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Go UP, Not Down!

Go UP, Not Down!

It was in the 1990s that Murugan reached Kottiyam in Kerala’s Kollam district from his native Radhapuram in Tamil Nadu’s Thirunelveli district. Just like several migrant labourers who find the wages better in Kerala than in their own states, Murugan made a living by delivering milk in Kottiyam. But after his marriage, he could not afford to take his family to where he lived, like many labourers from Kerala who work in the Gulf.

On the night of August 6, Murugan met with an accident while riding pillion on a bike. The car that hit the bike drove away but the Kerala Police rushed Murugan and his companion to a nearby hospital. The hospital admitted Murugan’s companion but referred his case to another hospital that had facilities to deal with his brain haemorrhage.

The referral hospital refused to admit him saying that its neurosurgeon was not on duty. The ambulance then plied along to another 5-6 hospitals more until the Medical College in the state capital said it did not have a bed at the emergency room. Murugan died in the ambulance, 8 hours after he was picked up.

The news created outrage in Kerala. The police have registered cases against all the private and government-run hospitals for not admitting Murugan. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan apologised in the State Legislative Assembly to Murugan’s family. He followed his words by sanctioning Rs 10 lakh for ensuring education of Murugan’s children. The amount will be deposited in a bank in the name of Murugammal, Murugan's widow, and she will earn monthly interest.

This is not a story which will make a person in Kerala proud. But it has been narrated for the benefit of those who have started invading Kerala to raise issues of political killings and portraying it as a ‘Godforsaken country.’

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was in Thiruvananthapuram recently to meet the family of an RSS worker who was killed allegedly by CPM workers. His party president Amit Shah must be earning frequent flyer miles just because of his trips to Kerala alone. BJP MPs subject Kerala to verbal abuses in Parliament. And now, to top it all, Mohan Bhagwat, the Sarsanghchalak of the RSS — an organisation which has not hoisted the Tricolour in its premises since 1947 till the 1990s — defied the order of a district magistrate to hoist the National Flag at a government-aided school in Palakkad on August 15. I guess he should ask his organisation to raise the National Tricolour every day at the shakhas to make up for the past omissions before transgressing into schools in Kerala to ‘imbibe’ patriotism.

The saffron flag has made way for the Tricolour elsewhere too. Mahant Adityanath of Gorakhpur Mutt, who is now the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, passed an order that directed every madrasa to hoist the Tricolour on Independence Day. But three days before Independence Day, more than 60 poor children in the CM’s constituency died in Gorakhpur’s main hospital, mainly because they did not get proper treatment.

Within hours of reports that it was unavailability of oxygen cylinders — needed for helping children inflicted with Japanese Encephalitis to breathe — that was responsible for the deaths, came counter-reports based on flash findings of a medical team dispatched from New Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, lack of oxygen was only for two hours and there were different causes for the deaths. I am yet to come across even a yogi who can live without breathing for two minutes though. The BJP President had an even more convincing answer: Such deaths have happened even before.

But we have to believe this report because it has been made by a team of doctors that works for the premier AIIMS, notwithstanding the fact that AIIMS comes under the Union Health Ministry, administered by the same party that governs Uttar Pradesh. And if you are wondering at the speed at which such a report was procured, please understand that the level of efficiency has tremendously improved ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the country.

You may argue that there are reports that took time, like the one on Rohit Vemula. But the bottom line is that the HRD Ministry and the local politician who is a Central Minister have been given clean chits even here despite all canards spread against them, just like the courts gave clean chits to BJP President Amit Shah in the encounter killing cases and a Supreme Court-appointed Commission of Inquiry gave a clean chit to Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots. You see truth prevails over propaganda and these days truth can be processed fast because of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

However, my point here is to advise the proponents of truth to not waste their time trying to win the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala because accusations against the CPI(M) Chief Minister of encouraging political murder will not help.

They must realise how good the Opposition is at propaganda. Their great yogi of a CM is unable to breathe easily in his own Gorakhpur over the deaths of a few scores of children in unhygienic conditions. Even the oxygen exhaling cows in his gaushalas are not able to help him breathe easily. On the other hand, here is a criminal CM who has been killing poor nationalists without any reason and now hogging the limelight with a mere apology over the death of someone who is not even from his state! Isn’t that something?

So my advice to Bhagwat is to go raise the Tricolour in Gorakhpur. Similarly, BJP President should take more frequent trips to Uttar Pradesh. Those who think they are clever in coining terms such as godforsaken country too better find eulogising terms for describing the beautiful land called UP, which is being given a bad name by the Opposition. May be, they should all stay put in Gorakhpur and other places in UP to ward off Opposition’s propaganda because even Vedic Maths will tell you 80 Lok Sabha seats are four times 20.

Tailpiece

The Supreme Court has ordered the National Investigative Agency to probe whether a Hindu woman in Kerala converted to Islam by her own volition or if she was brainwashed because the Chief Justice of India says that the Blue Whale Challenge has proved “anyone can be brainwashed.” While frenzied claims have attributed suicides of few adolescents to an internet game that began in Russia, though not established, it is heartening to note that the honourable CJI of the Supreme Court of India has become the first judge to give the assumption legal sanctity.

( abey.kay@gmail.com)

(Published on 21st August 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 34)