Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Superbugs and politicians - who's bugging whom?

When it's a juicy news day, it's hard to know what to cover.  These two developments to previously featured stories made a cozy couple.

After an immature knee jerk reaction quarreling over the name of the bacteria, questioning the motives of the British researchers and automatically denying the findings of the Lancet study, India has now decided to launch its own investigation into the NDM-1 superbug named after its home town, New Delhi.

Who is it? A super-criminal? A super-roach? Or a super-politician? 
Source: Fooyoh
In other news, as the apolitical skeptics gather momentum, the opposition party's top brass, Narendra Modi and LK Advani, have written a blog or an open letter if you prefer, praising Anna Hazare.  The former exhibited a good mix of pragmatism and political savvy, striking a note of concern for the anti-corruption movement as he cautioned Anna Hazare on how wider society would perceive any positive association with the Modi brand fraught with persistent allegations of divisive communal ideas, actions and non-actions, as it were.

On the other hand, Advani exposed his own murky understanding of the India Against Corruption movement by mis-characterizing public sentiment as anti-politician, a charge dispelled early on when Anna Hazare welcomed politicians to come to Jantar Mantar and participate in the protest as ordinary citizens.

"I am of the view that those who revel in spreading a general climate of disdain about politics and politicians are doing a gross disservice to democracy", he wrote.  Advani twisted Anna Hazare's apology for the incident on the second day at Jantar Mantar when angry protesters boo-ed and shoo-ed away opportunistic politicians like Uma Bharti and O.P. Chautala.

In so doing, Advani gave us prime examples of behaviour that most non-partisan voters find irritating, not endearing - (1) stirring up non-issues and (2) baseless self-victimization.

My view is politicians bug us all the time and keen observers develop a certain level of immunity to the expensive silliness and necessary nonsense.  But for the casual observer, I ask you, doesn't it feel good to know the awakened voter can bug politicians too.  Lage raho, Anna.  Hum tumhare saath hai.


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