Anil Thakraney: Doc, Aamir ain’t your PR agent!

04 Jun,2012

By Anil Thakraney


I find it appalling that the Indian Medical Association and many other doctors have taken offence to the Satyamev Jayate episode which dealt with medical malpractice. And these docs are demanding an apology from the progamme host, Aamir Khan. I would term their reaction a joke, but we are dealing with a serious issue out here, so let’s just say this sort of a response shows up our doctors in a poor light.


To understand why Aamir did no wrong, let’s first understand the format of his TV show. SJ is not a ‘breaking news’ format, the show isn’t highlighting stuff that we don’t already know of. Female child murder, dowry deaths, honour killings… they all exist in our society, they are a sad reality. And so is medical malpractice. There are many doctors and hospitals that do dhandha rather than practice, and this too is well known. The objective of the Sunday morning show is to bring the rats out from under the carpet, and to discuss them and introspect on them. It’s as simple as that.


Nowhere in the episode on medical ethics did Aamir suggest that ALL doctors are corrupt. Rather, I vividly recall him assuring the audiences that he isn’t pointing a finger at the entire medical community. Just as all of us don’t ask for dowry or indulge in foeticide, obviously all doctors aren’t corrupt. That’s a given. But for the rats to be brought out, naturally the show will discuss issues where criminal minds have been involved. This makes people aware of their own rights and alerts them about the safety precautions they need to take in various situations. The show won’t work if the entire duration is spent featuring all the good guys of the nation, will it? Who will deal with the rats then? In addition, SJ did invite the good Dr Devi Shetty (and a few other good men) to the show, so I just cannot understand why the med frat is up in arms.


Here’s what I suspect has happened: The doctors, who are almost always treated with huge amount of reverence in this nation, aren’t able to deal with a situation where suddenly someone has decided to openly discuss medical malpractices on a public platform.


Dear docs, hire a PR agency if you want paeans to be sung in your honour. And dear Aamir bhai, please bash on regardless.



P S: Now THIS is what Mr Nandan Nilekani ought to be doing to get the junta interested in his Aadhar card yojna. The Aussies have created a simple little film to encourage citizens to participate in the census collection process. Notice that it’s basic level, entertaining and is packed with cool graphics. Even the lowest denominator would get it. Nilekani should sanction a film like this. So much better than all that confusing, complicated talk on TV chat shows.



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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Doc, Aamir ain’t your PR agent!”

  1. pm says:

    if the show gives aamir a platform to voice his opinion, then, surely as a democracy, we should have no problem with doctors voicing their opinions. freedom of speech applies to everyone and i for one am happy that the doctors under the banner of the IMA are saying what they feel like. whether their views are appropriate or not should be the choice of readers, viewers and the general public.

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