Monday, May 28, 2012

People you did not interview yesterday, Aamir

I do not belong to the vote bank you might be targeting to amass if and when you finally step into politics. I might not even belong to the elite bunch of gurgling living room activists who are congratulating you for putting up a wonderful show yesterday. And I definitely do not belong to the class that deserves any sympathy from you.

I am housewife. I am the wife of a doctor. I am the daughter of a hospital administrator. I am someone who has been treated in a government hospital which brought me back to life when all thought I would live no more (without pulling any ranks, just like any other person would be treated at the hospital....waiting for 3 hours before they even get to see a doctor). I am someone who lost her mother and father-in-law on account of illnesses. I am also someone who is scheduled for a surgery on the 8th of June in a government hospital in Delhi yet I will travel without fear to Mumbai tomorrow and comeback to Delhi just two days before the surgery because I trust my doctors. 

These are the kinds of people you didn't interview yesterday.

The people you didn't interview yesterday come from all parts of the world. Especially the third world countries. They come here. Pay a pittance. Get better and go back. Not for a cosmetic dental package but for life threatening diseases, bypass surgeries, organ transplants.

You didn't call those kids who drink and drive and when the speed demons take over, they meet with near fatal accidents. You didn't ask them how despite their limbs being strewn all over, they were brought to a government hospital at midnight where a dedicated team of doctors (who haven't slept in a long time) stitched them together with immaculate precision. They did not work for money, nor for a raise or a cut. They did it because the kids were young and had a whole life ahead. Nobody would have known if those doctors decided to label those severed limbs unfit to be attached back. But they didn't do that. You didn't ask those doctors why they opted for the tedious surgery instead of doing just the basics formal treatment.

An angry lady barges into an ICU because she has been told that her husband cannot be saved anymore. She is out of control and begins to kick the ventilators of other patients out of frustration. The few female nurses are administering procedures on serious patients so they cannot run to hold her immediately. A male doctors tries to stop her. He is accused of manhandling a lady who belongs to a minority community thus ruining his career. You didn't interview that doctor. Nor did the caregivers of other patients thank him for saving their ventilators. It was his bloody job they think. His job was to call for security, wait for a lady technician and the authorities to take care of it but he intervened for the betterment of others on life support.

You didn't interview private hospital administrators in small towns who are faced with patients who come into their rooms and keep their only piece of jewellery on the table and say "this is all I have got, please save my child". The administrators return the jewellery and excuse them from all hospital fees/consultant charges. These patients come in scores and hundreds. How does the hospital run?? On love and fresh air?

When the world and the patient himself have given up on the disease, a doctor suggests a new treatment which is still in testing stage. You did not interview those running the researches or those performing the thankless operations (either way they get blamed for clinical trials or deaths).

There is a man I know who is a super duper specialist. He came back from the US. Remained unemployed for a couple of months and when he found the job to his liking, he took it. He is a happy doctor saving many many infants & children today. You didn't ask him why he decided to come back and stay on if 'asking for cuts' was such a general practice.

You didn't talk to the doctor who performs Lap appendicectomy in LNJP in the middle of the night. This surgery is free. You did not call a single patient who is getting free medicines. Somethings as expensive as Chemotherapy drugs are free at some govt. hospitals. AIIMS dishes out free medicines worth 800 crore rupees annually. Drugs for HIV are free. Rajasthan govt. is doing a fabulous job but ask anybody in power if they want a 'supply medicine' or a 'local purchase'....the bills will prove what they prefer.

You didn't call the doctors working in PHCs at district levels to ask what their side of the story was. Forming an NGO is not a yardstick of being a good doctor. NGOs work for commercial gains too.You never mentioned all the good work AIIMS, LNJP, Safdarjang, LHMC, TMH, Cooper, KEM etc are doing. And this is just Delhi & Mumbai.

You didn't ask all those people who keep studying to become specialists till the age of 35 and begin taking their first steps of career after that. Whereas their classmates who took up management or IT jobs are already vice-presidents of their companies by then.You did not ask them why they still work for a paltry sum at a government hospital. You only ask them why they charge a premium on their services in a private hospital. You raise your finger at them when they demand their dues. I do not see you asking why a Mac is more expensive than an Acer or why a BMW is more expensive than a Maruti? It is because of what has gone into making that quality product!!!!

You did not interview people who remain sane & humane amidst death, despair, allegations, cursing and yet manage to infuse hope in patients and their families.

Yes Aamir you did not interview many many people before you presented your biased, lopsided and TRP driven episode IV of Satyameva Jayate on Medical Malpractices in India. You did not ask why they are compelled to do malpractices. Is it intentional or is it that they have to pay hafta to the local goons, politicians etc? You did not mind those ads which insist people to keep getting investigations after investigations done even when they don't need them. Availability of investigations under brand names such as executive health check, master health check, senior citizen check etc....are they not trending towards making sure that evidence based medicine take over clinical findings? And the lawsuits???

And you sure enough, did not interview families and friends of doctors, nurses, technicians and all those who are on call 24*7 (do you even know what being on call 24*7 for your whole life means? even on vacations anybody and everybody feels it is their birthright to make a doctor help them if there is a medical emergency). Every wife wants to be priority 1 in her husband's life. But when a doctor tells his would be wife before marriage "you are priority number 2, my first priority will always be my patients", she still happily marries him. Why? Because she knows he is right not because he might or might not make tons of money.

Is this what you imagine when you talk of medical practices?
These are the people you generalized yesterday Amir. You glorified a few doctors in a few states but made doctors in general look like devils. Goodness of individual doctors and other medical staff doing their best in salaried jobs is the side of the story you never presented. You could not find one person who wanted to say, "You know I thought we had no hope but these doctors saved me"?? I find that hard to believe.

Thank God for the IPL final, else we would have been more upset than we already are right now. Shah Rukh and his team came to your rescue from all the bad vibes we never got to send you. Do not forget to thank him in one of your episodes...bahh!

(No I am not an SRK fan, I am an Amir fan who is hurt because he was loved and respected so much before this episode was aired).


  1. I don't watch TV. So have not watched this particular show. But I am aware of the hype it had already made.

    I completely agree with your feelings and sentiments. To present everything in black is a TRP business, nothing beyond that. In every profession, in every walk of life there are good, bad and ugly people. The world survives because there are good people too. I have once been operated in Government hospital - so know what kind of workload is there.

    I am sure there will be many more who will agree with your sentiments.

    Never mind TV shows! Real Life is much more complex than what they show on TV!!

  2. Hi, I know I have just rambled on but I was upset that he was so biased. I will never trust that TV show anymore. He is as TRP hungry as anyone else. Others have naked ambition, he has guised it under the cloak of philanthropy. Thanks Savita for reading it so patiently and commenting so sanely :)

  3. I too did not see the episode but seems like it presented a very biased view. Your post confirms that.

    I too know of medicos personally, who I can and do trust with my life and the life of my near-ones.

    In today's day and age there are all kinds of people - but to label all as bad and generalize is not correct! We are living in tough times and should appreciate all the good that's happening around us!

  4. There are money minded medical sharks...I don't deny that but majority are nice hardworking people. Yesterday's episode outrightly degraded the whole medical system by bringing forth a fraudulant few but not talking about the rest who work under strenous conditions yet give their best. He glorified a couple of doctors but left a residual 'doctors are pricks' take home message by generalising the malign.

  5. Very well written post. I agree with your views.

    Television programmes such as Aamir's very often show only one side of the issue. And also deal far too much in generalisations.

  6. I don't know why but I expected at least him to be different than the rest of the media. I seriously don't deny the bad apples but to pick one from the basket to appreciate and say....the rest of those apples are bad. It hurt a lot.

  7. He is as TRP hungry as anyone else. Others have naked ambition, he has guised it under the cloak of philanthropy.>>>

    Absolutely correct ! Even from first episode he is doing the same. He is just talking about one side of the coin and that also the ugly side only. I don't know how people can go so crazy behind this show? Very well written post!

  8. Wow... Bang on !!

    I had the same flow of thoughts, while I was watching this episode. I have experienced few of the things which you have mentioned in this post, when my father was hospitalized..

    Thanks for these words..Sharing the post :) :)

  9. vandu ,

    i missed this episode and maybe it is a good thing...from all that i have was a very biased show and i for one have looked up at needless to say,i am disappointed ..very..was hoping he was not trp driven...

  10. @Vishal, I thought he meant well but now when I see him shedding tears even before people have told their story then I am left thinking either he is a mind reader or he just has a bad video editor. I always respected him, that is why I was hurt.

    @Suhas, Do feel free to share the post. Just like his show, in Aamir's own words, "this is not aimed at maligning anyone but bringing out the truth". That is what this post wants to do. SHow his the other side of the truth he so easily ignored.

    @Sandy, yes he was the last person I expected this from. I used to look up to him...all starry eyed and never judged him for anything he did. All that Aamir did was always 'the rihht thing to do' for me. But this time he messed it up. Messed it bigtime and I am so angry with him!!

  11. Very well said Vandana... First time when I saw a show, I was totally confused. I was not able to react....I thought, I am wrong...But after watching last episode, at least for me I am correct. It's all about a TRP, Money n Publicity.

    Thanks for a Such nice post.

  12. Hello Mam, I do not totally agree with your views either you are SRK fan or you have not seen the bad face of the doctor. The purpose of this program is awareness and Janajagruti and not to discuss what is good or what is bad. The main motive what all bad things we can cure from the country. This is not to prove who is good and who is bad. This is all about how we can fight against the bad things and cure them.

    Yes emotions are there but everyone need to watch this episode with brains. Do not make any conclusions emotionally (jaise SRK kee films dekhate samay brain/dimakh nahi lagata only emotions are sufficient) but to watch this episode you will need more brain, thinking power.

    Open your eyes Madam and see you will realize. And for that you have to see what is life and struggle.

  13. Yes Yogesh. I didn't want to believe it but I finally said 'you too' after I saw the last episode.

  14. right di...very well written blog, he's nt showing the other side of coin.

  15. Though I don't watch this show, the moment I heard about what type of show it is I knew there will be arguments about TRP, money, actual motives behind it etc.

    First things first, no one made this show on No profit no loss basis. It IS purely to make profit along with bit of help to social causes. And aamir is no saint, he is a professional who takes his job very seriously (by that I mean the way he does marketing of his projects). So if we are expecting him to behave like a social worker or saint, our whole perception is wrong.

    What I have heard from people, the show is like showing a side of coin. It tries to generate awareness about the issues that are all around us. That does not mean it says there is no good side to it. As you have already said there are lot of good people in medical profession but then there are some bad ones as well. He is just making people aware that beware of them.

    He took issues like dowry (that doesn't mean every dulha takes it. Or no one tries to stop this?) or child sex abuse (does that mean it really happens with every kid? Or no one is good enough to help them?) etc. sorry if I am missing any. Surprisingly such post defending those good people didn't arrive that time!

    I am not blaming you for writing only when it came to point where it concerns you, neither I will blame aamir for taking up an issue and showing a dark side of it. You can surely blame the guy for not showing what is correct as per you. But speculating what he is trying to achieve by this show (when you finally step into politics!!! so you 100% know this already?) and blaming him on this show's basis is certainly wrong.

    I have 3 doctors in my family and I know there are lot of good doctors around. We all believe in them for our lives. But at the same time there are hospitals (from Pune as well) which are paying big commissions for giving them patients!

    So, don't get so much hurt by an episode of a commercial program. No one is going to hate or suspect every doctor around just because of one show.

    It's just another commercial program, treat it that way only. Ignore if you don't find it interesting (just as I do. :) )

  16. @ Anonymous, no I am not an SRK fan. Thank you for writing in to express your views. The purpose of any program is the residual image it leaves. To me this episode did not come across as well represented on both sides just like their research on the testimonials seemed half baked. It is a personal view and I am simply pointing out the kinds of people he did not interview, not denying the malpractices that are prevalent otherwise. In fact it has hurt a lot of people because they like Aamir (not because they are SRK fans) and never expected this from him. I have had my shares of wrong diagnosis leading me to the 3rd stage of cancer. So it is best we do not talk about life, its struggles and who carries a bigger sac on their back (we all have our shares of sorrows and joys).

    @Neeta, yes this is just another side of the medical profession that got maligned so badly this Sunday.

    @Rajesh, Yes I understand this is just a TV show :) And I did write about dowry too. It just so happened that somehow (I have no clue how) this post got a lot more hits and a lot of people seem to have caught onto the wrong side of what i had to say :). Of course there are malpractices. No one denies that. It is just that it left a bad residual taste of 'doctors are prick' discussions on every dining table and portal. I got hurt. Put up a post on my blog (for which I neither charge nor pay anyone to read :).

  17. Totally agree with you. My boyfriend is a doctor and he works his ass off day and night. there are nights where he has left and I have seen what difficulty he has gone through and there are patients who he will spend two hours with and councel and take care of and etc and they will shout at him for asking for 200rs fees. WTF? this country doesn't respect doctors, it doesn't deserve good doctors. All the intelligent doctors leave the country, there are a few left who still care but they will also stop doing it and leave where they are given respect and their money's worth. My doc is a toxicologist but people still expect him to charge nothing. this is the country that shpuld have ALSO been showcased. I've lost respect for Amir.

  18. Dear Kofykat, falling in love with a doctor is a tough task. I don't expect the normal people to understand what the doctors go through but a show of SMJ's stature on many national channels should have been better researched. in fact when hubby comes home he is so tired of listening to other people's woes that he requests for some silence and no discussion of work at home. No doctor wants to be treated like a God but to make them look like evil bloodsucking devils....not done at all. All the best dear kofykat :) am so glad your boyfriend got an understanding girlfriend like is not easy for them to get compatible and understanding partner keeping in mind their nature of work.


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