A Sick Super Power

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Curious teens and dirty old men who stay up late to watch skimpily-clad models on Fashion Television (FTV) have had a bad time as the government recently slapped a 10-day ban on Fashion Television (FTV) for showing visuals of topless women.

The Indian government is much like a parent. It controls what is appropriate for the public to view. This is good. However, good parents not only ensure that children get to watch the right stuff on TV but they also ensure that their children eat the right things and develop into healthy adults. Like all good parents, is the Government interested in controlling what we eat? The markets are bursting with unhealthy junk food. India has become the diabetes capital of the world.

Calling India the diabetes capital of the world, the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries says that there is alarming rise in prevalence of diabetes, which has gone beyond epidemic form to a pandemic one.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that the number of diabetic patients in India more than doubled from 19 million in 1995 to 40.9 million in 2007. It is projected to increase to 69.9 million by 2025. Currently, up to 11 per cent of India’s urban population and 3% of rural population above the age of 15 has diabetes. Diabetes affects all people in the society, not just those who live with it. The World Health Organization estimates that mortality from diabetes and heart disease cost India about $210 billion every year and is expected to increase to $335 billion in the next ten years. These estimates are based on lost productivity, resulting primarily from premature death.

Various studies have shown that the high incidence of diabetes in India is mainly because of sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress, and consumption of diets rich in fat, sugar and calories.

Even though the problem is gigantic, like an ostrich, the Government has dug its head in the sand and is thinking “All is well”. After all everybody is profiting from the situation – the multi-national companies load the Indian markets with junk food, the Government itself, through taxation, each link of the marketing chain. The story of alcohol and tobacco products is much the same. The Government has made some half hearted efforts aimed at educating/informing the consumers, some temporary bans have also been imposed in different states, but such harmful things are yet to be banned country-wide for good.

Who loses? INDIA. We are raising a generation of sick unproductive, Indians who will lie in bed watching TV for most of their lives. However, the silver lining to the cloud is that they will not watch FTV and its skimpily-clad models.

While white ants of diabetes, alcoholism and tobacco generated diseases gnaw at the very bones of the Indian society we are busy banning TV channels!!! Will we become a super power with most of our population lying in or running around hospitals? Talk of upside down priorities!!!


Rajesh Chaubey, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com

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