve their differences and can put these rumours about a rift between the saas-bahu to rest.”

To the Express, I would make this minor point. When you say you hope they sort their differences, you implicitly say that there are differences. Then you cannot say in the same breath that you also hope that these reports are just rumors, particularly when you attribute their existence to “buzz.” Ditto the Times’ gratuitous comment.

The news, if at all true, is not that the two women in question have grown apart. The news is that they took six full years to attain the default state of the mother-in-law-daughter-in-law relationship.

In any case, it is beyond me how a 36-year-old man and his 40-year-old wife with their two-year-old daughter moving out of their parents’ home is news, even if it is prompted by family feuds or tensions or disagreements or spats or whatever.

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About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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