Mum’s the word on Amma.
Among the legions of supporters of Amma, there is growing disquiet. Even the neutral average citizen must be concerned. Not much news is coming out of Apollo Hospital in Greams Road, Chennai about the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J Jayalalithaa. Amma (mother) as she is known, was admitted about a fortnight earlier. The exact nature of the ailment/s she is suffering from is not very clear, though respiratory issues could be one. There has also been some mention of renal complaints as a result of the pain killers she has had to take.
Specialist Flown in
The little information that has come out to the public has been the few Press Releases shared by Apollo Hospital management. The new Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri Vidyasagar Rao had paid her a visit a couple of days back. He seemed to have the feeling that she was recovering. Also, a few days earlier one Dr. Richard John Beale, a Senior Specialist and Intensivist flew in from the United Kingdom. He was satisfied with the course of treatment that the Apollo Doctors had charted for Amma. In the link shared above, Dr Beale’s special interests seem to be Acute lung injury, multiple organ failure and general intensive care. While Dr Beale’s pedigree and availability, must be heart warming, his specialty and arrival has set a few thoughts in motion.
One of Cool Chilli’s friends, a Senior Doctor in the National Health Scheme, UK was actually surprised that a Consultant needed to be flown into India. She felt that Apollo Hospitals itself had capable doctors. Apollo is a pioneer of Medical Tourism in the country and one of the significant players that has made Madras a leading name in Medicine. Maybe Apollo did not have a choice. Sycophants would have no doubt have vied with each other to dive deep. Hence, Mother’s Cabinet must have mandated a medical man from UK to manage the malady making the majestic Madras maiden miserable and the multitudes, melancholy.
The State’s Management would have decided that the Specialist from across the seven seas is a safer bet. In a politically and emotionally charged atmosphere, taking balanced decisions may not be very easy. . When a senior political leader of the nation is battling ill-health, we should do all in our capacity to him or her recover easily and resume their work for society.
Reservation on Reservation
But huge sections of the political class have helped inject some cynicism even in well-meaning citizens. Another friend triggered a very relevant line of thought. Imagine a few frustrated politicians taking their own ‘politicking’ seriously and actually demanding that a majority of the Doctors around important ‘State’ Patients needed to be from communities like the (SCs)Scheduled Castes, or the (the) Scheduled Tribes etc. Like the 50+% seats are reserved for students from the SC / ST communities, at least half the doctors need to be from the reserved categories, they may claim. If these doctors have just about cleared their exams without much intelligence to show, so much the better. Maybe there could also be an auction to attend to VIPs. Doctors not otherwise considered for the panel to treat VIPs could donate contributions to the State Treasury and bid for the privilege.
Cool Chilli’s Comments
One doesn’t wish to sound flippant at a time like this. May the best Doctors in Apollo or the world attend to our Chief Minister. But She herself, one is sure, may wish for more meritocracy in education, rather than just handing out reservation as a dole. Amma herself had been a ‘merit-lister’ in her SSC exams. Helping the under-privileged by giving them the necessary infrastructure is very much required. Giving them subsidized education, soft loans etc is fine. Reservation for a few years post Independence may have also been needed to help marginalized communities get into the mainstream but Handing out seats to undeserving students (seven decades after our Freedom) on the basis of birth is questionable. We are only letting loose Doctors of dubious substance on an unwitting populace. The Medical Fraternity already has enough work on its hands to improve the system.
We have tribes of politicians or elements who continue to clamour for more reservation. To prove their honest intent, they may also wish to give an undertaking that all their treatments would be done in India under the guidance of ‘reserved’ Doctors. Those Doctors who have earned their degrees only on the basis of reservation. We should give them an opportunity to walk their talk and come under the same scalpel they are forcing innocent citizens under.
Hope QueenBee resumes work and ends ‘Appolling’ wait!
In ending we hope Amma recovers quickly. May we also Support her and other Leaders to take steps to help the underprivileged in society. Let us not discriminate on the basis of birth.
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake” Rabindranath Tagore