AIIMS needs a healing touch

AIIMS: Ailing Institute” by Tripti Nath (Spectrum, Oct 7) was timely. Various medical and health institutes in the country, ranging from primary health centres to hospitals of national importance, are malfunctioning. The reason is not lack of equipment but the diseased mindset of the professionals and non-professionals manning them. Any machinery, however sophisticated, is useless. It is the dedication of the physician and surgeon that makes it effective. Besides, the clinical judgement that has been given a goby because of the Consumers’ Protection Act is, still of highest importance.

It is sad that doctors have fallen victim to avarice and consumerism. They no longer subscribe to the dictates of Hippocrates but succumb to the temptations of Mammon. Who will bell the cat, when the character and calibre of our politicians too is doctored? There in lies the rub.



Kids in cinema

Story of reel children by M.L. Dhawan was interesting (Spectrum, Sept 23). Besides the films mentioned, there have been equally impressive children movies. One recalls AVM’s Hum Punchhi ek Daal ke (1956) which had a number of child artistes playing a patriotic role. Besides Boot Polish, Raj Kapoor gave another memorable movie, Ab Dilli Door Nahin (1958), which revolved around the journey of a village boy Rattan Kumar to ‘Dilli’ for meeting the PM for redressal of his family woes. In those movies, the role of child actors was an important part, be it Deedar with that memorable song Bacchapan ke din bhula naa dena by the child actors or Devdass (1955). The child prodigy Daisy Irani played many a memorable role in films.

Another movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna had the hit song Phuloon ka taron ka sab ka kahena hai portraying the love of a brother and sister. The V. Shantaram movie Toofan Aur Diya (1957) again presented the struggle of a young brother against heavy odds to look after his sister played by Nanda. The movie had immensely popular songs tuned by Vasant Desai. A struggling Rajinder Kumar also had a small role in the film.

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula

Left not right

This has reference to Khushwant Singh’s Left not on the right track (Saturday Extra, Oct 6) in which the writer has sagaciously advised Prakash Karat, the vociferous critic of 123 agreement, to rethink his antagonism.

True, Communists are allergic to everything about the US, without analysing its pros and cons. Obviously, they want to please China who wields considerable influence over them. That is why they have never asked China earnestly to vacate Indian territory occupied during the 1962 war. Rather China lays its claim on more Indian territory against which they have never raised their voice. Why don’t they perceive India’s sovereignty endangered there in?

Supporting the UPA government from outside, they want their bread buttered on both sides which is not fair. They have extracted several concessions from the government, yet they oppose it tooth and nail — much to the bewilderment of the people who have a lot of sympathy for their line of thinking on subjects having negative bearing on the general public.

Actually the comrades have been caught in a situation from which they don’t know how to wriggle out. Their plight is like that of a snake who has caught a lizard which it can neither swallow nor let go.

Leaving aside their adamant attitude, they should see sense and should not pull the ladder from under the feet of the UPA. n



The other side of Rousseau

This refers to The other side of Rousseau by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, Sept 15). Rousseau (1712-78) had a difficult childhood, which led him to a life of a vagabond. Rousseau expressed certain truths that we take for granted. Confessions is full of candour about his difficult childhood. In 1741, he settled in Paris and for the next 15 years kept teaching music. He became friendly with Denis Diderot, a prolific writer and philosopher and chief editor of the Encyclopedie. In 1755, he published On the Origin of Inequality, which proved to be extremely popular. Then came Eloise (1761), Emile (1762) and The Social Contract (1762).

He was now lionised by the British society and formed a close friendship with David Hume and Boswell. In essence, Rousseau argued that ‘natural man’ is happy and good, and that society tends to deprave him. These ideas represented his revolt against the indifference to human misery at the hands of the feudal aristocrats.

These were the expression of the rights of all men: “No citizen should be rich enough to buy another and none so poor that he is obliged to sell himself,” he said. It was one of the declarations of the Social Contract. He declared: “Man was born free and everywhere he is in chains”. In Emile, he wrote: “Everything is good when it leaves the Creator’s hand; everything degenerates in the hands of man”.

He influenced the literature of Germany, France and England. “In Voltaire,” said Goethe, “we see the end of a world; in Rousseau, the beginning of a new one”.




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