Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Tribute to Greatness

It was through chance that I stumbled upon this blog, and eventually came across a blog dedicated to Dr. Chandrakant Patil, a resident doctor from King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. Dr. Patil, who was born and brought up in Maharashtra, volunteered to go to Bihar to help the flood victims. He was present at one the worst affected areas, where he tragically died due to electrocution from a lightning strike in a freak storm, on September 24th, 2008. He was a part of a team of 45 student doctors from Mumbai who traveled all the way to Bihar to help out their fellow Indians. In times like these, when relations between Marathis and Biharis is at an ebb, this was like a breath of fresh air. His sacrifice is a resounding slap on the face of all the regionalists and is a reminder that we are Indians, first and foremost. This great man undid in a flash what the “son-of-soil” leader of all Manoos’s did to me over a few months. I am heart-broken at the loss of this true son-of-the-soil and a genuine patriot. I am happy because he restored my faith in my fellow Indians from Maharashtra. I am incensed because I did not get to hear about him through the media. He was only 24 years of age.

I noticed a very disturbing change in me, over the past few months. The mere mention of Maharashtra or Marathi made me uncomfortable. While buying a product, I have a habit of checking the expiry date, and in doing so often, one comes across the place where the product was manufactured. For instance, I bought a pack of Lays, saw that it was made in Gurgaon, shrugged nonchalantly and went ahead with whatever I was doing. Of lately, whenever that place was in Maharashtra, that nonchalance disappeared. It made me think twice. And though it did not deter me and never will from buying such a product, but the very fact that I was deliberate was bad enough. A few days ago, my friends and I ordered a bucketful of chicken from KFC. When the delivery boy came, one of my friends started chatting with him. I was all smiles, a silent observer of the innocuous banter, but it vanished as soon as I learned that he was from Kolhapur. It was an awkward moment for me. But all that angst is going away, and the credit goes to Dr. Patil. The healing process is initiated, and all I have to do is think about him, if I start losing it again.

This country does not need leaders who unveil statues of themselves at the state’s expense, but we do need a memorial for heroes like him. Amidst all the chaos of divisiveness contributed by regionalism, religion and caste, this man’s sacrifice is the proverbial silver lining. The media should splash his face all over, let the 1.12 billion people know, that there was a Giant like him amongst all the pygmies that we usually catch on TV. But, I guess it’s overly optimistic of me to expect something like the aforementioned in a nation whose rulers could not spare time to pay homage to a legend like Field Marshall Sam Maneckshaw. When Dr. Patil’s image could have been used as to tool for national integration, I almost missed out on hearing about him. Thank you One Bihar. And Long Live Dr. Chandrakant Patil.

For those who would like to help out his family, here’s the link to do so.

Edited to add : Another ray of Hope , Dr Manasee Palshikar . May her tribe increase .


Sagarone said...

It is people like Dr. Patil who restore our faith in the basic goodness of people and remind us that we are one in spite of all the hate and venom spread by opportunist politicians.

Vinod_Sharma said...

You anger and frustration is justified...It is unfortunate the our 'independent media' is more interested in the ugly side of things, particularly the political one that has very little 'good' left to show.

For long I have believed that India needs at least one news channel that completely avoids politicians. But, no one has had the courage so far to launch one because today's media personalities and politicians are like Siamese twins. But if and when someone does, I have a feeling it will be great commercial and, more importantly, a social success. Of the kind that India needs.

Pinku said...


thanks for sharing. true the media didnt report this at all.Wish they did.

But am dismayed at the thoughts your mind has been bent upon in the near past. Dont fall into the trap of stereotyping all Marathis by the antics of a few my friend.

Kislay said...

I am trying my damndest not to . At least now I have a reason which will deter me from doing so .

Indian Home Maker said...

Kislay Don't judge an average Marathi manoos by the T clan attitude, that would be falling into the trap set up by these politicians.
It is so sad that this wonderful person was not given any mention in our news channels!! Pinku recently wrote a post about how president Kalam wonders why our newspapers don't publish positive news on the front pages, such information can be inspiring for other willing doctors, instead they splash hate building news on the front pages.

Child Of Adam said...

Well, its disappointing to learn that an educated person like you, bore/bears animosity towards the marathi community. Raj thackrey is not the voice of Marathi Manoos, just like Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS are not the guardians of Hinduism! If you read the papers daily, you'll know that the people engaged in beating up the north Indians were hired goondas and not necessarily just Marathis. Anyway...
What you have is an Indian Utopia... sadly, all we do is sit and crib about what the politicians do and how our country is going down the drain.
Yes, I know the media mostly highlights the negative things, to garner a wider viewership, but then who can blame them??? We Indians ourselves enjoy listening to such masala news... and its not that the media only projects such news, remember the Jessica lal murder case... the recent case where two lawyers were barred by the court to practice for 2 months...
And trust me, Doordarshan news channels are a lot better than cable news channels, esp the Hindi ones. You say the rulers of our country did not pay homage to FM Maneckshaw, but maybe you should have been more disappointed to learn that majority of the Indian youth had never even heard of the great man. For me, that is a cause of greater sadness and not the rulers forgetting to pay homage.
I do feel very sad for the family of Dr. Patil and offer my heartfelt sympathies. Thank you Patna Daily

Kislay said...

What I feel is not animosity per . I am not that great a fool . But yes, I do agree to certain unresolved issues . Namely , where is the voice of the average marathi manoos condemning all that is going on ? In fact , what the T company has initiated is soon going to be emulated by the Congress and the NCP to garner some Marathi votes . The attack on Christians was condemned by everyone and everywhere , that implied that there are quite a few Hindus against what the BD/VHP were doing . But I have not come across Marathis doing the same for Thackeray . If anyone does , please send me the link . Anyways , one man was enough to restore my faith .

I do the read the papers and watch TV man . The kind of following that Mr. T has , cannot be bought . There are genuine supporters of him , you could see that outside the court .

blogger said...

When an educated IITian like u can stereotype, i dont know why u complain abt notions held abt Biharis. I think its hypocrisy.

''Namely , where is the voice of the average marathi manoos condemning all that is going on ?''
''There are genuine supporters of him , you could see that outside the court .''
I am glad u asked this question. Average Marathi manoos DOES support Raj Thackeray for the issues he has raised. i for one want MNS desperately to win next elections. However very few will justify his targets. And im not being politically correct. Indian Railway babus shud be kicked and that uncouth railway minsiter, for their very apparent bias against Maharashtrians. Why the hell no one's even touching that core issue? No one's doubting north indians intellect but its not a secret that north indians are favoured in central govt jobs from coolie to commissioner. Its a shame to India. Hindi news channels are run by prejudiced bhayyas who dont know the ground zero situation. They gave wrong picture to Bihar that the boy died because of MNS andolan when it was actually a accident. And let me ask author u now have a grudge towards Maharashtrians, what abt assamese, south Indians? I never come across hindi channels covering violence against biharis in these regions? K'taka had a similar stir against bias of railways. Its only Maharashtrians who are caned when they fight for their rights or take pride in their language and state.

Below is a link of Shobbha De's interview. I think she being neutral and intellectual, u will atleast take note of Marathis plight,

blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kislay said...

I am not an IITian , just an MITian . And I never stereotype . Though I did agree to the fact that I was uncomfortable . More because of the fact that I am a Bihari . I admit to succumbing to blind emotions . But I don't want to . If you would care to read my posts and my comments on other blogs you would find out that I often talk about the root of all this mayhem , namely , no development in Bihar and UP for the past 15 years or so . The sad fact is that both the sides are so badly at each other's throat that the voice of reason gets lost . And I must repeat , I do not have a grudge per se , momentary feeling of discomfort yes . For me India and being Indian comes first .

Kislay said...

Also , no matter how right or just is Mr. T's cause is for the plight of Marathi's , killing won't make it kosher man . For the love of God and thy country , people are killing people of their own country over language and jobs . What is it erupts into a civil war ? As if violence over the issues of religion and caste was not enough .

1conoclast said...

Long Live Dr. Patil indeed!
I have to showcase this link on the Mutiny.

Indian Home Maker said...

Happy Diwali and let's hope we see better times in the coming months... pre-election months, I am not feeling very optimistic though.

Vetrimagal said...

Thanks for bringing Dr.Patil's good work and his sacrifice. We feel sad that such people are few and far between and god takes them away so soon.

Hope more and more young people will learn from his life and emulate him. His life is the Indian core, that sustained this great country so far.

People like us , sit on the gallery, watch and applaud. But why we are not able to make a movement out of our recognition of good work?. Why we are all scattered all over the country, but not united against the evil that is eroding our social fabric.

Is this our great failure, I wonder.