By : Balbir Ram :Owing moral responsibility of the firing in the Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, which caused death of five infants and by tendering of resignation from the cabinet, Punjab Medical Education Minister Tikshan Sood has set an example which is the rarest of the rare in these days and has not been witnessed for long.
It needs to be followed by others sitting at responsible and higher places in the governments at the cetre and in the states. In his resignation letter, Tikshan Sood stated "I am so shocked over the incident that I have decided to tender my resignation from the Punjab Cabinet with immediate effect and I own the moral responsibility of the incident". The wording of the letter itself speaks of the pain which shaked the conscious of the minister and made him to quit the ministerial berth. This incident has reminded the Indians of the days when, the then, Union Railway Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri had tendered his resignation owing moral responsibility over a train accident, although no such demand was made from any quarter.
Road and train accidents and fire incidents, which cause huge losses of property and precious lives, occur very often in India. Such incidents shake the people but do not have any impact on the politicians. Not only the leaders of opposition parties but the general public too demands resignation of the concerned minister from the government but all in vain. The government just sheds crocodile tears and set up inquiry committees to look into the causes. Such an exercise is just an eye-wash. Many a times, no action is taken on the recommendations of the committees or they are thrown in dust bins. And in order to escape public wrath, sometimes, action is initiated, but against low ranking employees who are made scapegoats to safeguard the higher officials or ministers.
In Rajindra Hospital Case, Tikshan Sood took prompt action and suspended the hospital staff too before tendering his resignation.
Whether the Chief Minister accepts resignation of Tikshan Sood or not, is different matter but the important thing is the minister did not chose to stick with the chair. Rather than making any lame excuse to escape the responsibility, Sood did not hesitate to own the responsibility. Such a gesture on part of Tikshan Sood needs appreciation by one and all as he has set high moral values and shown a way to others that they need to do justice with their responsibilities.
In today’s world, which is governed by considerations of power-whether wealth or political, one has to emulate the example of Tikshan Sood as a man of morality so that virtue always supercedes vice. His example makes people to believe that there is always a path of light in a tunnel of darkness.