ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rejected Transplants

Rejected Transplants Nireekshak SOME exceedingly banal reporting of the marriage of the Prime Ministers son, reams of verbiage on UNCTAD and one world scoop by Times of India on the heart transplant operation carried out by Dr P K Sen at the KEM Hospital in Bombay mark the passage of one more week in the Indian press. There had been rumours two days before the hush-hush heart operation that something of the kind was in the offing; yet only Times of India carried the scoop. The paper did a good follow- up on the story, but there was no attempt by anyone to check on the donor and the recepicnt of the transplanted heart. Dr Sen's operation was taken note of by Time which conceded that the Indian surgeon's technique differed from those of other surgeons elsewhere who had attempted heart transplantations. There was considerable editorial comment in the Indian press. Tribune thought that "the occasion no doubt calls for congratulations and some pride also, for the country badly needs success stories'. Hindu commended, by implication, the reticence of the Indian doctor in releasing information on the operation, even while praising the achievement. But it warned that Indian surgeons "should think twice before attempting heart transplants'' because, on Dr Sen's own admission to Times of India he needed "better facilities for operations, better equipment and better drugs". But Hindustan Times thought that the Indian achievement was "all the more remarkable for being performed with equipment and facilities that were no more specialised than those required for other transplant operations", DELHI IS FAR AWAY Coverage of Rajiv Gandhi's marriage reached no great' heights. Hindustan Times gave columns of space to some very juvenile reporting by 'Onlooker'. And Times of India published a radio- photo of the wedding ceremony a good 48 hours after it was all over! This was explained by a story in Hindustan Times which said that it often takes longer for a Delhi newspaper to get a radio picture from Calcutta, .Bombay or Madras than from London. The delay, according to the paper, was "due to non-availability of telephone channels for transmission of radio pictures", Britain's chicanery in rushing its Immigration Bill through, understandably came in for harsh comment in the Indian press, notably in Indian Express and Hindustan Times. "Perfidious Albion" said an editorial in the latter, which rhetorically asked; "What is the British Government's plighted word worth?" The paper also carried a report from its London correspondent, V R Bhatt, about the fate that awaited an Indian bus conductor in Oxford when he was promoted inspector. The threats he had to face from racists and the actual assault on him became the subject of some animated discussion in the House of Commons but. except for a brief report from Cowley in Statesman, no other paper seems to have thought it worth its while to notice the incident. Racism in Britain is evidently coming to be accepted as normal! A TIME TO CROW The Kutch Award naturally got much play, but no one, with the possible exception of Tribune, tried to find out how the Pakistani press handled the event. Berindranaths article on the subject in Tribune, therefore, made interesting reading. Ignoring completely the fact that the Tribunal had unanimously rejected 90 per cent of Pakistan's claim, the Pakistan press has been interpreting the Award to mean that India had no legs to stand on once it came to deciding matters on the basis of law and justice. Interestingly, Rawalpindi has been remarkably moderate in its reaction to the dissenting judgment of the Yugoslav judge, the Indian nominee on the Tribunal. This is no doubt dictated by the desire not to offend Yugoslavia.

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