Tuesday, 27th June, 2017

The Curious Case of Dr Harsh Vardhan

24, Jul 2014 By Simantini Kishore

Dr Harsh Vardhan has  been God’s gift to the media for the last few weeks. Gaff after gaffe he enraged a nation, amused a nation, and engaged a nation with his foot in the mouth statements, one after another!

Harsh Vardhan
“Thank you for giving me all the limelight”

Guess during and after the Delhi Assembly Elections Kejriwal hogged all the limelight, making Dr Harsh Vardhan feel a wee bit neglected. After his attaining the Union health Minister post, sources close to the Minister believe, Dr Harsh Vardhan decided it was time for him to have his fair and equal share in the limelight and boy did he bask in it!

The story of Harsh Vardhan’s media popularity started with his comments that were picked up by the Indian media on June 23rd wherein he stated that the focus on condoms in AIDS awareness campaigns sent a “wrong message that you can have any kind of illicit sexual relationship, but as long as you’re using a condom, it’s fine.”  And that too on an international platform, in an interview to the New York Times, he allegedly said he was all for “promoting the integrity of the sexual relationship between husband and wife, which is a part of our culture.”

On June 25, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan created another maelstrom after stating “fidelity in marriage is a better way of fighting AIDS than condoms as condoms break and sex between a husband and wife is the only “llicit type of intercourse”

The nation raged, ranted, ridiculed the Union Health Minister, who was unmoved by the furore. He had the headlines, front page coverage and the social media couldn’t stop raving (ahem raging) about him!

On a spree, he then went on to state “So-called ‘sex education’ to be banned and Yoga to be made compulsory,” in his “Educational vision for Delhi” keeping him firmly centre stage in the public eye (not in a good way but any attention is better than none!)

Social and main stream media had a time of their lives with so much material from the Union Health Minister that he was the favourite punching bag of almost the entire nation for those couple weeks!

On June 27 he finally seemed to have shifted portfolios from Union Health Minister to Union Clarification Minister. Realised something was out of place (or being pulled up by the senior denizens of the Modi Sarkar) he went on an overdrive to lamely but repeatedly clarify “Sex education without vulgarity is fine” adding, “Sex education that builds societies free of gender discrimination, teenage pregnancy, HIV-AIDS proliferation, pornography addiction, etc. should be the goal,” as his vision for “un-vulgar sex education National program.”

But social and mainstream media was having too much fun at Harsh Vardhan’s expense to really pay attention to his various attempts to clean up his act by not putting his foot in the mouth over and over again.

I didn’t really know who Dr Harsh Vardhan was. In the last few weeks I have heard a lot about him and a lot of what he has been stating. He personified, from a social media viewpoint, Modi government’s “Acche din” ka vaada!

Now the nation mourns the loss of its newest favourite controversy creating Neta.

Honourable Dr Hrasha Vardhan  has suddenly gone from an highly entertaining individual suffering from verbal diarrhoea of political incorrectness to a stodgy boring politically correct neta who isn’t even a mouthpiece of controversial government policies.

All he is doing is making vague, non-controversial, non-threatening statements that don’t even pertain to policy , real changes he is making in his designated portfolio or political ideology! Boring!!!!!

For example on July 17 Harsh Vardhan made statements (specified categorically as his personal opinion) for the need to protect “human rights” of gays and said it was the government’s job to protect their rights.

Everybody, including gays, has human rights. It is the job of the government to protect their rights,” he stated yet declined commenting when asked to explain his position with regards to that of BJP, that happens to be his party which had supported the Supreme Court judgment upholding the validity of Section 377 of IPC, criminalising homosexuality as “unnatural” sex.

Gee seriously tell us something we don’t already know.

Imagine, just imagine if Harsh Vardhan had stated, “GLBT community needs legal protection of their human rights by our government by abolishing the Section 377 of IPC

Now that would have been being in the News for the right reasons!

On 20 July, Harsh Vardhan’s political spiel about a need for a national consensus on euthanasia was a lame lukewarm statement at best. Again it was fluff, no substance, no policy, noting but white noise while the rest of the nation passionately debates the issue.

Analysing the curious case of Union health Minister Harsh Vardhan experts are conducting in-depth analysis to reboot the original Dr Harsh Vardhan, who inadvertently united a nation in debating sex education, condoms,  sex, AIDS, parameters of licit and illicit relationships to name a few.

Sigh, I miss the good old Dr Harsh vardhan. Like the Windows Vista, his upgraded version is no good! A nation mourns!

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