Monday, July 30, 2012

Why we don't do well

The grand, once in four years, extravaganza called Olympics is on. Viewing the first round elimination of Indian sports persons is quite depressing though not unexpected. One only has to compare with our neighbor,China to understand why it is so. Sports as a way of life gets very little priority in our scheme of life. Our children are from the very beginning are kept away from organised physical activity and those who do are made to pay a heavy prize by denying them off academic performance as both don't match. Sporting activity like academic activity takes lots of energy and time. Most of our educational institutions don't stress the importance of sports as a form of overall development. Thus there is no grassroots base for any sport. If any sportsperson comes up from this poor base, it is entirely because of the sacrifice of the family and often by sheer accident.

Nutrition and fitness are linked.If you don't eat the right kind of food and do the right kind of exercise your body doesn't develop properly. Most of our country's population is undernourished. Where there is natural talent there is this big malady of malnutrition. Added to this and parental apathy there is our government. Less said the better as far as the role of the government is concerned in the development of sports.

Madhura Honey
She marched with great aplomb with the colorfully dressed Indian Olympic contingent, dressed in red and blue. By doing so and enjoying herself hugely, she left many an official red faced and left me laughing. She had no business to be there in the first place. How did she mange it and with such ease?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In the defense of the unqualified

In recent times the media is awash with reports of medical malpractice and images of unqualified persons handling cases are flashes across the small screen. There were images of a person who is qualified to sweep and clean, giving injections and suturing wounds. There were also reports of doctors performing surgical procedures without taking permission and causing fatalities. These reports received wide spread public reaction mostly directed against the profession.

North India, that too states of Bihar, MP, Orissa, UP, Rajastan are very backward going by the social and economic criteria. That is why they are called BMARU[ILL] states. In many areas of these states, medical aid is nonexistent and any aid is better than no aid. I watched the programme aired by Times Now, a popular English TV channel which showed the sweeper doing the procedure. Instead of getting disgusted I was very impressed with his performance. He wore gloves, drew the local anesthetic well into the syringe, injected the wound and sutured it expertly. There were no nerves at all and this must have been routine for him.

It reminded me of an incidence which occurred many years ago. I was a young subaltern in the Indian Army Medical Corps and was posted to a field hospital. As it was just after a conflict we had a number of casualties and three of us had to do lots of minor and major surgeries. We did have one doctor who was trained in anesthesia but he couldn’t be in four places at the same time. The job of administering anesthetic was left to two nursing assistants [in the rank of lance corporal]. They did the job better than I did! They were so well trained!

What is important is not who does the job but how well it is done.

Even well qualified doctors err. The doctors who did the Kidney and pancreas transplant were qualified and the patient needed it. That it was high risk surgery with very high mortality was not appreciated by the relatives. Here lies the crux of the problem. We doctors are poor communicators. We get so engrossed with the problem that we often neglect the human emotions involved and pay a very heavy price. These days, in corporate hospitals, money too plays its role and surgeries are often done when there is no absolute indication. One such is caesarian section about which I have written earlier.

Therefore, before branding something as demonic and unethical, one must, especially the media, and personalities like Aamir Khan should be careful and understand the realities of the profession in the country.

I have tremendous respect for Aamir and many aspects of his show were true.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

BJP and the Bofors scandal

Have you ever thought why the then NDA government did not pursue the Bofors pay offs and let the Italian friend of the Family live in peace? Read Vinod Mehta’s well written memoirs [Lucnow Boy]. The proximity of Hinduja brothers to Atal Behari Vajpayee is highlighted in this book.Vinod Mehta was privy to many of the murky episodes that took place and still taking place in India’s corridors of power. He has spared none and though the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] comes second worst compared to the congress, the clean image it tries to present to the people of the country is exposed very well as false by Mr. Mehta with facts and figures in this book. The horrifying wheeling dealing that went on behind the scenes in the G2 scandal spearheaded by Niira Radia is also there in the book. Our TV queen Bharkha Dutt too has been brought down from her high pedestal.

A must read book for all of us Indians

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ernie Els wins The open

British open is known as The Open. It is one of the three major golf tournaments held yearly. One is the Masters at Augusta [USA], the second is the US open and the third is the British Open sorry, The Open. Golf played on courses laid by the sea side is called the links golf. Links golf is a unique feature of The Open. Links golf is a different ball game in the sense, wind rain and the man deep sand bunkers come into play, making the game that much more trying.

This year saw a spectacular collapse of the Aussie, Adam Scot on the last of the four days of the tournament. He led throughout till the last five holes. Then came the collapse. He made four straight bogies and lost to Ernie. Nerves, Jitters, Yips, bad luck, poor club selection were all there for us to watch with pity and disbelief. Ernie who had finished his game an hour earlier saw the trophy handed over to him on a platter.

Ernie Els is one of the most popular gentleman golfers on tour. The personal misfortune[he does not consider it as] of having an autistic  son has only made him a more mature and humane person and his acceptance speech and the way he commiserated with Adam Scott exemplified it.

Scott should have won. But then it is some consolation that he lost to Ernie.

Super sycophant   becomes India’s president

Today we have a new president In Pranab Mukerjee.  Mr. Mukerjee has been a political top brass for over forty years and has held most of the top ministerial posts whenever the congress party has been in power which is most number of years since independence. Arguably most intelligent, well informed and friendly, Mr. Mukerjee has seen the congress led government through many a tough time. At one time or the other he has bailed out most of the top brass in our country’s ruling elite both in politics and industry and here lies his popularity and it came as no surprise to me that he won.

Nehru Gandhi [not Mohan das] family has had many articulate, intelligent, hard working and personally honest men who served them and continue to serve them. Pranab Mukerjee heads the list. From the Bofors scandal to the black money hoarders abroad he was and is instrumental in protecting the guilty. That he does all this under the garb of stability cuts no ice with many an honest person who has watched the politics and businesses of this nation over the past forty years. There are others like him, A.K.Antony and Jairam Ramesh who I suspect will serve the royal family with the same zest and reverence as Pranabda did.

Now freed from the shackles of politics and servitude, will Pranabda put his undoubted good qualities to serve the nation instead of serving the Family?