The trend shows no signs of abating, with three selfie deaths across India in the first two weeks of 2016. Of course some of the cases read like Darwin Awards. Indians died taking selfies in front of moving trains, one drowned after tipping a boat while posing, and another fell off cliff, and slipped into the water from a river bank. It is not just Indians who die. Included in the stats were a Japanese tourist also died after falling down a staircase at the Taj Mahal – the monument, not the restaurant.
Indians can’t get enough of selfies. Even Indian prime minister Narendra Modi who is known for clicking selfies with other world leaders and launched a government-backed ‘selfie with daughter’ campaign. There is a popular Hindi song (“Selfie le le re”) from last year’s highest-grossing Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
But last year, a fear of stampedes led to a selfie ban during the large religious congregation of Kumbh Mela. This week, Mumbai Police identified no selfie zones in the city after two people drowned in a selfie-related accident.