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How emergency bridged barriers between RSS and Muslim leaders in captivity

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By Ishan Kukreti

Sadanand Panday has been associated with the esteemed Hindi daily Vir Arjun for more than 20 years. The daily, once a staple diet of nationalists and an unrelenting voice for freedom, had Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its editor at one point of time.

NewsGram talked to Sadanand Panday, associate editor of the newspaper about the situation during emergency and his views on Democracy and Dictatorship.

Ishan Kukreti- How was the experience of emergency by the media fraternity?
Sadanand Panday– Senior journalist Kuldeep Nayyar has often told me how during emergency power supply to the press area on Bhadur Shah Zafar Marg was withheld. The editors had to get their news stories pre-approved from Press Information Bureau. Because of this distribution of the papers suffered a lot during this period. It can be said that newspapers weren’t printed during emergency, only pamphlets were.

IK- What was the treatment meted out to Vir Arjun during emergency?
SPVir Arjun faced the atrocities of emergency, like the rest of the newspapers. The paper had to be discontinued because of the pressure from Mrs. Gandhi. K. Narendra, the then editor of Vir Arjun was given an option of either publishing pro government stories or facing closure. He chose the later. Vir Arjun broke down, but it did not bend.

IK- How was everyday life and ordinary populace affected by emergency?
SP– I remember, people were scared. Many of my teachers were arrested and treated with complete disregard for human and fundamental rights in prisons. They had to face a difficult time there. But, at the same time, there used to be a lot of intellectual people in the jails like journalists, politicians, lawyers etc and the kind of company one had there was very revolutionary.

I was told a very interesting incident by Mr. Arif Beg of BJP. The RSS members and the Muslim leaders who were locked up, although initially sat in opposite corners of the cell, by the end of it all, became close friends as they suffered similarly at the hands of the government.

Mr. M. Faruqi of CPI( Communist Party of India) told me that there was an unsaid understanding amongst all prisoners that Indira Gandhi had to be dislodged from power to maintain the democratic nature of India.

IK- Was there a sea change in the situation during and after emergency?
SP– People were quiet at that time, but they were angry. Although Vinoba Bhave called the period an ‘Anushashan Parv‘, it is completely wrong. Emergency was the decision of a weak and scared woman who feared losing her power. This was felt by everyone.

At that time a pamphlet used to be published called, ‘Ram aur Sham‘, which laid bare the atrocities committed during that time. It was widely read by people. They used to listen to BBC instead of AIR. Literate people liked the speeches of Richard Nixon where he criticized Mrs. Gandhi. Henry Kissinger was popular for his comments against Mrs. Gandhi. Although people could not express their anger openly, they pledged to punish Mrs. Gandhi in the next elections, and they did.

Some Congress members too could not express themselves freely because of the fear of top party officials. They tried to create a favorable image of the efforts/atrocities committed by Sanjay Gandhi force without being convinced or convincing others.

IK- Which were the sections that were most aggrieved by the situation?
SP– The lower classes, who had to face forced sterilization drive were too scared to openly say anything. But there was resentment in their hearts too. The Muslim section was completely against the Congress and Mrs. Gandhi as the period saw the demolition of Turkman Gate. I’d say all the sections were equally outraged by the imposition of emergency. Even many Congress members just paid lip service to the higher authorities in the party.

IK- Before the 2014 Parliamentary Elections, there was a section of people who believed that India needed a dictatorship to make it a superpower. Do you agree with this contention?
SP– No. Not at all. Dictatorship has never created a successful nation, and it never will. Democracy and freedom have their own charm and there is no substitute to it. I don’t think anywhere in the near or far future, Dictatorship can replace Democracy as a better model of governance.

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CPR training for all must to save lives: Experts

Nearly 98 per cent Indians are not trained in basic life-saving technique of CPR during sudden cardiac arrest

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Participants practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important life skill to know. VOA

Imagine walking on the road and suddenly seeing a passerby suffering from chest pain and collapsing. Would you be able to give a lifesaving Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)? Most likely, no.

A recent survey conducted by Lybrate — a domestic online doctor consultation platform — showed that nearly 98 per cent Indians are not trained in basic life-saving technique of CPR during sudden cardiac arrest.

In India, sudden cardiac arrest is a major cause of death due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and shockingly 60 per cent of the people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest succumb to it even before they reach hospital, the survey, conducted in 2016, showed.

It is important to be trained in CPR. Flickr

The need of the hour is to make CPR training a must in schools and colleges and even at community level, as it can triple a patient’s chance of survival, if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, health experts said. CPR consists of using chest compressions and artificial ventilation to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrests and is the cost effective way to improve survival.

“In case of sudden cardiac arrest, the mortality is very high — almost 90 per cent or more if not resuscitated within 10 minutes,” Neeraj Bhalla, Director and Senior Consultant Cardiology at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, told IANS.

The American Heart Association (AHA) defines CPR as an emergency procedure to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a patient and, especially, if performed immediately, it can double or triple a cardiac arrest patient’s chance of survival.

“Any process to bring back the heart beats in the first minute is very important and CPR is one very effective and time-tested process. There should be a concerted effort to make CPR training a must,” added Piyusha Majumdar, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) University, Jaipur.

The basic technique of CPR illustrated. Pixabay

The AHA recommends uninterrupted chest compression (100 chest compressions in a minute) to the patient until para-medical support is given, which helps in supplying oxygenated blood to the brain and preventing death. Bystander CPR, and AED (automated defibrillators), are very useful in saving lives,” Bhalla said.

“The use of AED — used to diagnose life-threatening arrhythmias or irregularity of heart rhythm — can also be used to treat a dying heart by using electric shock to revive the heart’s rhythm,” Vanita Arora of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, told IANS.

The device is easy to use, and with some basic training, it can easily be operated by a layman. However, “it is not available at most places, unfortunately. An AED machine should be there at every place where there’s a fire extinguisher. That’s how important a role it can play in saving lives,” Arora noted.

Also Read: CPR Survival Rates Lower Than Most People Think

“The government can also come out with campaigns and such training should be given to all and sundry. Government and private hospitals should also be roped in to provide training, apart from making it compulsory in schools and colleges. Besides, NGOs can also be of great help in such an initiative,” Majumdar added.

The experts also noted that most people fail to identify when a person is suffering cardiac arrest. “A person suffering cardiac arrest will show the following symptoms: pain in the chest, palpitations or shortness of breath, collapse due to loss of consciousness and, most critical, no detectable pulse. The last two are very easy to detect and are almost clear signs of cardiac arrest,” Arora emphasised.

“When you see a person faint or become unconscious gasping for breath, the first thing is to check the pulse or beating of the heart. A person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest will not have detectable pulse, which means he has only seconds to survive. The next step is to call emergency medical service immediately. Almost simultaneously, the person should begin performing CPR,” she noted.

CPR is being administered while a second rescuer prepares for defibrillation. Wikipedia

At the same time, proper heart examination should be made part of routine health check up among the people in the country. People get heart check-ups like ECG and angiographies done only when they face problems like chest pain or any other symptom of heart attack or cardiac arrest.

One should never ignore unexplained weakness, tiredness, first onset chest burning or first onset breathlessness after the age of 40. Those with strong family history of heart disease should get themselves screened, the doctors said.

Leading a healthy lifestyle — including a daily exercise routine, eating healthy food and avoiding stress, adequate sleep — is good for maintaining a healthy heart. It must be made mandatory to teach CPR to all students, office-goers, security personal and almost every citizen of the country, the experts said. IANS