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Gorakhpur Tragedy – Playing the Blame Game

The Uttar Pradesh government is in hot water after 70 children died within 5 days in Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College. The deaths have caused widespread condemnation as the Gorakhpur falls under the constituency of UP’s current Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who has held the post of Member of Parliament for five consecutive terms since 1998.

The tragedy commenced the usual game – evading responsibility, loose remarks by politicians, finding the scapegoat-with no empathy towards innocent lives lost. The worst part of Gorakhpur Tragedy was the Smear Campaign by Right wing groups against the Doctor who was hailed for trying to arrange oxygen cylinder by spending money from his own pocket.

BJP President, Amit Shah said “In this big country, there have been many tragedies and this is not the first time. Tragedies have occurred under Congress rule too”. The worst comment came from managing editor of Times Now Navika Kumar said on her show, “The debate is on Vande Mataram, why are you bringing up this issue(Gorakhpur Deaths) because you are running away from ‘real’ issue”. Ministers playing down a tragedy is not new to Indians, we have witnessed this in the past too.

Evading Responsibility

With the news of deaths at Gorakhpur Hospital going viral, govt. officials started looking for a scapegoat. They blamed everyone except themselves. The doctor who saved many lives was subjected to a smear campaign with multiple allegations that he ran a private clinic where he kept the Oxygen Cylinder, also that he was accused of rape in the past. The govt. in order to save their face ordered an inquiry and dismissed the Principal of BRD Medical college, but that could not hide their callous behavior.

It is well known that Uttar Pradesh’s healthcare system is in disarray, people are forced to carry patients on bullock carts, lorries. Politicians are least concerned about the suffering of common people, all they care about is people’s vote and money. But you’ll hardly hear issues like healthcare, clean water, development, education being discussed during elections. On the contrary health and education budget was slashed to 50% this year by the newly elected Yogi Govt .All that matters to them is Nationalism, Cow, Vande Mataram etc. We as people have failed as responsible citizens in our duty to raise real issues before our ‘leaders’.

Improving healthcare is a mighty task but not impossible. Delhi Government’s Mohalla Clinics which has earned praises from Ex- Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, can serve as an example.

If we don’t come out of our “Let It Go” attitude, then we should be ready to face another Gorakhpur.