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Monday, April 12, 2021

Five issues that are more burning than the Bachchans’ Covid-positive status

It is no surprise that the news of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek tested positive for Covid-19 had a big part of our dailies’ front pages covered. Later in the day, the media outlets started flashing that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and baby Aaradhya have tested positive for the virus as well.

Oh Lord my God!

Soon after the news broke on Saturday night, while celebs flooded the social media outlets with prayers and “Get well soon” messages for one of the most powerful families of B-Town, common people across the country held special prayers, and even various holy rituals for the welfare of the Bachchans. As per a report by Hindustan Times, puja, hom havan, dua, Mahamrityunjay jaap and several other unique religious activities were performed for the almighty to shower his/her blessings on the Bollywood’s Shahenshah and his family.

Just a thought…

It is only a humane and generous act indeed to pray for those affected by Covid-19 or any such misery. This is called “expressing solidarity”. Any sane and kind person on earth will appreciate this gesture. But have you thought for a minute that the on-screen legends or film superstars you are praying for will receive the best medical treatment available on this land, while people like us will scurry for our lives and beg for government help if we get infected.

It’s even smoother than a cakewalk for the Bachchans or any other renowned personalities of that stature to get bed facilities at Mumbai’s “best private super-specialty hospital” (as Nanavati Hospital’s website reads), but an 18-year-old boy in 2,054km away in Bengal wasn’t this lucky. The boy’s parents moved to at least three hospitals to get their only son, a Covid-19 patient, admitted. But ultimately the boy died without any medical care as none of the hospitals agreed to admit him, showing “no bed available” excuse.

Now, we will highlight 5 key issues that require bigger attention and care than the B-Town legends tested Covid-19 positive.

This article is not to spread hatred, but an attempt to encourage people to do a comparative analysis in the present situation. It is an attempt to make you think carefully do really All Lives Matter?

1. Boy dies without treatment in Bengal

According to a report, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee called MP Jaya Bachchan to enquire about Big B and his son’s health on Sunday. But the very chief minister is yet to give a single official statement on the death of Shubrajit Chatterjee, 18, a suburban resident who died just less than 24 hours ago without treatment as three hospitals (both government and private) in Bengal refused to admit him. The boy’s parents had a harrowing time for more than 24 hours first while looking for a bed to have their son’s treatment started and then to get Subhrajit’s dead body released owing to “protocols” from a government hospital where he died. Nothing could budge the authorities running the system. The boy’s middle-class parents claimed that a government hospital left Subhrajit unattended for over four hours without oxygen or even basic medical care. To know more, click here. What an irony that the Bengal CM who failed to prevent an 18-year-old’s death in her own territory, expressed concerns over the Bachchans’ health. Is Subhrajit’s middle-class status responsible for his poor fate?

2. UP ‘godman’ gives ‘Covid medicine’ to kids, sodomizes them

Now this is another bigger issue, we think, that needs to be highlighted than Bollywood actress Rekha’s residence being sealed after security guard was found Covid-19 positive. But how many of you know this incident? Maybe only a handful of conscious citizens.

For years, a self-proclaimed godman in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzzaffarnagar has been drugging children, forcing them to drink alcohol, watch porns before sexually abusing them at his ashram. Lately, he started making the kids drink alcohol calling it “coronavirus medicine”. The kids, mostly aged between nine to 16, were beaten up if they refused to do what the godman had ordered. Only after a whistleblower raised an alarm, 10 kids were rescued early this week. And their medical reports confirmed the sexual abuse aspect. To know more, click here. But are we talking about this issue? No, because after we get an update about the Bachchans, we get too busy knowing how Anupam Kher’s family got Covid-19 positive.

3. Health of jailed veteran intellectuals risk

The lives of several veteran intellectuals and activists are in danger as they are lodged in various jails across the country. Their fault? These poets, public speakers, professors, authors or critics tried to express their free opinion and question certain plans and policies of the Centre. The lives of Varavara Rao, G.N. Saibaba, Shoma Sen and several other such intellectuals are facing life threats in overcrowded prisons amid this pandemic crisis. Close to 100 global intellectuals, as well as Indian academicians,┬áhave appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind and Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde to release these intellectuals who had been arrested in “fabricated cases”. But nothing has been done yet to ensure the activists’ release. To know more, click here.

the Bachchans
Varavara Rao in police custody. Photo: Twitter

4. Still flat economy a headache for many

As the nation started reopening with “unlocking measures”, it gave a definite boost to the battered Indian economy owing to one of the strongest and lengthy lockdowns of the world. But as daily Covid-19 cases began to cross 22,000 or 25,000 mark, several states went back to the old formula and re-imposed partial or full lockdown, causing further damage to the economy. But with nationwide 8.7 lakh cases, there were not many choices either to curb the virus’s spread. Pay cuts, lay off and job offer withdrawals continue to plague many sectors, especially auto hubs, IT, airlines, travel and many more. Majority of people like small traders, farmers, migrant laborers those who actually run the economy face anxiety and uncertainty over their job and income prospects. The Centre’s assurance to mitigate their problems fails to assuage their pains. To know more, click here.

5. Black marketing of essential Covid-19 drugs

This is another example of NOT All Lives Matter. There is a massive shortage of two life-saving drugs of Covid-19, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, in government and private hospital channels. Since widespread black markets have flourished in this crisis moment, only those who can afford to spend a huge sum of cash can attempt to beat the virus and survive. The drugs are priced at anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 or more depending on their quantity and other such factors. The Centre is yet to stop the black marketing of essential Covid-19 drugs. To know more, click here.

Apart from these five burning issues, we have massive floods in the Northeast India in which already 10 people have died and millions displaced, thousands of people still awaiting government help after 45 days of cyclone Amphan in Bengal and various other issues far more important than what is actually being discussed. Hence, we repeat the very important question: Do All Lives Matter?


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