Why Poonam Pandey should be thanked

In Hans Christian Andersen’s story, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ two characters are remembered – the vainglorious emperor who falls for the scam of wearing nothing while being told he’s wearing a magnificent regal garment invisible to the eyes of the stupid; and the boy in the crowd who points at the emperor exposing his nakedness.

But the real protagonists are the two con-artists pretending to be haute couture designers. It is by their grand swindle that the stupidity of the emperor – and of the citizenry – is brought to light. Influencer Poonam Pandey, who ‘died’ last week and was ‘resurrected’ a day later – allegedly all for the good cause of spreading the message of cervical cancer – is the real world’s tailor-scamster.

While the ‘citizenry’ may be foaming in their mouths for her chicanery, Pandey has served a much-needed cause: spreading awareness about a mega-malaise – hyper-gullibility.
When everyone believes everything being peddled, the value of truth becomes that of tinsel. While pundits continue to go blue in their faces to warn us about the dangers of deep fakes and shallow shams, not much is heeded. People love believing, never mind what it is.

By faking her death and then announcing she had faked it, she has provided immeasurable service by telling our empire’s people: doubt everything before you believe anything.


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