On March 21 of this year, when Yogi Adityanath came to speak to Parliament for the last time, he spoke about the spread of Japanese encephalitis in eastern Uttar Pradesh and took a chicken Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress.
Like five deputies in Lok Sabha, Yogi had been consistent in raising concerns about deadly encephalitis, which resulted in the deaths of a number of children in Gorakhpur recently.
In his last speech to parliament (pronounced after becoming Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh), he said that he had always raised the question, but unfortunately, those who continue to talk about Dalit and the Muslim communities have not bothered to fight the illness.
Yogi added that the majority of child victims of the disease belonged to Dalit and other minority communities.
Archive the image of the BRD Hospital in Yogi Gorakhpur. Image PTIF of the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur. PTI
The best health care to combat encephalitis has been one of the main tips of Yogi policy.
He often organized demonstrations of various types in and around Gorakhpur, visited the BRD hospital (the only hospital in the city with a department of encephalitis) and met with the families of the affected children.
With the death of more than 100 children, including 42 in a two-day period at the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur, the issue of encephalitis, its prevention and treatment, has plagued Yogi.
Now that he is the prime minister, he can not blame him. Young children are dying in their hometown, either because of the negligence of doctors; lack of medical facilities; the severity of the disease; interruption of oxygen supply; or for any other reason, including the criminal apathy of those who were at the helm in the past.
He will have to take responsibility for the loss of life.
The apathy shown by those associated with state administration and hospitals is appalling. A sort of approximation hake has permeated the system.
Perhaps, Yogi should return to some of the speeches he made in Parliament. He must then apply the same test on it.
If we go through the speeches of Yogi in Parliament, it seems that he has become a non-medical expert on encephalitis. As he is aware of all its nuances and possible corrective measures.
Now he has run the state for six months. It has a large majority in the Assembly. You do not have to spend time, energy and apply your mind to political management. Its time should only be devoted to governance and should remain focused on the problems of the State.
Yogi is also lucky to have her party at the Center. He was elected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and therefore has the full confidence of his party and the Center. Therefore, the Yogi can not have excuses.
Unfortunately, the death toll at BRD Hospital is a grim reminder that Yogi did not turn his words into deeds.
Although he visited this hospital five times – including August 9, one day before a suspected oxygen supply crisis took many lives – and is well aware that this disease affects children age group 0-15 from July to October each year, did not take any substantive action on the ground to inspire confidence.
These deaths and the habitual attitude of those in the bar shake their conscience.
This can not be a New India, where children are allowed to die because doctors hospitalize the desert; the supply of oxygen is irregular because a babu refused to make payments because his palms were not greased to his satisfaction; or because hospitals do not have the infrastructure to deal with an epidemic such as encephalitis, although this deadly disease is a four-decade phenomenon.
Let us consider the numbers of deaths, quoted by Yogi himself in his various speeches in Parliament: In 1978, Japanese encephalitis affected eastern Uttar Pradesh and caused havoc after the rains, from June to October-November.