[Assam] Heart City Seriously

uttam borthakur uttamborthakur at yahoo.co.in
Fri Dec 18 19:38:16 PST 2009

The Heart City founded by Dr. Dhaniram Barua is in the news for all the wrong reasons. 
The recent episode related to two severed heads of children found has given a bad press to the institution. Some people have attacked and torched a part of the organisation, as shown in the TV, on the allegation that the organisation is into organ trade. However, the local media, which is more given to sensationalism, has not specifically stated whether the heads were found within or near the institution. Further, it is a comment upon the police that it had been led to the heads by the household mongrel and not by sniffer dogs, or that the heads were found through investigation. It is reported that the police have not found any clue till date regarding the killing of the poor family near Xonapur. 

Though facts may be stranger than fiction, it is hard to allege on the facts and in the circumstances that the institution was involved in human organ trade. Rather, it looks like a plant by the real culprits. It seems that the culprits have calculated the moves well, as there was some bad blood between the centre and the nearby populace, and the finding of the heads would be enough to rev up a mob frenzy.

We have to take into consideration that Galileo was incarcerated, Copernicus had to mask his findings, Einstein's relativity was considered a phony, before we detract from Dr. Barua. Having said that, I personally feel that the gross mistake committed by Dr. Baruah is that he has leaned on politicians, journalists, and 'patients' of his choice to get a good press about his  scientific break-through than on the accepted route of peer review in the field of science. A physicist trained in Nuclear Medicine had gone to him under social pressure to seek help from him for a relative stricken with SLE (an auto-immune disease), who was on perennial dialysis. A sum of money was asked to be deposited for the treatment. Then this person asked him whether the good doctor has had gone for peer review of his findings/ inventions in the field of genetics. He was shown the way out. The person narrated the story to me himself and I have found no reason why I should
 disbelieve him. But, there are others who would vouchsafe the efficacy of the good doctor's treatment. So, it would help end the controversy, if the good doctor seeks review of his finding and methods from within his community and let us know about the conclusions. He should not ask us to believe in journalist-politicians on a scientific issue.

Now, Dr. H.B. Sarma, Honourable Health Minister of Assam, has come up with the statement that his Department has failed in extending the arms of the Assam Health Establishment Act to Dr. Dhaniram Baruah's Heart City due to stubborn opposition from some journalists and a part of the intelligentsia. Is not it a pathetic comment on his own governance? We have heard that the Minister is not a very pliant man otherwise.

Uttam Kumar Borthakur

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