Thursday, October 20, 2011

How informed are you?

What you are about to read is not an original article, for it is an agglomeration of media extracts of the health prognosis and treatment of two of our political leaders - former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

High blood pressure and sugar levels, severe body pain and stress are just some of the ailments jailed former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was suffering from. If ever there was an incident to exemplify that this was the age of information, it was the ignominious turn of events leading to the arrest of this person. The charade that followed when he went missing and was forced to show up only when a court decided to issue a non-bailable warrant against him could have inspired a score of satire writers.  
He was remanded in judicial custody, when he mysteriously developed chest pain, and was expeditiously shifted to the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. Doctors vied with one another to give sound bytes to the media on his ailments, medication, duration of treatment and road to recovery. Suddenly, he was shifted to the Victoria Hospital, when his entourage of vehicles was tailed by TV channels, giving ‘breaking news’ updates on his health. He later beat a hasty retreat to jail, after ‘adverse’ media coverage on the sham that was his treatment pricked his conscience. Hail the age of information and fearless coverage. In fact, if ever knowledge on the ailments the BJP neta from Shikaripur was suffering from was made the basis for literacy, then Karnataka could have been safely declared as 100 per cent literate!
Contrast this with a similar event that occurred at the national level. AICC president Sonia Gandhi was said to be suffering from an unspecified cancer, for which she had been reportedly receiving treatment for approximately eight months. It was not clear where she would receive medical treatment but a senior IAS official was eventually said to have arranged for a top American doctor to perform the surgery on Madame G. A family source was quoted as saying that she was indeed in a serious condition. The hospital where Sonia actually underwent treatment divulged no information as to whether she was a patient of theirs at all. It was later learnt that her surgery was successful, and that she was recuperating in the ICU. It was also revealed that the Congress supremo would be confined to bed for an unspecified period of time, while sources add that the cure Gandhi underwent may be only a temporary cure. 

Age of information, huh?