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Porn Ban in India : Open letter to Modi from his fan on politics of censorship

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Porn Ban India

Dear Mr PM,

I was one of those millions who supported you even before it became cool to do so. I am one of those who are still a vocal evangelist of your government to this day. I see a lot of the good that your government is doing, I see the effort you and your govt are taking in undoing some 50 years of decay, barring a few good 5 year runs we have had in the interim.

Off late though, I think you are losing me and that should cause you worry. I am not just one person, but I represent many millions of your urban, educated, vocal support base. Is it because of policy or governance failures? No. I think you are doing a stellar job there. It is solely because of you and your government giving into YOUR own vision of India.

When you came in, I thought that India would have a clean start, that we would wipe away any traces of the Lutyens clique that has dominated India since Indira. This included a a slow but steady dismantling of the censor regime that has been put up by the Congress over the years. While you have brilliantly bypassed the establishment when it comes to the MSM, you are only strengthening the retrograde and archaic dinosaurs of the Indira era which includes the censor board.

Why are a few so insecure that “Indian culture” will be wiped out because of insignificant things like porn? The culture that has not only withstood, but absorbed invaders from the dawn of history is now being threatened by 800 porn sites?

What business does the state even have in governing the personal lives of the citizens? Why should we be told that watching porn is bad? When you promised Minimum governance, maximum administration, I for one did not have this…nanny state in mind.

If the state is worried that children being exposed to porn is altering the social fabric, sanction studies, put it in the public realm and help parents do the parenting. Yes, India has a very skewed gender relation engagement, but you know sir, the problem is not porn, but next to no interaction between the genders. From school till college, across the formative years men and women are kept separate and THAT is the cause for many of our dysfunctional adult males who view women via a very parochial prism, not porn. This requires deep systemic change, one that I thought your government would bring about, banning porn is a very easy way out.

What then is the difference between Rajivji banning Satanic Verses because a minority of the Muslim community felt that this violated their rights and banning porn because a tiny tiny minority of the majority community felt that it violates THEIR concept of Indian Culture.

I have always been told that Indian culture tolerated differences, it celebrated them even, it was very open about natural things such as male and female interactions (as evidenced by our own temple walls), if anything our forefathers would be laughing at us trying to impose a Victorian era morality upon Indians and saying that this is Indian culture. The argument that porn causes violence is just not borne out by reality – young people have since time immemorial seeked out the forbidden fruit when they were in their early Teens. Advanced societies such as the Nordic states are very open culturally and don’t have half the social problems we have and are not even a percent as repressive as ours.

Sir, as an avid supporter, I fervently want you to win 2019, and even 2024, but then with a very young population and one that is increasingly coming online and getting exposed to a wide variety of ideas, you are at the risk of alienating your own voter base – the youth.

We are adults, we know what is good for us and what is bad for us. We need a govt that lays roads, bridges, constructs ports, that connects millions to an electricity grid. We need a state that looks out for the welfare of its people over the welfare of the party it represents. We need a govt that takes us and keeps us on a path of 8%+ growth for decades from now. We don’t need a state that imposes its own (and maybe a few cabinet minister’s) narrow and parochial view of culture upon millions.

I write this to you in good faith as I wanted you to hopefully hear directly from the trenches.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Himachal Watcher.

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No Dialysis at Tanda Medical College; No Nephrologist, Machine Dysfunctional, Patients from Five Districts Left in Lurch

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Tanda Medical college dialysis facility

Kangra: Amid regular press statements of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur led Himachal Pradesh Government over its consistent efforts to improve the state’s health infrastructure, media reports have been highlighting facts contrary to these statements.

According to a report published in Hindi daily, Covid-19 patients with kidney-related medical conditions from Hamirpur, Mandi, Una, Kangra and Chamba are left in the lurch. The report said that these patients have no nearby options as none of the hospitals in the above mentioned five districts have dialysis facility for Covid patients. These patients are either referred to IGMC, Shimla, or PGI, Chandigarh. Also, the report says, the multi-specialty Hospital Tanda Medical College does not offer dialysis to kidney patients. Dharamshala hospital is unable to offer dialysis to Covid positive kidney patients as it lacks ventilator support.

The report cited a reference of a local who alleged that his mother, who was on dialysis, was admitted to a hospital in Nurpur. She was referred to Tanda Medical College where she tested positive. He said the hospital told him that they don’t offer dialysis facility. He was told that dialysis is performed at Dharamshala. But the hospital in Dharamshala lacked ventilator support for covid patients. The mother died while the son tried to arrange dialysis outside the state. The son said his mother would have survived if she could receive timely dialysis.

Dr. Bhanu Awasthi, the principal of the College, told the daily that Tanda Medical College does not have a Nephrologist and the available dialysis machine is not functional. The hospital has been requesting the government to fill the vacant post, he said. G.D Gupta, CMO Kangra, confirmed that patients in the district have died as they could not receive dialysis treatment because the hospitals in the district don’t have dialysis facilities for COVID patients.

Another report published in an English daily highlight the plight of cancer patients who are deprived of their chemotherapy session, posing threat to their lives.

The report says that various hospitals in the state were converted into Covid-19 treatment centres, and patients suffering from other severe illnesses were not receiving treatment in the districts of the lower Himachal Pradesh. Cancer patients in Kangra have alleged that they are not receiving treatment at Tanda Medical College which they fear could be life-threatening.
The report said Tanda Medical College is the only hospital with a facility for cancer treatment in the lower Himachal which was converted into a Covid hospital. The super-speciality wing of the hospital which caters to cancer, cardio and neuro patients has remained closed since last month. This is causing a delay in the completion of chemotherapy sessions.

Dr Bhanu Awasthi told  the daily that the treatment was suspended temporarily due to a surge in Covid cases. He said that patients who require immediate chemotherapy can go to Indira Gandhi Medical College. He said the cases in Kangra district were coming down and if the situation improves, they will be able to open the super specialty wing soon.

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World’s Highest Motorable Village Achieves 100% Covid Vaccination

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Image Ccredit: Hindustan Times

Lahaul-Spiti: Komic village, known to be the world’s highest motorable village, in Lahaul-Spiti has vaccinated all of its eligible population.  The village is located at an elevation of 15,000 feet and has a population of 130 people as per 2011 census data.

According to officials, all people in the 18-44 age groups have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. People falling under 60+ and 45+ categories were vaccinated with both the doses of Covishield. Only children below the age of 18 were not vaccinated. 

“100 per cent vaccination has been achieved in Komic village with people over 45 years age group vaccinated with both doses,” SDM Gian Sagar Negi told news agency ANI.

Further, all people above 45 years in age have been administered the first dose of the Covid vaccine in Kaza, the headquarter of Spiti Valley. All people above 65-years  have received  both doses. 

“Due to the problems related to internet connectivity in the valley, the state government had allowed offline registration for vaccination. Now, 80% of the registration for vaccination is being carried out offline. Vaccination slots are being booked with help of a lottery,” Gian Sagar Negi added.

Despite tough terrain and weather conditions of  the valley, the health authorities have taken a lead in vaccination.

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Patients Suffer as IGMC – Shimla City’s Only Hospital With Ventilator Beds-Runs Out of Capacity

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IGMC Shimla Ventilator beds
Image Credit: The Statesman

Shimla-  The  Indira Gandhi Medical College & Hospital, Shimla, has maxed out of beds with ventilator support, a report published in a Hindi daily said.  The IGMC is the only hospital in the city with a facility of ventilator beds. The hospital has a total of 37 ventilator beds, all of which were occupied. Patients from other COVID-19 hospitals are referred to the IGMC only after the hospital confirms the availability of ventilator beds. The report said that this shortage of ventilator beds is giving a hard time to critically ill Covid-19 patients. Pertinent to mention that critical patients from across the state are referred to the IGMC. 

Earlier, a report had said that the two major Covid hospitals of Shimla – IGMC and DDU-were packed to their full capacity and patients were denied admissions. This raises questions over the state government’s claims that it’s prepared to tackle the third wave of the pandemic. 

Since the past two days, families of Covid-19 patients had been struggling to find ventilator beds in Shimla, the report said. Hospitals like Deendyal Upadhyay have been asked not to refer any serious Covid patient to the IGMC as all the ventilator beds were already occupied. Usually, when a critical Covid-19 patient needs ventilator support, the hospital where the patient is admitted makes a call to IGMC to inquire for beds and to refer the patient.

“Ventilator beds can only be made available when the patient on ventilator support gets discharged, or when the patient succumbs to the infection. Because such patients cannot be shifted or removed from ventilator support,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, Officer-in-charge Central Store, IGMC, told the daily.

The State Government had notified the Indra Gandhi Medical College, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Ayurvedic Hospital Chhota Shimla, and Walker Hospital as Covid-19 hospitals. But, out of these, only IGMC has the facility of ventilator beds. The DDU has ventilators but they are not operational since the hospital has only one anaesthetist. All the other three hospitals don’t have enough staff to to operate ventilators, the report said. Severe cases from these hospitals are referred to the IGMC only. 

Efforts to increase the ventilator bed capacity in IGMC were being made, Dr. Rahul Gupta told the daily. 

 

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