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The good, the bad and the ugly

There would be innumerable examples from literature where authors revealed on purpose or otherwise, their own personality traits through the characters they created in fiction. Evidently, V.S. Naipaul successfully hid the ugly face of the good Sir Vidia in his writings. (Spectrum, July 18).

However, a biographer as accomplished as Patrick French would seldom fail to expose both the good and the ugly, as he earlier did in the biography of Sir Francis Younghusband (1994).

I believe that one of the ugliest failings of the Nobel Laureate exposed by Patrich French, according to a reviewer of his official biography Life Is, What It Is, is Naipaul’s brutal and impeachable treatment of his legally wedded wife. No matter how inadequate (personality and intellect-wise) Naipaul was made to feel by his peers and the dons at Oxford, there is little justification for taking recourse “to visiting prostitutes, as a daily habit”. And then boast about this to his wife, on purpose, to torment her, even during her last fatal illness.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Charming Chicago

Sudha Mahalingam has done a wonderful job in highlighting The City of Skylines(Spectrum, July 25). Chicago is synonymous with the ruthless cold wind from Lake Michigan. In the shadow of its magnificent skyline, which is at the edge of the lake, the city is a crucible of beautiful architecture, crime, corruption and blue music.

Chicago is incomplete without a reference to its night glory. “Chicago by night is a neon city...the trendy bars and night clubs come alive and the mood is festive, forming an electrifying nightscape that holds its own in the world”.


Doctors can’t be treated on a par with other professionals 

I endorse R.S. Pathania’s thesis in his article, Price of negligence: Time to sue deficient public servants (Sunday Oped, Aug 1). If public officials are found guilty of lapses, action must be taken against them strictly in accordance with the law.

However, doctors cannot be treated on a par with other professionals. The relationship between a doctor and a patient is sacred. Not surprisingly, a doctor is regarded as next to God. Doctors try their best to save a patient’s life. Yet, if they fail to save his/her life, they should not be punished. As their relationship with patients is based on trust, this will be in jeopardy if doctors are hauled up by the courts for negligence.

Unfortunately, the medical profession is passing through a bad phase. Some doctors, devoid of moral and ethical values, have turned the noble profession into a business. As a result, they have compromised their integrity and brought the doctors’ community into disrepute.

Of course, if private clinics are minting money today, it is because of the government’s failure to fully equip state-run hospitals with all facilities, outdoor and indoor, including doctors, paramedical staff, medicines, laboratories and ambulances.

Dr U.S. BANSAL, Former Chief Medical Officer,
Chandigarh UT Administration, Chandigarh 



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