by Bhaswati Bhattacharya
MPH MD (Family Medicine)
PhD (Ayurveda ‑ BHU)
Perhaps the root of all injustices occurring today in modern society in almost every Republic across the globe is the collective lack of priority toward high-quality education both connected with the Earth and practical for today. When the masses are uneducated and separated from their instincts, they are easy prey for mental manipulation. They are taught by bankers, webinars, and self-made millionaires how to make decisions, only to fill the coffers of the clever. Indeed, this tool has been perfected by conquerors over the millennia.
Online advice today on transferring money does not teach the reader how to save money! It teaches them to buy a product with distractions that make them feel they have profited, yet the end result is that the advisor makes money and the reader discovers no financial benefit. Too late. Which financial consultant works for the customer’s best interest, in which the advisor makes less money in order for the customer to maximize the use of their money? Consultants in every field ensure their own profit and gain either before or concurrent with the group requesting help.
Medical experts claim to give all medical options, yet they rarely advise low-cost preventive alternatives and how to implement them, opting instead for the high-margin profits of interventions that sustain their wealth. Brand drugs, blood tests that are obsolete the hour after they are taken and often have no evidence-based clinical correlation with the disease, and radiologic scans performed wrong and thus providing ambiguous results are more common today than patients realize. When doctors are confronted, they blame it on the system, which trains health professionals poorly and has no accountability for errors made by non-physicians.
Whopping profits are justified as good business sense, in the name of holy capitalism. Being able to maximize profit is considered admirable and puts the person into an elite category of productivity. Cleverly stealing intellectual property, as Microsoft did for several decades, or as IBM took advantage of devastation in the 1940s post-WWII is lauded. Cleverly charging huge fees for medical drugs, diagnostic tests or services, or charging extraordinary prices for food are today considered good business, and not an abandon from Civic Sense.
Devoted environmental protection experts have been retired. Food chemistry and food engineering are prestigious disciplines that have direct connections to government ministries and departments. In the name of science and hunger alleviation, they advocate production of refined oils, hazardous salt products, sugars, depleted grains, and produce that are poisonously cultivated but rationalized by clever marketing that promotes “maintaining freshness.” They have harnessed the legal right to use preservatives harmful to either humans, plants, or ecosystems. In paper products, once a large subject for environmentalists, PPE is delivered and used without training or intelligence, advocating enormous waste and unethical sales and production in the past one year. Marijuana is legalized without utilizing the long history of medicinal use, just for dousing pain. The guilt of the opioid abuse scandals are swept away by hopping over to a new product, while knowing that nerves are permanently damaged over time with unpurified cannabis. Cellphones are promoted, knowing that non-ionizing radiation is not balanced during usage and thus causes damage to the vulnerable.
The duty to do service for the public good, for humanity, for the Earth, and for others, while taking less for oneself, is considered foolish and ignorant today. Fill your own pockets first. Kindness should be connected to value, and value is money. Accounting laws, corporations, and certain sects and faiths in society punish those who work selflessly for others, casting them out for not “playing the game.”
The holy ideal of a republic is to empower the people and trust that they are mentally able, good-willed and civic-minded enough that their collective intelligence will make supreme power worthy, compassionate and life-affirming.
Over decades, cunning powerful people with greedy motives have insidiously succeeded by providing bad food, lack of access to farming, promotion of addictions such as marijuana, television, gaming or videostreaming via cellphones, and suppressed the natural human motivation toward adhyatmikta – the drive toward knowing the inner self. This combination produces people who are low in intellect, low in drive, low in life-energy, and low in self-esteem.
And thus, people are quietly sick, chasing after quick fixes and never turning to the sciences that promote wellness, calm and connection. They don’t sleep well. They don’t know how to have good sex. They do not drink clean water. They do not eat nourishing foods. The bar is lowered from high levels of functioning to just having ‘Normal’ or ‘within range’ on expensive lab tests. Ayurveda loses its voice with each year of blunt practitioners taught by blunt teachers. Young vaidyas and self-proclaimed experts who channel wisdom from previous births are ignorant from their upbringings, disconnected with true wisdom, and spinning to turn a buck or become a bestselling author or renowned healer.
The science of wellness interfaces unsuccessfully with modern challenges unless we turn to our food, our farms, and our forests. Go. Ayurveda will meet you there. Then the meaning of republics with empowered
The South Asian Times Columnist Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya is a Fulbright Specialist 2018‐2022 in Public Health and Clinical Asst Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York. Her bestselling book Everyday Ayurveda is published by Penguin Random House. www.drbhaswati.com