Asansol, Feb 29th, 2015. By an honest reporter.
Every noble deed is followed by a slew of opportunists trying to cash in.
A delegation of quack practitioners eking a living out of various “belief systems” (i.e. non-scientific and devoid of any sense) systems of medical practice gathered here today. They have unanimously decided to confer the title of “saint” to the humble papaya tree.
Speaking to reporters, self-confessed quack “Dr” Jackup Veddakkan Sheddi raved deliriously in his routine rabid manner: “For thousands of years, the papaya tree has been used to cure low platelet counts in dengue patients. Modern science has never been able to explain how this happens. Hence, its naturally classifies as a miracle. Whether anyone cares for it or not, our pack has unanimously resolved to anoint Sainthood on the papaya tree!”
When a reporter pointed out that there were no words such as “dengue” or “platelets” in any ancient literature, and were discovered by science relatively recently, Veddakkan Sheddi snapped, saying that he doesn’t “believe” in modern scientific medicine, and hence refuses to accept the presence of dengue and platelets at all.
He quickly exited the conference hall with his mouth cleverly shut, ignoring questions from puzzled reporters about the mutually contradictory statements he had just given.
Meanwhile, a frank and ‘well-intentioned’ quack confided to this reporter: “Sir, in the recent dengue seasons, we hyped up this papaya juice myth among people and most of them fell for it. Sales of papaya-related products made many of us millionaires overnight, in spite of us knowing it to be scientifically unproven and useless. Secretly, we do know that dengue is actually a self-curing condition, if cared for properly. The papaya leaf theory is unproven as yet, and the jury is still out about its safety. The cost of each papaya-leaf pill is much more than any proper routine medicine too. This papaya tree hoax is the latest miracle to happen to us quacks’ pockets and several fly-by-night businessmen. Hence, yes, from our side, it definitely deserves worshippable status!”
CEO of Kubera chain of hospitals, Mr Kaisebi Kashbana, also welcomed the move. “See, obviously, platelet counts will rise, papaya or not. But for us too, people trying out papaya leaves turns out to be better business. You see, raw papaya products, if not used carefully, are known to cause various adverse effects, even abortion. In fact, qualified doctors have been suspecting that the recent spurt of complicated dengue cases may be due to the papaya trials that people are blindly trying out on themselves. Though even ethical doctors have been asking people to be cautious about such remedies, people don’t seem to be bothered. When such people land up with us in late or complicated stages of the diseases due to delay in proper treatment or as a consequence of quackery, our ICU’s get full. If people are voluntarily asking for trouble, what can we do?” he retorted, his face giving a hint of glee.
Sensing opportunity to gain minority votes express solidarity with agitators as usual, Delhi Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal has rushed into Asansol. “Raw papaya being a green coloured and nutritious fruit, yet being neglected for its miracle powers, is a perfect symbol of a certain minority in this country. I am firmly in favour of uplifting the papaya tree to Saint status, to attract international attention to the issue of minorities. By the way, the papaya tree is also believed to absorb radiations in the atmosphere, and will be a life-saver when we flood the city of Delhi with free wi-fi in case we decide to carry out our election promises”, the once-aethist CM said.
The Congress is also upbeat. They are demanding sainthood status for none other than Mr Rahul Gandhi. Insider reports say they are sure that it’s a miracle that someone of his caliber could reach a top leadership position, lead the party to its worst losses in history, not once, but repeatedly, and yet retain a top party spot with unanimous support from its members.
However, Mr Rahul Gandhi seemed lost, deep in thought. “I don’t think I deserve this honour. When women empowerment is such a burning issue, how can we even think of glorifying a fruit that is called ‘papa-ya’?” he pondered aloud to his suddenly alert team of ministers. “We should launch a movement to get it renamed as ‘mama-ya’ or the more balanced ‘mapa-ya’. Once empowered, we will get it saint-hooded”, he told the audience in pin-drop silence, all gawking with open mouths over the sheer brilliance and humility of their baba.
PM Modi, typical of his all-emcompassing style, stunned everyone as usual in the end with his wisdom and eloquence. “Mitron, the raw papaya fruit is green on the outside, has a white sap just beneath the skin, and when the fruit ripens, is full of saffron and sweetness on the inside. It truly symbolizes India. Instead of fighting over it, let’s all come together, make more and more of the fruit in India, and enjoy its sweetness and nutrition!”, he appealed.
With PM Modi pointing out that the ripe papaya is “saffron from within”, Mr Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi have both retracted their support to the ‘sainthood-for-papaya’ movement. A couple of notorious reporters have drawn out daggers, tweeting: “Modi hell bent on saffronising food?”; a fresh controversy appears to be brewing.
Not to be left out, AAP stalwart tweeted: “Why the Modi is forcing ppl to enjoy saffron scent? Aapsurd!”
Originally published in The UnReal Times, here.