Out of all the bizarre reasons Indian news anchors go viral on social media, this one’s really appalling. 

Actor Vishwak Sen came to TV9’s studio to promote his film Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam with anchor Devi Nagavalli, but things turned sour when the two engaged in a heated argument while on air. 

In this viral video, actor Vishwak was telling anchor Devi, “So, you don’t have the right to attack me personally. You better mind your tongue and not call me the depressed person or Paagal Sen. You understand?”

Things turned uglier when the anchor repeatedly yelled, “You can get out of my studio.” As he got up to leave the studio, Sen replied with profanity and said he was invited by the channel.

What had triggered the brawl? The topic of a recent prank video featuring the actor in which a fan threatens to self-immolate was brought up by anchor Devi. 

The ‘suicide prank video’ was made to promote Sen’s film, which received criticism, and an advocate has filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission.

Indeed, pranks on suicide are insensitive and cannot be taken in a stride, but a news anchor countering it by attacking personally and openly mocking someone’s mental state is also inappropriate and immature. 

In a country where mental health concerns are stigmatised, a reputed figure making callous remarks on the same is like taking two steps back from one step taken forward.