Spend money on winners, not on superficial glitter
Barkha Dutt in The CWG looking glass (Third Eye, October 16) is right in stating that the Commonwealth Games tells an interesting story of changing India. Our high GDP rate co-exists with our shockingly low human development index. Though the Games remind us that we, along with others, were under the British, we have not learnt any lesson from that brutal rule. Even today, we are mistreating our destitute people by packing them off to makeshift arrangements, trying to hide the real India. Most of the medals came from rural India and we need to encourage potential champions from villages rather than flaunting glitzy cities.
G.K. Arora, Delhi
I agree with Barkha Dutt that the Commonwealth Games is an anachronism. Indians are not opposed to world-class sporting competition but please spare us the colonial structure after six decades of Independence. Dutt correctly points out that the best moment in the opening ceremony was when Prince Charles looked up to the sky, only to find the Gandhi march unfold on the helium balloon, with the strains of Vaishnava janato... playing in the background.
P. Pradeep, via email
Doctor, we’re in trouble
Namita Bhandare in The doctor’s not in anymore (Another Day, October 16) has made pertinent observations about the medical profession today. I have been a general practitioner since 1979. Gone are the days when medicine was considered a noble profession. Now, doctors are interested in extracting the maximum financial value from a patient. A family doctor, once a part of family, is now ignored, thanks to the growth of speciality hospitals.
S.K. Anand, via email
Bhandare’s analysis is not very realistic. All metros and other cities still have functioning general physicians (GPs), the mainstay of the healthcare delivery system. No doubt the neo-rich are obsessed with specialists, but the vast majority still relies on GPs to provide comprehensive care for the entire family. Medical technology may progress but people’s trust in their able GP will not decline.
Naresh Chawla, Delhi
The family doctor used to be like a counsellor who knew the patient intimately. Today there is an invisible barrier between the doctor and the patient where the latter is only a customer. Creating more specialists have made us dependent on tests and prescriptions. The old-fashioned diagnostic skills are rarely found in doctors.
H.N. Ramakrishna, Michigan
Unsettling our foundations
In her article People not like us (October 20), Lalita Panicker has rightly pointed out that the time has come to move beyond our hypocrisy and artificial standards. We need to stop using workers and vendors like use and throw items. They do a thankless job and serve as the foundation of our lives and we should treat them in a dignified manner. Including them in the social security net of housing can go a long way. We need to decide whether we are a ‘one show country’ or a ‘real socialist democratic power’.
Poornima Narang, via email
Lalita Panicker’s article is a far cry from the business of begging and beggars in this country. Every beggar is not needy and it is the syndicate controlling the beggars who are the real beneficiaries, not people begging at red lights, dargahs or street corners. During festivals, more people are engaged to beg to make the trade lucrative. If we identify the needy and the agencies who collect the money, then we can expose the whole business of begging.
Manoj Job, via email