Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Good Doctor

The “good doctor” is in the news again. His being in the news should not be a big thing, but it is because the “good” doctor generally is a very quiet person. So quiet that most people forget who the actual PM is.

Let me take my stand here. I am so tired of our PM (for my clarification Dr. Manmohan Singh) being referred to as "the good Doctor". Tired because I don’t understand the meaning of good in this context. Is he a good doctor because he is so quiet and unassuming? Or is it because he lets everybody else do the job he is supposed to.

So let us come to why he is in the news now. He is in the news because he was duped by the coalition and the inner voice for appointing tainted ministers. I thought that the “good” doctor was for once taking a stand when he said “The ministers will stay”. But apparently, he was only voicing the inner voice. And thereby he is still the “good” doctor and blameless.

Ohh, by the way, the "good" doctor has his hands so full with juggling the coalition that only the inner voice was heard announcing the funds for the victims of the fire from the Prime Ministers funds and nothing from the PM.

And the list goes on and on. So, tell me again why is he the “good” doctor? Is there something here that I do not understand or are 'we' all so taken in with the "good" doctor that we just fail to see what is so obvious?

He might be a "good" doctor but according to me, he is spineless. Take a stand, Sir.

Friday, July 16, 2004


What happened today at Kumbakonam was a really sad incident, which should have never happened in the first place. We have seen time and again how much we need to improve on the basic facilities in India. For the amount of population we have, the infrastructure is sadly lacking. Laws are not enforced and safety is lost in translation.

When one begins to think of solutions, it is hard not to get lost in the maze that is our system. It is easy to play the role of a bystander, a finger pointer and solution provider. But implementation, which is the key, is sadly not so easy.

So why did the fire start? Electrical wiring, they say. So why faulty wiring, most probably because the owner did not want to spend too much money on it. But how did the guy get his approvals, because he greased the hands of the officer. But, didn’t they realize that it’s for a school, well they do, but nothing will happen don’t worry would have been the answer. Or, the owner might have had good intentions, but the engineer and the contractor who built it might have taken a pay check on the side.

Why is that we compromise on these important issues? It was a primary school. The age group of the children who perished today was 4-9. Innocents burnt by the sins of corrupt individuals.

Look at the range of the problem we have – we have villages which don’t have even a semblance of a school building and here we have a town which has loads of schools, of which one was burnt to the ground. People are doing everything they can to build schools and the ones already built are disasters waiting to happen.

Schools, hospitals, police departments, telecommunications, electricity board, all these should be above corruption. All these should be easily accessible to people from all stages of lives. But what do we find, if you want a basic phone today from the DOT, you have to run from pillar to post, meet 50 individuals grease 38 of them and you still have to wait for 5 months before you can get a line. As of the police, people would call them if and only if somebody has been murdered and even that murder has to be a horrific crime before it gets reported. I seriously wonder about how many actual crimes get reported in India.

Why do we have this situation? Why is that whatever steps that we take seem to push us down than take us up anywhere? We have money today more than what our grandparents ever had. But why is that the society still has the same or if not worse conditions than what prevailed that day? Why are we still suffering for the same basics that they suffered 35 years ago?

Why do we have corrupt individuals? Because they are greedy! So why greed, because of desires! And we definitely can’t say don’t be greedy, when they don’t have means to have 3 meals a day and provide their family with its basic wants. As much as I hate to say this, there is no way to eradicate corruption but it can be reduced. Especially when it concerns human lives. People should be made to realize that the position they hold affects other lives in many a ways. They should be aware that the consequences of their mistakes might cause damage and loss which are irreplaceable.

Education is generally considered to be the one which will make people aware of their responsibility. Not only in school, but also the practices at home by parents and close relatives’ plays a role in the molding of an individual’s mental make-up.