Should we not try to redress a Gravewrong the way we admire Greatbong?August 5, 2006
It has been more than a year since I started blogging and I can say without any hesitation that http://www.greatbong.net is my favorite blogger(read writer)Whatever be the issue, he never ceases to amuse and amaze with his inimitable style and dexterity with words. His post, “A letter from Andaman Cellular”(http://www.greatbong.net/2006/01/26/a-letter-from-andaman-cellular-jail/) is the best post I have come across so far.
Recently somebody told me that in India, only Khushwant Singh has been able to make a full time living as a writer which also corroborates the views of Shashi Tharoor, India’s representative at the United nations and an eminent novelist who stated frankly that “The full time writer is a rare breed anywhere”.
Hope Greatbong breaks the commercial blogging barrier in India if it ever happens. As far as I am concerned, like his recent post ,”Ek se bad kar do, do se bad kar teen”(http://greatbong.net/2006/08/01/ek-se-bhale-do-do-se-bhale-teen/) , his posts too are “Ek se bad kar ek” and I am an unabashed fan of his.
Though I cannot be amusing like him, there are certain hard facts that I find far from amusing. Recently, there was this case of the wrong leg being amputated in Rajasthan. The concerned doctor was rightfully rebuked by both the public and the media. The issue, however is whether you and me, the common man always gets such justice with any degree of consistency?
My father, while taking his mother to the hospital was advised rest and a checkup was forced on him because he looked emaciated. The bloodpressure did appear less than normal but he was advised to stay in the hospital for the night and a temporary packemaker was inserted in his body. Later, a permanant pacemaker was put in its place next morning. This entailed a lot of cost and till today, he is not sure whether or not this was required.
I myself sufffered from slipdisc five years back. I was advised surgery but since spine surgery is dicey, we thought better to take more than one opinion. All the three doctors adivsed surgery but two of them proactively asked me whether or not I had a medical insurance. The manner in which the question was mooted reeked of something amiss and what hurt more was that one of the doctors was known to me from before. However, I found a remedy in alternative medicine when some person in Sona near Delhi cured the slip disc without charging anything. He is kind of accupressurist who does this seva from 5 am to 11pm and I have seen all kinds of patients from Arthritis to severe paralytics there. He has cured five more people known to me and the very fact that he gets 500 people on Sundays is a testimony of his efficacy. I wonder at the plight of other patients who may not have been so lucky. Should not the mainstream media or blogging for that matter highlight such people and issues? Vipasana meditation cured my 15 year old insomnia problem forever which no doctor could and here too I payed through my nose to the doctors without acheiving a damn thing and the meditation cured the problem free of cost as that too is a voluntary service.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon to come across “professional doctors” who can really fleece. One of my friends told me once how his father’s friend, an opthalmologist had tried to cheat him. Another friend told me about how his father who was on his deathbed was overcharged for so many things in the hospital. A Delhi hospital has a notorious reputation as a business hospital and hearing about how some doctors seem to work in collusion with testing labs hardly raises eyebrows anymore. I once also heard about a commercial paediatrician of all things. Even children have started being treated like commodities. How can a common “banda”(man) cope with such obnoxious, self serving “dhandha”(business in the guise of profession)? If I may add, since justice is delayed and andha(blind), to stop all this who can weild a danda(stick)?
One hears of some lawyers as a “remedy being worse than the disease” because of continuing to delay cases and some chartered accountants working in collusion with tax officials to the detriment of the clients. One can go on and on but what can an individual do in such a situation? Isn’t he totally helpless? The mainstream media cannot reach everywhere and a Jesicca Lall happens only once in a while and that too when things go out of control.
Blogging now is a potent symbol of the information revolution and mass communication and quite a powerful tool in the hands of the individual. Unfortunately in “Individual v/s Institution” the optimal results are achieved only by the “Unity is Strength” syndrome just the way some people fight property issues against a builder collectively. Can something like the bloggerscombine which was formed recently to combat the bloggersblock or something similar be used for such purposes? This could be in collusion with the mainstream media at times but should be done with great care since somebody’s reputation is at stake. This may seem far fetched currently just the way everybody laughed when CNN introduced the 24 hour channel first. Who knows how a medium may evolve in the future?
Its not for nothing that the chinese governement is scared of blogging and our legal system being what it is, “Why not actively use blogging as the alternatives are tantamount to slogging” or to put it in a lighter vein and borrowing a tune from yesteryear’s fillm:-
Ding-a Dong, oh baby sing a song
If you like, read Greatbong
If you can,also redress a wrong
The individual has always drifted like ping-pong.
Blogging, if used effectively can make him King-kong
Since With blogging, we can throng( collectively)
Justice can be swift, why take long?
Considering its potential, if not used effectively, blogging shall be confined to entertainment or intellectual masturbation. I take this occasion to float my third blog- for those interested, it is “Cust-se-mar- Customer” . (http://custsemar.wordpress.com/)
(After writing this post, the best Tennis player in the local club told me how despite the approval by the Tennis Academy, the powers that be in the club continue to indulge in politics and refuse to install lights at night to enable children to practice since in the morning they would get fatigued and not attend school properly.Why should my son’s future as a Tennis player be affected by all this and who wants to go to the long drawn procedures of the courts for all this? How is this different from Jesica lall’s murder- you are murdering somebody’s future.
Since the Tenant members are treated as second class citizens( this in Delhi, the capital of India), my father had to fight twice through the court to get his membership restored and I too got it after a long time. One really wishes there was a more practical and faster system for the indvidual. Panchayti Raj should highlight local issues- whether urban or rural and the mainstream media is also looking for stories- it could be a win-win situation for both- individual bloggers and the media- you scratch my back and I scratch yours but not in a derogatory sense)