Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rama don't preach

The health minister wants you to be healthy, wealthy and wise. According to the latest Alcohol Atlas he released on Tuesday, urban Indians spend as much as 32 per cent of their income on boozing. The figure for rural India is about 24 per cent. Alcohol is anyway related to so many diseases, so a life minus alcohol will be healthy. Alcohol also affects your brain and affects the parts of brain which act as memory cards. So if you don’t drink, you may end up wiser. So Ramadoss wants to save your wealth, health and wisdom.

What he won’t save you from is the man himself. The doctor from Tamil Nadu is on a mission to drive us crazy. When large parts of rural India do not have access to a basic health centre, he has been fighting imaginary evils like smoking in films, an IPL team named after a whisky brand, junk food and the administrators of AIIMS.
At this point in time, half of India cannot afford dal-rice thanks to prices hitting the roof. But guess what occupies the minister’s mind? A minuscule number of rich Indian kids having a burger or two after school. We have had unhygienic junk food like samosas and kachoris at roadside stalls where house flies are often part of the filling. All deep fried in same adulterated oil in the same kadhai for days on end. The chef and the servers all dressed in white ganjis untouched by detergent powder till they melt into their skin. But that’s the junk food that the poor in India have and Ramadoss doesn’t bother about it. It doesn’t get him the kind of publicity that attacking a Shah Rukh Khan does.

What gets his goat is filmi protagonists drinking on screen. He gave another self-righteous lecture to Bollywood on Tuesday while sipping water from a mineral water bottle. He also lectured people about the ill-effects of liquor. It’s a different matter that the likes of the Righteous Ramadoss have failed to provide clean drinking water to majority of people in the last 60 years.

Gandhiji lectured us about ill-effects of alcohol but Ramadoss is no Gandhi. Gandhi lived by what he preached. Gandhi did not play one caste against another. Gandhi did not lead the five-star life Ramadoss lives. Gandhi did not have double-standards like the joke called excise department.

If alcohol is bad, why not ban it? Why should the government make money out of selling alcohol and then its ministers lecture us about the ill-effects of drinking. Babus make profit from selling booze and then also get cuts in producing films and other propaganda denouncing alcohol as the root of all evil.

Ramadoss wants all surrogate advertising banned. What about the surrogate prostitution of policies, dear health minister? Since you have the messianic zeal to fight the evil spirit, stand up in the next Cabinet meeting and demand a complete ban on spirits, cigarettes, smoking and drinking in films, filmstars eating junk food etc etc. And just watch the reaction of your Cabinet colleagues. If you can’t do that, don’t play a joker. Please.

1 comment:

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

kudos! for the good posts abt 'Thakre's' and our union health minister. Hypocrisy and doubletalk has become such an integral part of politicians that no one doesn't even bother to notice it anymore. Keep up the good work.