A terrifying new disease is spreading its slimy tentacles all across the country, only months after the first outbreak. The disease, caused by a deadly virus, targets people such as politicians, public officials, and even gurus, whose moral immunity may have already been weakened by years of exposure to similar illnesses.Â The disease mainly affects the brain and tongue of the victim. As the disease progresses, the patient feels an involuntary urge to stand up and say something stupid in public. While in the grip of the fever, the patient also professes utter confidence and conviction in their utterances. Triggers for the disease are usually violent attacks against women, such as the Delhi gang-rape case in December 2012, after which many people started showing signs of this deadly disease, dubbed â€œDesi Foot-in-Mouthâ€.
The latest case, involving NCP and Maharashtra Commission for Women member, Dr. Asha Mirge, has medical experts worried. Despite being a doctor herself, the honourable Dr. Asha was unable to prevent the incubation of the virus in her system. Dr. Asha appeared to be normal as she carried out her daily activities. “There were absolutely no warning signs”, an anonymous source said, â€œShe had got up and brushed her teeth, and gone to office on time. In fact, at lunchtime, she had even ordered Chowmein from Hotel Ming Fun Manohar (Authentic Chainees)â€.
Yet, later that day, Dr. Asha made many strange remarks while in the grip of the disease. “Why did Nirbhaya go for a late night show with her boyfriend? She could have gone for a matinee or early evening show?” she said, much to the alarm of friends, colleagues and theatre-owners.
We spoke to several specialists who confirmed that these kind of hallucinations are a key symptom of the disease. “Patients experience a blurring of reality and imagination. They completely forget about the fact that crimes are, in fact, carried out by criminals. When such a fact is put to them, they deny it. Instead, they start having an unnatural obsession with other things”, said Miss Aujani, a medical researcher. For example, in May last year, when the virus wreaked havoc on officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, a large number of the patients there became obsessed with, and scared of mannequins in shops, and started blaming them for rape. Extreme symptoms of the illness include a fear of make-up products (the case of MP Abhijit Mukherjee), a fear of skirts (MLA Banwari Lal Singhal), and a fear of mobiles (MP Rajpal Saini, members of the Anjuman Muslim Panchayat). Many hospitals also report vivid hallucinations about western culture and so-called â€œforeign handsâ€, with the most famous case being that of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat. â€œWe decided to give up our tradition and run madly after western culture and way of living. This robbed us of moral concerns and ethical living and triggered personal and national decay,” he had said, while wearing very short khaki pants.
“It appears to be a biological escape mechanism.“, said Dr. Pat Rearkee of Louly Medical Hospital, “When the patientâ€™s brain realises that they might actually have to take actions to improve the law and order situation, the body goes into panic mode. The virus then stimulates the bodyâ€™s dormant moronic system, which goes into overdrive. It tricks the brain into creating elaborate scenarios.”
Doctors say that such victims need our sympathy while they recover. Periodic injections of logic and rationality, and therapy to confront their fears can help. Researchers have also offered to visit such patients, and teach them facts and statistics on rape. However, doctors advise a cautionary approach. Since most patients are in a fragile state of mind, they may go into medical shock when presented with the truth.
The incubation period for the virus is currently unknown. In most cases, the virus would have lodged itself in childhood, and tends to manifest later on. Families who prefer sons over daughters, or those who treat women as second-class citizens, are the most likely carriers of the virus. Viruses have also been found in abundance wherever grumpy old men make questionable decisions on behalf of others.
Doctors at the All India Institute of Mental Sciences say that the disease may soon reach epidemic proportions. They say vulnerable people must take extra precautions to avoid infections. In a statement released earlier today, they said, â€œWe are advising politicians, public officials and Khap-panchayat members to stay indoors and dress in modest clothing until the infection passes.â€
This is the unedited version of my column published in Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle on 2 Feb 2014
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