Anubrata Mandal, Jyotipriya Mallik, Tapas Pal –all have played their parts. Now it is time for Dr.Nirmal Majhi to carry forward the TMC tradition. Dr.Nirmal Majhi, Trinamool MLA of Uluberia South and President of ‘Progressive Doctors’ Association’ (affiliated to TMC) first called for burning real human effigies of doctors affiliated to the Leftist medical wing ’ Association Of Health Services Doctors’(AHSD). Following that, as a response to the criticisms against his comments, he explained that his earlier statement was meant to be a humour, but he nevertheless stuck to the opinion that those doctors should be stripped !
The AHSD has been conducting protests all over the state after Chief minister Mamata Banerjee suspended several health officers following the encephalitis attack s in West Bengal. Among the suspended officers was Dr.Anup Roy , the Principal of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.
Dr. Majhi had claimed that Dr. Anup Roy was irregular in attending office and spent most of the time in Kolkata. He was caught saying that people would burn living effigies of all doctors who had participated in the protests .Such hate-speeches are not uncommon among Trinamool leaders,but it is indeed shameful that this time it came from a doctor. While doctors are considered the cream of the society and are expected to save lives, while hundreds of poor, common people consider these ‘life-savers” as God , this comment from a doctor, with direct provocation of burning protestors alive came as a real shock!!
Ever since Trinamool came to power, there has been several instances of suspending and transferring health officers and doctors whimsically and without justifications. On the very 1st month of taking charge as the Chief Minister , Mamata Banerjee had suspended Dr.Shayamapada Ghorai , then Director of Bangur Institute of Neurology, absolutely without any valid reason, and without issuing any show-cause letter. Dr.Ghorai received a show-cause letters after 3 months of his suspension.
Since the encephalitis epidemic started wrecking havoc and claiming more and more lives, the state government , in a desperate attempt to hide its own incompetence, made doctors into scapegoats. Mamata Banerjee suspended three medical officers for their alleged ‘delay’ in communicating information regarding encephalitis. Several others were briskly transferred to other districts, setting into play a roll of transfers across the state leading to more and more mismanagement. The real fact of the matter is however different. It is pretty much clear that the state government and the state run hospitals are far from ready to fight the epidemic. There aren’t enough beds for the huge rush of patients, the infrastructure is absolutely on the verge of breakdown and the staff crunch is only worsening the situation. The only two ‘remedies’ the state government has apparently ‘invented’ to tackle the situation are suspending officers and isolating pigs! And it isn’t hard to guess that the doctors who are facing the government’s grudges are mostly those with inclinations towards left!
Earlier this month, the AHSD had held a convention and had openly challenged the government. They called for bigger movements if the government disagreed to re-consider the hasty decisions of suspending doctors. They even came up with facts which clearly contradicted the government’s statements. They complained of having received threats from a certain sector to hold back reports of encephalitis cases. It could be possible that the government got scared at this open ‘jehad’ of the health service doctors who had gathered for the convention in spite of knowing that they could be dropped from job too!
Our ruling party has seemingly lost all willingness to accept criticisms from any sector of the society. So they do not leave any exemptions for even the ‘life savers’ ! And it is worse because this time, the display of intolerance came from a doctor himself ; and at a time when the state is expected to act hand in hand with the entire medical fraternity to fight this massive epidemic , setting aside petty sectarianisms.
The manner in which Dr. Majhi attacked his fellow colleagues is beneath the etiquettes of the medical society and it should be strongly condemned.