It was Health Minister Karmarkar’s privilege to mess up the nation’s kitchens some time ago by standing up in Parliament and talking about the dangers of vanaspati. Now he has turned to such varied fare as nylon, plastics and even lipstick and held up the scare of contact hermatitis.

Unfortunately, this time the Minister’s statement is supported by the spectacle of a number of persons in the Irwin Hospital undergoing treatment for the said hermatitis. It is a great tragedy that the very foundations of modern civilisation should thus be threatened.

Human evolution has advanced so far that even mylady’s shopping bag is plastic-made and what disaster will not overtake the human race if, as a result of medical warning, we have to sever all contact with these essential materials?

Our abiding faith in the ingenuity of man, however, makes us hope that plastic-nylon manufacturers will meet the threat as determinedly as cigarette manufacturers have for long been meeting the cancer threat. Perhaps we shall soon have plastic coats with a free supply of antidermatitis serum – or perhaps a perfumed neutraliser lotion.

Meanwhile, we are happy that mylady may go a bit slow on lipstick. It may take some colour out of the landscape, but it will also remove some unpleasant taste! And beauty unadorned is adorned the best.

(EDIT, August 16, 1960.)

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