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Believe me, as old habits die hard, so are the old memories, which really die hard. And if memories are related to your long association with stalwarts’ or statesman like late HN Bahuguna, former union minister thrice and the most successful chief of the largest state of the largest democracy of the world India, Uttar Pradesh, then the memories really never die.

I had a long privileged association with late HN Bahuguna, a self made icon of Indian politics who had the guts to challenge late Smt Indira Gandhi on the imposition of emergency in 1975 and her obstinate politically over ambitious son late Sanjay Gandhi and resign as UP CM to join the late Jai Prakash Narayan, the leader of total revolution and the architect of Janata Party, the conglomeration of several of the then anti Indira and anti Congress Party that became the political alternative to Congress during 1977.

Late HN Bahuguna was a freedom fighter, a great political stalwart and a most succesful chief minister of UP who not only succesfully quelled the then PAC revolt but also established his true secular credentials by establishing an environment of absolute communal harmony in the biggest state then suffering from the regular shia sunni clashes. He was the first CM UP who for the first time in 1975 established the foundation of separate developmental socio political and economic entity of Uttarakhand by declaring the official formation of separate Uttarakhand development council with a separate chairman for the formulation of development related policies and programmes for Uttrakhand.

This picture of mine with this towering personality is of 1980 when late Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna visited the institution, Motilal Nehru College, then situated in Moti Bagh, New Delhi as chief guest of the Moti Lal Nehru College Students’ Union of which I was the duly elected president. Late HN Bahuguna was then the Union Finance Minister in Choudhary Charan Singh’s cabinet who was then the prime minister of India after Late Morarji Desai.

I fondly remember dressed in starched white Khadi Kurta and chudidaar Pyjama, handsome Bahuguna with polished black shining shoes visited our college on my invitatation and impressed one and all by his highly inspiring speech. He also donated Rs three thousand for the college library to purchase books to be delivered to poor students from his own pocket. A politician with great oratorical skill then spoke on various national issues including the insurgency in Nagaland and the role of the students in politics.

Those days were really awesome as leaders like HN Bahuguna’s stature and aptitude are seldome witnessed today who really inspired the younger generation by their moral and ethical deeds and principles. Late HN Bahuguna shifted to Allahabad on his own while he was a student after having been immensely inspired by late Jawahar Lal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. He formed a trade union of rickshaw pullers and laborours and was the elected president of the Allahabad Students Union.

He fought the Britishers relentlessly and there was a prize of Rs 1000 on his head to be caught alive or dead. He carved a niche for himself by the dint of his perseverence and commitment by being involved in various socio political movement and became MLA from Phoolpur for the first time. He was later on made the deputy minister of labour, then union minister of state for communications, Govt of India and then CM UP in 1975 to be followed by Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh.

He developed cracks with Indira Gandhi on the issue of dynasty after she promoted Sanjay Gandhi in politics and opposed emergency of 1975 to join Jai Prakash Narayan, the leader of total revolution with Babu Jagjivan Ram, the then Defence Minister in Indira’s cabinet who also quit Congress to follow suit with Bahuguna. Bahuguna was elevated as Minister for Petroleum and Chemicals in Morarji’s cabinet and was later on appointed as union finance minister in Choudhary Charan Singh’s cabinet who repalced Morarji Desai as prime minister. Bahuguna later on won the historical Garhwal by election defeating Indra’s candidate Chandra Mohan Singh Negi and finally lost to celebrity politician Amitabh Bachchan from Allahabad in the next general parliamentary elections. He later became the President of Lok Dal, thereafter formed his own political outfit Democratic Socialist Party and finally Dalit Mazdoor Kisaan Party. Bahuguna fought for the poor, under privileged, down troddens during his whole life and established strong secular credentials as a political leader, highly adored and respected by the minorities of the country. He died in 1989 at Houston in America after his second surgery of the heart.

SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

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A chat with Dr. Devi Shetty, Narayana Hrudayalaya (Famous Heart Specialist) Bangalore was arranged by WIPRO for its employees. The transcript of the chat is given below. Useful for everyone.

Qn1. What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart?

Ans:
1. Diet – Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise – Half an hour’s walk, at least five days a week;
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control BP – Blood pressure and Sugar

Qn2. Can we convert fat into muscles?

Ans: It is a dangerous myth. Fat and muscles are made of two different tissues, fat is fat … Ugly and harmful… Muscle is muscle. Fat can never be converted into a muscle.

Qn3. It’s still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person
gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?

Ans: This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.

Qn4. Are heart diseases hereditary?

Ans: Yes

Qn5. What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?

Ans: Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.

Qn6. Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?

Ans: Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints.

Qn7. You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?

Ans: Mother Theresa, who was my patient.

Qn8. Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?

Ans: Extremely rare.

Qn9. Does cholesterol accumulate right from an early age (I’m currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?

Ans: Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

Qn10. How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?

Ans: You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body’s enzyme release for digestion gets confused.

Qn11. How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?

Ans: Control diet, walk and eat walnut.

Qn12. Which is the best and worst food for the heart?

Ans: Fruits and vegetables are the best and oil is the worst.

Qn13. Which oil is better – groundnut, sunflower, olive?

Ans: All oils are bad.

Qn14. What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?

Ans: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.

Qn15. What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?

Ans: Help the person into a sleeping position, place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit, since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.

Qn16. How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?

Ans: Extremely difficult without ECG.

Qn17. What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.

Ans: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.

Qn18. Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120/80 and yet be perfectly healthy?

Ans: Yes.

Qn19. Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?

Ans : Yes, co-sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities and you may NOT have a software engineer as a child.

Qn20. Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart? What precautions would you recommend?

Ans : When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as yougrow older, respect the biological clock.

Qn21. Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short/long term)?

Ans : Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe.

Qn22. Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks?

Ans : No.

Qn23. Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
Ans : No.

Qn24. How would you define junk food?

Ans : Fried food like Kentucky , McDonalds , Samosas, and even Masala Dosas.

Qn25. You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?

Ans: Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately, Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.

Qn26. Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?

Ans: No.

Qn27. Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded e-mails on this)?

Ans: Yes. Lie down comfortably and put an aspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.

Qn28. Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?

Ans: No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.

Qn29. Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise?

Ans : Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.

Qn30. Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?

Ans: Yes. A strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.

Qn31. What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?

Ans : Diet, exercise, drugs on time , Control cholesterol, BP, weight.

Qn32. Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?

Ans : No.

Qn33. What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs?

Ans: There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs and go for natural ways of controlling blood pressure by walk, diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.

Qn34. Does dispirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?

Ans : No.

Qn35. Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?

Ans: Nature protects women till the age of 45. (Present Global census show that the Percentage of heart disease in women has increased than in men).

Qn36. How can one keep the heart in a good condition?

Ans: Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for health checkups if you are past the age of 30 ( once in six months recommended).