Isn't it a conspiracy that the
kids who lost their lives after consuming the poisoned mid-day meal in a
of Bihar become the subjects
of the political blame game that soon crosses all the limits of sanity?
And what about this characterized
uproar every time whenever many of us, sometimes in thousands, become victims
of a man-made systemic political apathy?
Why is it that we look to care
for what caused the disaster whenever a disaster takes place and then forget it
conveniently until next one happens?
This silence, or to say more
aptly, this ignorance, is a criminal negligence on part of all of us who are
capable enough to raise the voice.
It was not a long ago, in fact it
was in last July only when the nation had seen huge outrage over ward boys and
sweepers performing minor surgery, dressing and autopsy, potentially threatening lives of the patients in Bulandshahr, Meerut and Balia cities of Uttar
Pradesh, India’s most populous but India’s most digressive state.
For media outfits, it was a
potboiler generating uninterrupted coverage of many valuable TRP hours spread
across several days. There were high-pitched debates and rhetorical campaigns
to cleanse the society of this malaise. The insensitive and shameless
politicians and higher level government employees, who were initially, as
usual, in denial mode, were forced to come forward. Yes, they did come forward
after their characteristic delay but they didn't own the responsibility, something that always happens, something that we recently saw in the course of the aftermath of the massive Uttarakhand flash floods. They
just passed the buck.
In fact, they always believe that
‘we, the creatures, the voters, the ordinary Indians’ should get such treatment
as it would keep us dependent on them.
And so they create such
situations that force us to be in miserable condition and characteristically,
whenever these ‘miserable’ conditions become fatal or epidemic, they first try
to play down the scale or shift the responsibility and if not successful, they
put a shameless face of concern promising the matter is being looked into and
appropriate action would be taken.
Appropriation action! An
alternative political catchphrase for it is ‘the toughest possible
Now, see the toughness! In the
very same Uttar Pradesh, where a sweeper was performing autopsy last July, a
rickshaw-puller is filmed on camera this July, in a government hospital, giving
an injection to a kid that takes the kid’s life. And it happens in one of the
cities, Balia, that was in the eye of the storm last July for a similar medical
See! This is how politicians see
us – valueless, soulless creatures who exist only to serve the political
masters and their cohorts.
Also, where were the media
carriers, the activists and the aligned advocates throughout this period where
they could easily see (and they have been witnessing it) that the rot was so deep and
was getting deeper owing to the political callousness. In fact, they too, act
vague it can be said. Whatever be the reasons and the considerations but the
Why does it take lives of over 20
children to make a war cry on such a poor status of mid-day meal scheme in India?
Why this flood of reports now
Why not a sustained socially
responsible campaign to put effective check on the system?
The rotten meal! It is an open
fact that most of us know very well. Just step in any government run primary or
middle (class 6-8) school where the mid-day meal is served and the first
reaction, if you are from those of the metro middle class families, would be
that you cannot eat it. Search for reports and one will come across regular
reports of mid-day meal poisoning even from the metro cities like Delhi or Mumbai. The condition is horrible in
small town India and
hinterlands and the Chhapra incident in Bihar where
23 students of a primary school lost their lives after eating the mid-day meal
represents that horror.
And most of them (excluding the
political opponents here-they are the natural party to this crime) who are crying foul are aware of this open fact. Why
not then a sustained campaign to pressurize the political class to act
Like the horror of the mid-day
meal, the ground reality of the government-run hospitals and health-centers is also
an open fact. Anyone who can afford private treatment would never go to a government-run
health unit. Government doctors, busy in private practice, using ward boys or
sweepers as their replacement, is a commonplace thing and all of us and the
groups crying over the Balia hospital incident are well aware of it.
Why don’t the groups looking and
acting concerned at the moment run a sustained campaign against the politicians
and their administrative bedfellows to pressurize them to take responsibility?
Acting only in spurts when the
problem has already become chronic – the attitude is worrying. It is senseless.
It sounds more of the elitist
concern of acting as and when it suits the tastes and needs of those who can
raise the voice and not based on the needs of those who have been reduced by
the politicians and their various colleagues as the silent majority at the
receiving end of their every deed and misdeed.
It sounds like a sham! This façade
has to be removed.
Chronic problems like the
systemic political apathy and the political corruption need sustained efforts.