Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tales from India - Sex, Kidney and More

Tales from India - Sex, Kidney and More

Syed Ali Mujtaba

During the World War II days British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used to begin his speech on the radio saying – Ladies and Gentleman lend me your ears … The same call is needed for some disturbing news that has come out from the different parts of the country very recently.

Life imprisonment to Dr L. Prakash for the cyber crime, arrest of Dr Amit Kumar, the kingpin of the multi-crore kidney scam and the highly provocative statements against north Indians by Maharastra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackery.

All the above news items have pricked the consciousness of an average Indian and they call for wider audience for discussion and debate on these issues.

L Prakash a Chennai based doctor was sentenced to life by a fast-track court for making porn videos for websites. This was the first cyber crime case registered under the Information Technology Act that came into force in 2001.

The orthopaedician who was arrested on December 14, 2001 sought sexual favors from his women patients and videographed the moments of intimacy. He then sent such CDs labeled as ‘surgical procedures’ to his brother Pradeep Lakshmanan based in the US. Lakshmanan use to upload these pictures in his two pornographic websites and

The sex doctor’s activities came to limelight after a young lad Ganesh from Pondicherry complained to the police that Prakash forced him to have sex with women to shoot blue films.

The judge while awarding life term to Prakash observed that, considering the gravity of his offences it would be appropriate to grant him maximum sentence because the crime committed by him were not of ordinary nature.

Prakash case is just a tip of the iceberg in the pornographic content that’s being generated from India. Media report suggests that this has assumed a trade like proposition and this business is flourishing in many parts of the country. Chennai’s Burma Bazar is famous for selling such videos produced in various part of the country.

The final point about this is that the conviction of an individual is not enough to handle such organized crime. Such crimes have inter-state and international ramifications. What efforts are being made to tackle them deserves consideration. Letting them go unchecked would be an assault on India’s moral character.

The other news that shocked India was the arrest and deportation of Dr Amit Kumar, the alleged mastermind of the multi-crore kidney transplant racket from Nepal to India.

Amit Kumar, a 43-year-old Ayurvedic doctor along with his associates use to illegally use to procure kidneys from poor people through force or money and then transplanted them to rich patients who could pay exorbitant charges for them. Amit’s rich patient’s list had people from Britain, US, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This news came to limelight when Interpol issued red corner alert following the death of three Turkish nationals, believed to be victim of wrong kidney transplantation at Amit’s Gurgaon based clinic. The police raided his clandestine operation theatre and unearthed the racket. Amit who had fled to Nepal was finally arrested there and was brought to New Delhi.

So far about a dozen other people have been arrested in this 'Doctor Horror’s case. There are six doctors who are still at large. The gang is believed to have conducted about 500 illegal kidney transplants in the past one decade.

The kidney story is again nothing new and media has been reporting this from time to time. Recently, there was a big kidney ring that was busted in Chennai. Similar story was heard from Hyderabad as well from other parts of the country. However such news apart from making the headlines and rubbing the sensitivities of the people go no further.

Every one is aware that kidney transplantation has assumed the proportion of trade in India. The entire world’s kidney seekers look towards India to carry out such operations. The main victims in such cases are poor people who sell their organ for want of money. This gross human rights violation continues unabated and there is no secrecy about it.

This organized crime needs to be tackled through strict vigil by the law enforcing agencies. However, going by their track record its not possible many security officials are known to be on the pay rolls of many such clandestine operators.

The other shocking news is the open hate mongering by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray against the north Indians living in Mumbai.

Raj Thackeray called the people from UP and Bihar in Mumbai as hooliganism and said that his party would not tolerate their activities in Mumbai. His party men had been targeting the north Indians and there were violence on streets.

Raj Thackery made up his case saying, if the Prime Minister can rake up the issue of ban on turbans for the Sikhs in France when the French President came to India, if the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi could take up the issue of problems of Tamils in Malaysia with the Malaysian government, why can’t he take up the issue of self-respect of the Maharashtrians.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is the break away faction of Shiv Sena in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena’s rise in 60s and 70’s owes to its anti- Tamil campaign in Mumbai. Then it went on to engulf the north Indians as well. Their ire then was directed to anti-Muslim campaign that led to bloody riots.

Shiv Sena faced a crisis whether the nephew or the son would hold the party’s reign after its chief relinquishes power. The issue was finally settled when the nephew Raj Thackrey broke away to from his own outfit Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Having done so, he is desperate to elicit support from the youth for his new party. He like his predecessor has embarked on the tried and test formula of casting ‘we against ‘they.’

Raj Thackrey highly provocative statements were heard by the entire country, yet no one dared to challenge his audacity. The cadres provide the muscle and democracy that often gets sacrificed when it’s pitted against the mobocracy. That’s India in its pristine form.

Well Hitler has shown to the world how to play down the gallery. There are quite a few leaders in India who have tried F├╝hrer’s tricks and have even succeeded. Raj Thackrey is a new entrant in this game but its early days for him in politics.

Where does all these news items taking India to? Are we driving on the highway to hell dreaming to make our country the paradise on the earth? Or there are some soul searching going on after being provoked by such news.

The fundamental problem lies with the character of the individuals and that is reflected on the national character. Unfortunately, we have ceased to produce noble people like, Gandhi, Tagore, Vinoba, Amte any more. That’s the reason scoundrels like Prakash, Amit and Raj are calling the shots in the country.


Syed Ali Mujtaba is a working journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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