Connected MRIs: Why Rahul Gandhi’s Healthcare Vision Is Beyond Trolls
Mon, 12 Mar 2018

Connected MRIs: Why Rahul Gandhi’s Healthcare Vision Is Beyond Trolls

“There is a BJP machine, about 1000 guys sitting on computers & telling you about me,” said Congress President Rahul Gandhi speaking at an event at UC Berkeley earlier last year. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is spending resources on defaming and crafting a certain image of the Congress President, one would expect them to come up with better content, instead of just ridiculing every statement that the Congress President makes. If you are regular on social media, in the last few days, you may have come across trolls making fun of Mr. Gandhi's MRI comment. 

When one thinks about it, it must be a tough job for the BJP’s hired guns, whose only purpose in life is to follow every statement that Mr. Gandhi makes, and to find a way to poke fun at it. Now these are people who don’t have enviable educational qualifications, and general awareness. Therefore, in their quest to troll Mr. Gandhi, they often expose their own deficiencies. This is exactly what happened recently. Mr. Gandhi was in Singapore, interacting with people from all walks of life – corporate, students etc. In one of his interactions, he spelt out his vision for Indian healthcare. He spoke about the need for a more connected, worldwide healthcare system, in which data plays an integral role. He emphasized on the need to connect healthcare, diagnostics, health data, genetics, and the hospital system. With an effective long-term strategy put in place, India can dominate global healthcare, Mr. Gandhi said. While on the subject, the Congress President also spoke about connected MRIs, or MRI clouds, which make possible worldwide sharing of MRI data.

Clearly, this is the future, and it is heartening that an Indian political leader is talking of a really visionary idea that can totally transform Indian healthcare. Mr. Gandhi places a lot of importance on the healthcare sector, and thinks that the government has to step in and make sizeable investments in the sector. A robust public healthcare system is the need of the hour, as he has reminded the nation after the Gorakhpur tragedy in BJP Chief Minister Adityanath’s own backyard. It is a thing of immense pride that India’s tallest Opposition leader is talking about a long-term vision at a time when for many in India, access to basic healthcare remains a formidable challenge.

This is something that affects all of us. Healthcare does not discriminate along party lines. However, unfortunately, BJP’s paid guns did not have the necessary profundity and nuance to appreciate Mr. Gandhi’s vision. We are certain that they had been asked to stick to the script and make fun of Mr. Gandhi. In their quest to do so, they picked up the MRI comment, and twisted it to project it as a juvenile idea. The truth is such systems already exist in the developed world. As they say, history repeats itself. When PM Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress President’s late father spoke of bringing computers to India, it was the same bunch that resisted and ridiculed him. Today, Mr. Gandhi is facing the same. While he speaks of a visionary idea, the PM says Lord Ganesha was the first example of “plastic surgery”. The frivolous statement exposes how out of depth Mr. Modi really is when it comes to substance. If you take away his rhetoric, Mr. Modi most probably would have nothing to wax eloquent on. This is the difference.

A massive self-goal has been scored. The BJP’s PR machinery, with a 1000 guys on computers, has failed to twist Mr. Gandhi’s statement. The façade is falling off. The old tactics are refusing to work as well. People have begun to see Mr. Gandhi for who he really is – a young, visionary leader who has a strategic vision for India, and also possesses the magnanimity of a true statesman to implement it.

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