By now, it is abundantly clear to every Indian that when shit hits the ceiling in this country, it’s each man or woman for his/her own. And if you still believe that the great Indian State will bail you out of the mess, then you must be a chap who still believes in Rakhi Sawant.
Whether it’s a terror attack or a flu virus, you will have to save your own arse. The government reps will only gas inside TV studios, the crooks will clean you out of your money, selling masks and meds in black, and the government run hospitals will ensure even if you didn’t contract swine flu, you got other deadly diseases, thanks to the utter lack of hygiene and discipline in their premises.
Which is why there’s chaos on the streets; people are running around like headless chicken, ignorant of what to do and who to run to when that dreaded sneeze arrives. So all we have is panic and more panic.
To my mind, the biggest villain of the story is the media. In a desperation to outdo one another on the blistering flu coverage, all they have done is to alarm the public, leading to mass hysteria in the hospitals and medical shops. Just imagine if this was 1984. The flu would have come and gone, possibly a few hundred people would have died (a thousand time more die of malaria, TB, car crashes, AIDS, common cold, dowry deaths, terror attacks and cancer), and life would have moved on as usual. For the affected, and the docs, the masks would have been easily available at the market price, and Tamiflu makers would not have made a needless killing.
All the media had to do was run basic safety precautions in a box on Page 10. Or a little section on a news bulletin, and that’s about it.
But try telling that to editors and content heads who would invent a problem to raise their TRPS and readership figures, if none existed. The virus exists!