Field Day for Quacks
FRAANZ Anton Mesmer, a German ‘physician’ of the 18th century was perhaps the most celebrated quack in the medical history. He claimed to develop a new method to treat physical disorders and he called his method, animal magnetism. His patients were the rich and the famous. After his death his method came to be called, mesmerism. Later Sigmund Freud worked on this method and developed hypnosis as a method to treat psychological disorders. In India quacks come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them use religion to market their trade. There are quacks who peddle so-called medicinal preparations – syrups, oil, tablets, magnetic belts, bangles, powders – for all the ailments under the sun –rheumatism, cancer, infertility, obesity, kidney stones and so on. Some of the TV programmes on health are nothing but high-tech quackery. Gullible, but rich and educated parents are taken for a ride by high-profile ‘experts’ who claim to increase the memory power of their children and provide certain ‘memory capsules’. Many of the advertisements on health products, that make tall claims, are shade quackery. Instead of banning Maggie noodles, if the authorities were to arrest all these quacks, it would have had far more beneficial effect on the health of the people. The problem is nobody wants to bell the cat. Some of the people who can take action strongly believe that quackery is a scientific discipline.
S N D POOJARY, MIRAMAR
Hema Can’t be Insensitive
THIS is with reference to the objectionable tweet of actress and BJP MP Hema Malini on the accident she met with in Rajasthan. Malini has held the father of the girl responsible for the death of her little daughter for allegedly not following traffic rules. This is nothing but rubbing salt into the wound of the grieving family. Even if the girl’s father had violated traffic rules Hema’s driver was more guilty; in fact he was arrested for driving the car beyond the permissible speed limits for highways. Actually the speeding by Hema’s driver was the real reason of the fatal accident. Hema Malini did not tweet about her luggage being given priority to injured occupants of the small car. They should have been first rushed to hospital in Jaipur, which could have saved the life of the little girl. Everyone is more sensitive to celebrities and VVIPs rather than commoners.
MADHU AGRAWAL, DELHI