A fresh controversy
has erupted over the death, more than five years ago, of Telugu
Desam Party founder N T Rama Rao, with his family physician making
the startling claim that the actor-turned-politician's death was
"not instantaneous" and that "he died without any
medical assistance". Dr Kaklarla Subba Rao, in his about-to-be-released
biography of NTR co-authored with a top scientist, contends that
his death was "certainly not instantaneous" and that there
was a time lag between his developing uneasiness and breathing his
last. The author thus virtually accuses the former chief minister's
second wife Lakshmi Parvathi of allowing him to die.
214-page book titled A Doctor's Story of Life and Death, the reputed
radiologist, who was medical adviser to Rama Rao's family, says
that NTR's wife having "called none of us would remain a very
disturbing fact of history and a big hole in my consciousness".
days of NTR were painful. Almost imprisoned by his wife, he was
alienated from his people. Stories of his taking steroids to enhance
his virility, so that he could father a son to Lakshmi Parvathi,
created widespread disgust and loss of face to hundreds of very
committed people who stood by him during the thick and thin in his
life," noted Dr Subba Rao, who is now vice-chancellor of the
city-based Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences.
The book, made
available to the United News of India, observes that things started
changing with NTR after his second marriage as "the new wife
wove her web around him".
He also wonders
whether the actor secretly took certain medicines, knowing well
that they should be avoided.
visit to NTR's house to congratulate him on his last electoral victory
in 1994, Dr Subba Rao says he was shocked to see Lakshmi Parvathi
feeding him with her hands and almost bragging about the care she
gave the old man.
NTR swept that
election, but not before marrying Lakshmi Parvathi, a party worker
half his age. Things meanwhile started changing for him, or at least
for the biographer.
earlier days, he used to call me at late nights on trivial issues
such as to confirm whether he should take a particular pill that
had been prescribed to him by another doctor. But when I asked about
his health this time, he very curtly said, 'What has happened to
me? I am all right. "With my years in medicine behind me, I
could feel something terribly wrong in him. Was he avoiding discussing
The book has
been co-authored by former missile scientist Arun K Tiwari, who
has penned a biography of the father of the Indian missile programme,
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Tiwari is director of the Cardiovascular Technology
Institute of the Care Foundation in Hyderabad.
Dr Subba Rao
said he had respectfully declined the offer NTR had made to him
to take over the reins of NIMS "as I hate political interference
in the functioning of professional institutions".
made him agree to be adviser to the government for health services.
Dr Subba Rao
said NTR's death in the early hours of January 18, 1996, was without
the presence of any physician by his side. "A man who created
NIMS died without getting medical assistance. That I could not do
anything to save my mentor from his fiendish end would ever remain
a tormenting guilt in me," he bemoaned.