Who’s Pulling Whose Leg?


Victimhood is the new Sunrise industry. In truth, it’s been around for as long as politics has been; but of late it has been demonstrating that there are no limits to the branches it can encompass. Including lengthened limbs.
The newspapers are agog with shock and indignation that a hospital has performed a height-increasing surgery on a 23-year-old IT employee.
They are shocked that the doctors agreed to operate on a patient who is five feet seven, a more than average height for an Indian male. They are also indignant that the consent of the patient’s family was not taken. Not wishing to seem less holier than thou, the State Medical Council is questioning the ethics of the surgeon. Finally, the patient’s father has filed a police case against the hospital. He vows to fight for justice and plans to approach the Human Rights Commission, the Consumer Forum, the Medical Council — and the Governor for good measure.
I am puzzled. Firstly, how long should a man’s legs be? When asked this question, Abraham Lincoln apparently replied they should be long enough to reach the ground from his torso. So everyone else who talks about average height can shut up, including venerated mass media. It is the individual, Nikhil Reddy who decides how long he would like them to be. If you don’t accept that decisions in cosmetic surgery are by nature subjective, then you are on the right path to becoming a dictator.
Secondly, about parental consent. This person is a major, he votes, he is in a responsible job; so the consent is legally unnecessary.
Thirdly, and unbelievably, the father is roaring with rage and making a public issue against a reputed hospital. He vows to bring Global Hospitals to book because his son never confided in him, or his elder brother who lives in the same city. Six months before the surgery Nikhil consulted the doctor. And probably many more months before even approaching a doctor he was distressed by his problem, imagined though it be. Yet he never felt free enough to seek support from his family. Whose fault is this? I mean if I was the father I wouldn’t utter a word. I’d hang my head in shame that my up-bringing hadn’t given my son the confidence to confide in me about something that was troubling him deeply.
Finally, what case are the family and press pressing? Have the doctors stolen an organ? Was the patient for cosmetic surgery an illiterate who was fooled? Was he pulled into surgery overnight before he had time to think? Or is it victimhood business raising one of its multiple hoods. Pass the buck, duck your responsibilities, the state should take care of you and your kids. If something goes wrong, blame the other; if it’s a corporate, all the better. Who knows, instead of paying the remaining fee you may even get compensation. All through such false dramas, the newswala’s make merry. Does anyone know of a surgery that shorten’s the media’s noses?

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