Aiyoo Perumale!

…so said a friend, partly in anguish, partly in jest, referring to the Principal Secretary of the Government of Karnataka, Department of Health and Family Welfare, IR Perumal! I happened to witness this gentleman speaking at a press conference recently. He was talking about swine flu. He was there to dispel the myths about swine flu and reduce the panic among the public. The one thing about him that would strike you (or anyone) is the capacity of his vocal chords. He’s loud! And animated! Well, that’s not a bad thing at all.

At this particular press conference he was addressing the general public asking them not to panic about swine flu. No doubt, his point was effective. As in, no one could have not heard him. And he insisted on grabbing the mic at every given opportunity from the other doctors who were talking that day. And he definitely seemed to be happy with the media presence there. And each of them insisted that he speak to them separately for sound bytes.

Here’s a sample of some of the things he said, all with reference to swine flu.

* India is the hottest country. The swine flu will not come to India at all. If at all, one or two places it will come. It may be cold there.

* Clear your mind, it will not come and there may not be further deaths.

* If you sneeze, it will spread ten inches only. That is maybe one metre distance. It is a dropout. After ten seconds it will fall and it will disappear, it will not spread beyond that. Please understand that.

* India is known for always, the handshake is not the Indian birth, with folded arms it will be thanked. Let us follow that system, you know with folded arms thank you, that is sufficient. Let us not handshake. If at all you are shaking hands, immediately wash the hands. These are the small small things, if you follow this system, definitely you and I will keep the disease away and drive it out.

What I would like to know about Perumal is if he is a qualified doctor. I’m just curious because his visiting card does not have the ‘Dr’ prefix.

After all this I received an e-mail a few days later, from a Bangalore-based Association. This was an invitation to attend a talk by Perumal on the various initiatives being undertaken by the State Government with regard to swine flu. This interactive session was being organised specially for the members of the Association and others interested. But it came with a price. A whopping Rs. 500 to hear this Principal Secretary of Health talk.

Well, after the preview I got at the press conference, I wondered how this next meet would have gone. But I did not make an attempt to find out myself.

How many people attended this event? And did the attendees get their money’s worth? Your guess is as good as mine.

Note: Perumal’s quotes were verified through a local television news channel.


  1. Srikanth Parthasarathy says:

    Aiyooo! Perumale! Good that you blogged about him and his funny act at a serious conference! i watched it on News 9 many times and they have recorded his video and keep playing it as a “Just for Laughs” bit every hour.It is awful to look at a Principal Secretary making such silly statements when people are more serious than ever to know the right information. If he is a doctor, people will die out of his talks before even getting treated by him. An Unmitigated Disaster!

  2. Srikanth Parthasarathy says:

    One can watch the video here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Lok Sabha 2024: Know your MP – Manoj Kumar Tiwari, North East Delhi

Former Bhojpuri actor Manoj Kumar Tiwari has represented the North East Delhi constituency for two consecutive terms. A look at his last tenure

Manoj Kumar Tiwari is a two-time Lok Sabha member representing the North East Delhi constituency. He was an actor-singer in the Bhojpuri film industry. He began his political career with the Samajwadi Party; he contested and lost the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Gorakhpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. He then joined the BJP in 2013, contesting the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections from North East Delhi Constituency, and emerging victorious in both.   Read more: Lok Sabha 2024: A people’s manifesto for urban areas In 2019, Tiwari got 53.9% of the 16,35,204 votes cast in the constituency, which was 25%…

Similar Story

Lok Sabha 2024: Party hopping candidates, perplexed voters and a city at risk

Often criticised for their apathy during elections, Mumbaikars face politically unstable and unusual alliances to choose from this elections.

Finally, it is that time again, after five years. Voting for the 18th Lok Sabha is on May 20th for Mumbai and people are watching the high-pitched campaigns by candidates. And many voters — young and old — are perplexed at political developments over the past few months and years.  It is hard to tell when it started, or that it was always there. At one time, defecting to another political party was looked down upon. Political leaders who party-hopped were quizzed by the media, questioned by the people at public meetings and had to work doubly hard to convince…