Last action hero
Sir — When real life heroes fail to deliver the goods, get reel life ones to take over (“Brand Bachchan free for UP”, Oct 20). Clearly, the new dispensation in Uttar Pradesh seems to believe in this dictum. Or why would it bring in Amitabh Bachchan to try and mend matters in the state' Bachchan may have done many impossible tasks on screen. But turning UP around may prove to be a truly Herculean task, even for the ageing matinee idol. For, it is not merely an ailing economy or a moribund social infrastructure that is the problem in the state — it is a monumental political failure. The state is a hot bed of politics and has sent the most prime ministers to Parliament. For the last two decades, no government has been able to last its full term in the state. But none of its politicians have been able to redress its woes. That is because it is the politicians themselves who are the problem. This seems to be one problem even Bachchan can do nothing about.
Sudipto Kundu, Calcutta
Sir —The director of the West Bengal health department, Chittaranjan Maiti, has confessed to having very little faith in the “independent” probe committee set up to look into the death of Susmita Biswas (“Health boss casts doubts on probe”, Oct 20). Susmita died when a group D staffer removed her oxygen mask, under instructions from the doctors on duty at the emergency ward of the SSKM hospital. Maiti’s statement confirms the suspicion that the hospital authorities’ step to punish the erring doctors is only an eyewash. All the more so because the members of the team investigating this heinous crime are a senior physician in the hospital, the deputy superintendent of the hospital and its secretary — all doctors by profession. Will they not be more bothered about saving the skin of their colleagues instead of delivering an impartial judgement' The state government should immediately hand the case over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. This is the only way to ensure that the guilty are brought to justice as soon as possible.
Prabal Guha, Baltimore
Sir — The editorial, “Systemic evil”(Oct 20), holds a mirror to the serious lack of ethics pervading the medical profession in Calcutta. A non-resident Indian, I find glaring differences between the medical systems of the United States of America and India. Susmita Biswas’s death was the result of criminal negligence by the attending doctors at the SSKM hospital. In the US, this would be treated as a serious offence and the guilty given exemplary punishment. Sadly, that is not the way things work in India. Instead of despising everything the West stands for, medical authorities in India should try to inculcate the professionalism of the developed world to ensure that incidents such as these do not happen.
Kunal Saha, Columbus, US
Sir — Susmita Biswas’s death points to the decay that has set in among the medical profession in West Bengal (“Same script replayed, Susmita and after”, Oct 19). Such incidents of criminal negligence on the part of doctors are not rare. What is worse, the authorities do not realize how far the rot has set in the system. It is such ignorance that leads to the recurrence of such incidents.
Bibhuti Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — Lapses on the part of negligent doctors have claimed many innocent lives. One needs to analyse these lapses to prevent their reccuring. Why do these bright students, who take up this noble profession, end up as heartless criminals with little regard for human life' The under-equipped and ill-maintained medical laboratories and the terrible conditions of the hostels for medical students are part explanation for this metamorphosis. Part of an insensitive healthcare system, these students lose all feeling. Their attitude can change only when the ills of the medical system are removed
Mary Ann Dasgupta, Calcutta
Sir — Calcutta is a city where absolute opposites coexist. On one hand, we have Ajit Kumar Guha, a traffic policeman, who showed rare honesty by returning a wad of currency notes he had found. And then there is Susmita Biswas, who lost her life as a result of the gross negligence of the city’s medical fraternity. It is the collective responsibility of all Calcuttans to ensure that the city retains the good and eschews the bad.
Abu Sahabuddin, Calcutta
Sir — Bengalis once prided themselves on Calcutta and its bhadralok inhabitants. The hollowness of the pride has been brought out by a string of the recent events. The death of Susmita Biswas, the violation of Amitava Lala’s anti-rally order, and rising crime, clearly show how insensitive the city has become. Time has brought about a change in the character of Calcutta. It is no longer a “bhadro” city, as some of us would like to believe.
Abeer Chakravarty, Calcutta
Speak for yourself
Sir — In the report, “Punish Bose, say lawyers” (Oct 7), Uttam Majumdar has commented on Biman Bose’s criticism of Amitava Lala’s judgment. Though Majumdar is entitled to issue such a statement as an individual, he has no right to do so on behalf of the Bar Council of West Bengal. That is the sole prerogative of the council’s chairman and vice-chairman. Also, the report indentifies Majumdar as the executive chairman — but no such post exists in the Bar Council of West Bengal.
Balai Chatterjee, Calcutta