I was returning from Gundlupet with BJP leaders and party workers, after paying tributes to Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad, who passed away recently. I heard someone saying “It was not an age to die. He was a humble politician with no haters. May be because of his good deeds, he had died painless.”
These words held me thinking how one’s life turns out to be! Even though I am a politician, I am a surgeon, a doctor. In medical terminology, such deaths are called as ‘Silent MI’, which stands for Myocardial Infarction. In this stage, the heart doesn’t receive enough blood and it doesn’t even feel the pain and the person dies, without noticing any sort of a pain.
After many years of being a diabetic, a problem called Neuropathy occurs. If it affects the nerves that connect the heart, which in turn leads to insufficient blood supply to the heart. The pain also goes unnoticed in this stage, which people call as a painless death. Unfortunately, a man who battles diabetes for a very long duration receives a painless death!
Life of a politician is unlike that of common people. Getting up early in the morning, going for a walk or jog, having a healthy breakfast, a good day of work, sumptuous meal, a bit of a rest, going back home early in the evening, spending some quality time with the family members, no! Politicians, irrespective of the political party, do not have any of such ‘privileges’!
The politicians who get into the field in order to serve the society miserably fail to look after their health. What can one achieve if he falls ill? As a doctor I consider health as the biggest wealth. If the life expectancy of human being is said to be around 70-80 years, politicians’ life expectancy is coming down to 50-60 years.
The main cause for this is the pressure we face and the way we handle it. Working for day and nights together, going too far of places, irregular food intake, in addition to this, bad habits such as drinks and cigarette, which are falsely considered as the stress busters, are making a politician to pay his toll.
I recently read veteran writer Jogi describing life as an orange tree and the 24 hours as the fruits we get in it every day. He advices to have at least one fruit for ourselves, that is, to use a few hours for one’s health and family sake, and as a doctor, I recommend the same. We should spend an hour to look after our bodily and mental strength and health.
We do life insurances which doesn’t pay anything when we are fine and alive. It comes only after we breathe our last. The real insurance for our lives is the walking, jogging or an hour’s exercise that we do every day. When we do exercise, it pressurises the heart to work well and induces it into pumping sufficient blood into the blood streams. Politics is to do well and it should give pleasure, and not pressure! We can do some good deeds for the society only if we can stay healthy.
International Yoga Day is observed on June 21, but how many of the politicians and citizens have made it into their day-to-day activities? Prime Minister Narendra Modi who works for 18 hours a day does ‘Power Yoga’ for 20 minutes and says it energises him for the entire day’s work. After taking over the presidentship of the Mysuru City BJP, I happened to face some moments of pressure. But I have experienced an hour’s jogging and exercise providing me the enthusiasm to work for an entire day.
Politicians do have options to keep themselves healthy. They get advanced medical aides, gym and other facilities. Every politician should spend some time according to their priority to keep themselves fit. Then only the perception of people towards politicians, having frowned face, huge belly, and lacking enthusiasm will be changed to slim and trim role models.
I went through an article recently, which said, due the work pressure the average life expectancy of the doctors has come down by 10 years. I have considered it as an alarm as I am a doctor as well as a politician! Being social servers, it is our duty to take care of our health. Let’s not allow the stress to take its toll on us!
By Dr Manjunath BH,
MBBS, MS (Ortho) and President, Mysore City (District) BJP