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Promote vasectomy

The editorial “Shocking medical neglect” (November 13) rightly champions the cause of women who have to undergo the burden of sterilisation in India just because men are afraid of vasectomy which is much safer and less traumatic. The last line of the editorial “…promoting contraceptives on a war footing”, however, is not the answer to the population problem. Temporary contraceptive measures are subject to the whims and fancies of the users and do not provide a lasting solution. We need to motivate men to come forward voluntarily in greater numbers to undergo vasectomy through effective health education. Necessary medical facilities for safe sterilisation need to be created to drive away the fear psychosis which commonly accompanies such surgery.

We also need to actively and aggressively bring about a complete change in our social mindset towards the girl child. Raising the self-esteem of women will help to curb female foeticide and limit the size of families which are often driven by the overpowering urge for a male "heir".

Dr Lalit Kapur, Beas

Target drug mafia

The state-run sterilisation camp which claimed the lives of 13 women and left nearly 69 others ill is indeed tragic. No amount of rusted instruments or improper sterilisation of instruments can kill patients in less than four hours of operative procedure and that too so many patients simultaneously. Only drug reactions, anaphylaxis, substandard drug infusions or intake of poisonous medicines can cause such a large-scale mortality and morbidity in such a short time. That is why only to blame the surgeon and his team is not correct. It exposes the failure of the government to take action against the corrupt mafia for purchasing and supplying substandard and dangerous medicines. Those in government service know that such camps are very frequent and state awards are given to the doctors performing the best during the camps. Every time some tragedy happens, it has become a routine to blame doctors as they are soft targets and administration fears acting against the powerful people involved in corrupt practices. I hope fair probe and investigations by the AIIMS team will expose the real cause of the tragedy.

Dr. Vitull K. Gupta, Bathinda

Hospitals hellish

Apropos the editorial “Shocking medical neglect” (November 13), our government hospitals seem to be worse than hell. One is as scared of them as a police station. They have become merely centres of post-mortem (sometimes that too by greasing palms), MLRs (medico-legal reports in case of quarrels), referrals and completion of official formalities for medical claims. Many doctors have got degrees from private medical colleges by paying hefty donations or they got admission in government medical colleges by adopting ill means. How can they be supposed to treat the patients perfectly? It's like handing over a patient to a hangman. Toilets are so stinky that they seem to dare us to enter. If a poor man gets a serious ailment, which otherwise is treatable and curable, he is sure to die which is a cruelty to humanity and a crime for which the state should be prosecuted.

Vijay Gupta, Jind

Nehru’s blemishes

While praising Nehru in “Nehru and his place in history” (November 13), Inder Malhotra betrays his Congress stance by hiding Nehru's many a blemish such as raising his daughter Indira to the post of Congress president and his buddy VK Krishnamenon as defence minister who indulged in politics in defence matters. Nehru also connived at the installing of untested Lt-Gen Kaul as a theatre commander in 1962 at NEFA, resulting in the Indian debacle there. Malhotra is on record elsewhere to have covered Nehru from his beginning as a journalist. So, he seems to be overawed by Nehru's glow.

Nehru was not alone to have worked for India. Patel worked for 16 hours a day against heaviest odds to unite 565 princely states into India as the largest democracy of the world. Patel also helped Gandhi to grow from hibernation since 1921 after his failure to continue the freedom movement because of killings in Bihar. In 1924, while opposing the Simon Commission, Lala Lajpat Rai was hit by police lathis and later killed in hospital. Lokmanya Tilak had died in 1920 after he had firmly laid the foundation of the Indian freedom movement. He had been convicted of sedition twice and once jailed to Kalapani.

The deterioration in our democratic institutions came under Indira's rule while she imposed the Emergency and coerced industrialists to donate money for the Congress. Dr Ambedkar built the Constitution, the mainstay of our democratic system. Patel had told Nehru to let go Kashmir as per the will of the people and not prolong the agony under Article 370. The Article will remain a blemish on the pages where Nehru's role is engraved.

Subhash Baru, Jammu Tawi

Praise unimpressive

Inder Malhotra’s advocacy of Jawaharlal Nehru in the article “Nehru and his place in history” (November 13) looks superficial and unimpressive. Mere adjectives like “second greatest Indian, next only to the Mahatma”and “a moderniser” will not impress the modern generation born after 1964, i.e. after Nehru's death. While there are substantial achievements in the kitty of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, there is nothing matching in Nehru's favour except that he was a charismatic leader of great oratorial skills with a poetic touch and he had good connections with leaders of some western nations. It is believed that he became the Prime Minister of independent India because the British supported him. Otherwise, Patel was more acceptable to the Indian masses.

And regards Nehru's failures, China is not his "worst" error alone, as the writer has mentioned. The Kashmir problem, which exists to date, is because of Nehru's intervention at that point of time. History overtly and covertly attributes this problem to him. This issue has now become an international matter.

Er L R Sharma, Sundernagar


Rohit's records

It was a proud moment when India won the 4th ODI match, beating Sri Lanka. Congratulations to captain Virat Kohli and his team, especially Man of the Match Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma made two world records: 1. Highest runs in ODI (264 runs). 2. The only player to twice hit a double century an ODI. Now, who will break this record?

Gagan Ranu, via email

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com 



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