Folks, the 35th instalment of Incredible India will focus on the plight of the common man in India at the hands of the powers that be.
Here’s one particularly sad account.
* Security forces around Sonia Gandhi’s pet poodle Manmohan Singh may have caused the death of a critically ill kidney patient in Chandigarh earlier today.
Here’s an excerpt of the report from an Indian newspaper:
The family of the deceased S P Verma, a resident of Ambala in Haryana, claimed that security personnel, including those from Chandigarh Police, deployed at the medical institute, did not allow their vehicle to proceed to the Emergency department and kept diverting them from one place to another for about two hours.
“When we came near the PGI, he (Verma) was alive, but his condition deteriorated as we were made to run about for two hours on the plea that the movement of other vehicles had been stopped in view of the movement of the Prime Minister’s convoy,” alleged a woman relative of the 40-year-old patient.
The poodle was there to blah-blah-blah at the 30th convocation of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.
* The Tamil Nadu government owes Rs 324 crore in compensation to over 11,000 victims and families of the state transport corporation’s killer buses. Apparently, some families have been waiting 28 years to receive the compensation.
With decrepit clowns like Loose Paiya at the helm of the Tamil Nadu government, we have no hope that justice will be rendered to the needy victims.
* As if the mountains of trash in India were not enough, India is now permitting import of electronic waste from other countries. Any surprise that Indian environmental workers are upset over this sellout by the Indian government.
* Some 62 years after independence, India’s spending on public health as a percentage of GDP is one of the lowest in the world. India’s government hospitals are in a pathetic shape and the poor have no recourse except to roll over and die.
Read this excerpt from the Frontline:
It should come as no surprise that we are an unhealthy society. There are typically three variables that directly affect general conditions of health among the people in a society: nutrition, sanitation, and the quantity and quality of government expenditure on health. In all of these, India performs miserably in relation to other countries in the world and in terms of the slow progress in these indicators in a period of relatively high GDP (gross domestic product) growth. And so we condemn a large part of our population to poor living conditions, high rates of recognised and unrecognised morbidity, and high susceptibility to a wide and growing range of infectious diseases.
Consider the figures: Out of the 175 countries ranked by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is fifth from the bottom (or 171) in terms of public health spending as a proportion of GDP. It is, therefore, significantly below almost all sub-Saharan countries and other least developed countries that have much lower per capita incomes. Public health spending accounts for only 0.9 per cent of the GDP or even less.
Hey, what’s that noise? Ah, that must be the sad family members of the late S P Verma (see above) wailing Mera Bharat Mahaan.
What a callous attitude shown by the security fellas ?
Cant they use their discretion on who can pose danger and who cant ?
Everyday morning, newspapers are full of deaths: a cab full of people has collided head on with a lorry somewhere, an overloaded boat has capsized somewhere, a poorly constructed building has given away and many people have been buried to death somewhere, a hooch tragedy has taken toll of several lives, some fire has gutted several households, some stampede in a temple has left several people (mostly women and children) dead, and not to forget floods, droughts, terrorist attacks, riots and farmer suicides.
All this is of course in India.
And when you read what is happening in Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Asia and some other parts of the world, there is sadness but it is detached, and there is also a smug feeling perhaps that India is not the only place with problems, others have their share too (I am speaking of myself only).
Sometimes the whole existence looks pointless, and then you fold up the newspaper and drag yourself to work,
and engage yourself in an activity that wouldnt pass the ‘Gandhi’s Talisman test’, seeking comfort in people and things that you are familiar with.
1. You write above: Sometimes the whole existence looks pointless
Now you’ve redeemed yourself, albeit partially, for the ineffable sin of recommending Rangeela…full review coming later today.
2. You write: engage yourself in an activity that wouldnt pass the ‘Gandhi’s Talisman test’
You mean Sonia Gandhi’s Talisman Test, right? When will my no-good, intellectually deficient spawn become Prime Minister? 😉
1. I dont get you.
Did you like the movie, or did you not ?
2. Gandhiji’s Talisman is something like:
Before every action of yours, think if it is going to benefit the poorest of the poor.
In other words, does your action bring about a Poorna Swaraj ?
The exact words were printed on the first page of every textbook during my school days (NCERT text books for CBSE). I never understood the words then. Now, I understand them but cant implement them.
The great man was once on a tour of all India.
In a village, a small boy told him that his mother had sewn a kurta for him, and that Gandhi must accept that and not roam about leaving his upper body uncovered.
Gandhi did not refuse the child, but said:
I surely will take the kurta, but there is a small problem. You see, I have some brothers with me who also need kurtas. I can accept your kurta only if your mother can guarantee kurtas for them too.
The boy says: I will convey this to my mother.
The boy comes back and asks:
Mother asks how many brothers have you got.
Gandhi replies: Forty crores.
1. Bapu was a very wise man, even in his economic ideals (often ignored compared to his political struggle). Self-sufficiency at the village level et al.
Early on, he realized the dangers of too much mechanization/automation in populous India and that free trade was not an unalloyed blessing.
2. Review coming later today.
One more of Gandhi’s stories:
Once, parents of a small child visit him and say that their child is addicted to eating gud (jaggery), and wouldnt listen to them. They want Gandhi to advise the child to stop consuming gud.
Gandhi ponders and says: You come after a month.
A month later he advises the kid (who holds him in high regard), not to eat gud.
The kid agrees.
The parents ask: What took you a month, when you could have dispensed the same advice a month ago ?
Gandhi says: I was myself trying to get rid of the addiction of gud.
Moral: Never preach what you cant practice.
Sad that none of his kids came anywhere near him in stature, particularly Harilal.
Heard of Loose Paiya’s new free medical Insurance scheme for all in Tamilnadu?
It is called “Kalignar Kaapeetu Thittam”, (Kalignar Insurance scheme) and covers every family. It is currently managed by STAR Health Insurance, and a total of 540 Crores Rupees are paid by the government for a term, for all.
It covers 51 Major surgeries, which common men dont afford to undergo. My friend works as a district co-ordinator for this scheme from STAR Health Insurance. He claimed that STAR Health, in the last three months, have made claims for 288 people’s surgeries in that district.
At least, to some extent, it is a better scheme, when compared to Free TV scheme.
If it works, we’re all for it.
Hey, Tamil Nadu is ahead of the U.S. in providing universal coverage.
Rangeela would have probably been good to watch when it was released (Urmila was fresh back then).. and the songs were sensational.. but nowadays those once-magical ARR sounds are ubiquitous.. I watched it a year ago.. couldn’t stand it (the jaded Urmila’s image was too much etched in my mind.. overexposure killed the cat).
She was lovable (from whatever vague memories I have) in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanakyan_(film)
Urmila Matondkar makes Nayantara seem like Jodie Foster.
Here’s the Rangeela Review.
â€œKalignar Kaapeetu Thittamâ€, –
This is modelled on the Arogyashri scheme of Andhra Pradesh ….one more in the list of freebies offered by DMK …..but a sensible one and a welcome step…
Sore point is this naming govt schemes after self ….starting a PHD in his name …. maybe Pallavan should be renamed as Kalignar ….then Kalignar Kaapeetu would make sense
You write: Sore point is this naming govt schemes after self
Maybe, Loose Paiya should rename that stinking Cooum river in Chennai after
The policy seems sensible. Let’s see how it works.
“Sad that none of his kids came anywhere near him in stature, particularly Harilal.”
Saying in Telugu, Pandita Putra, Parama Sunta (Son of a Wise Man, is a Complete Fool).
We think they have a similar saying in other South Indian languages too.
“Sore point is this naming govt schemes after self ”
It is a great Indian family tradition, kick started by the Gandhi Family. Witness the numerous Rajiv/Indira/Nehru Yojanas, Schemes, Plans launched. As also the airports, zoos, institutions, stadiums, roads, highways named after them.
There was the proposal to rename Cuddapah Dist after YSR, thankfully none took it too seriously.
Anyway considering the Re Naming fetish, i guess the following could be the new names
Ahmedabad- NAMO Nagar( NAMO acronym for Narendra Modi).
Lucknow- Maya Puri.
Kolkata- Mamta Di Ghata.
Don’t these scumbags even have trains and bridgres after them like for instance Rajiv Gandhi Setu (Bandra-Worli Sea Link).
But the greatest danger lies in Tamil Nadu, as Cassandra-like we’ve warned repeatedly.
The DMK controls the govt (Loose Paiya, Stalin, Azhagiri), mass media and business interests (movies, TV et al). It’s going to be very difficult to control or dislodge them.
Tamil Nadu, is not a democracy, every 5 years it keeps switching between 2 dictators, choice is either Amma or Don Karunanidhi Corleone.
I guess in 2013, they will soon switch over to Amma’s Dictatorship.
By 2013, most likely the current decrepit crackpot will be six-feet under and Stalin’s reign would have started.
cracks are developing in the DMK – Congress alliance …thanks to the Telecom Scam by Raja …so if DMK goes alone in the coming assembly elections then AMMMA will come back ….otherwise its the same …..
Good thing about TN is that the state does progress …always has a investment friendly climate ….irrespective of who comes in power …..the last five years however has been bad ….with power cuts ….and no new generation of power ….being the major issue ……..Karuna in his earlier avataar has been a great CM …..difficult to understand why he did what he did / and is doing since the last 6 yrs …
That guy has it in him to deliver the goods ….if he wants to …he seems to prefer the freebie route to power ….rather than focus on development …
1. You write: Karuna in his earlier avataar has been a great CM
Ha ha ha.
Remember the Sarkaria Commission findings of the 1970s against Karunanidhi?
2. True, Tamil Nadu has a better investment climate compared to its neighbors.
Was the site down for maintanence earlier?
Couldn’t access it.
I thought Soniaji had finally cracked the whip (Not joking). You can say what you want about Manmohan but once you start phrasing Sonia and poodles (esp. italian ones) in a single sentence, a lot of people might be denied their daily SI fix. Of course, being smart (ahem, throat clearing, coughing) and all, some of us would still find a way to bug you.
1. No, it was not down but very slow for a little while.
2. BTW, we’ve started reading God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment.
3. We might not be big fans of Soniaji but we’re no small fans of PriyankaJi. 😉