Ailing Bihar maths wizard sent to Delhi for treatment

April 13th, 2009 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar Patna, April 13 (IANS) The Bihar government has sent mathematics wizard Vashistha Narayan Singh, who has been suffering for long from schizophrenia, to New Delhi for treatment. But political activists see it as a pre-poll move to woo a particular caste.
Singh has been ailing for several years without proper medical treatment at his house in Basantpur village in Bhojpur district, about 60 km from here. He left for the national capital along with his family members and a team of doctors by the ‘garib rath’ train Sunday evening, an official said Monday.

He would undergo a check-up followed by treatment at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences in New Delhi, said Kumar Adesh Chandra Srivastav, civil surgeon of Bhojpur district.

But the timing of the government’s decision to send Singh, who is in his 50s, for treatment has raised eyebrows in the political circles ahead of the first phase of Lok Sabha polls April 16.

“It is seen as a bid to woo a particular upper caste, who are not happy with Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) for apathy towards them and their interests,” said Satyanarayan Madan, a political activist.

“Singh’s condition deteriorated over the last two years, but the government hardly responded to requests for his treatment. With elections around the corner, he was sent for treatment,” said Sushil Kumar Singh, another political activist.

Singh belongs to the upper caste Rajputs and the Ara constituency has a sizeable Rajput population.

The mathematician’s family and caste organisations had made repeated requests to the government to extend medical treatment at the government’s expense.

In the late 1990s, then chief minister Lalu Prasad had provided for Singh’s treatment at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore.

But after Singh returned to his village, the state government stopped providing him medicines prescribed by NIMHANS.

Singh, the son of a constable, first shocked his teachers in Patna Science College in the early 1960s when he solved complex mathematical problems. His mathematical wizardry has got him invitations from several American universities for advanced research.

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