Doctor Bashing: The New Indian Pastime..!

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Robert Clements

“What shall we play today?” asks India.
“Doctor Bashing!” reply the people, as they walk to a hospital with iron rods and sticks.
Last evening, I had a visitor, a young medical student from one of Maharashtra’s medical colleges where doctors are getting bashed up with increasing frequency! I had seen her as a child, studious, intelligent, an intensive public speaker, had watched as she’d put heart and soul into her books, finally to win a seat in medicine. She had won. Was overjoyed. And now fearful.
“I knew the doctor they beat up,” she whispered, “He was an excellent teacher, and an insightful physician, now the mob have made him a cripple! Is that what’s going to happen to us?”

Yes, is that what is going to happen to some in the medical profession? There have been over two hundred and fifty cases of such thrashing of doctors in Maharashtra alone! And it’s happening all over India.

In the days of old, when an influential patient fell ill or was injured badly, the monarch of the realm summoned his physician and informed him on pain of death, the patient should be cured. The doctors of those days worked under the threatening shadow of hangman’s noose, sword or guillotine!

As civilisation evolved, people grew educated, realising doctors were not magicians; they healed as much as science had developed. They were limited also, if equipment was not available, or specialist not on call.
The world understands this, but the Indian mob or vote bank doesn’t.

Not only have the cries of medical students, for, of all things, protection, gone unheeded, but they have been told emphatically to stop protesting or they will lose their seats! It’s like telling a politician that if you ask for security, you will be disqualified as an MLA or MP!

Or telling a learned judge, that if your life is at stake, we, the state are not responsible! 
I see fifty per cent of the police, yes fifty per cent of the 46,000 policemen in the State guarding ministers, legislators, judges and other VIPs!

But, and this is a big but, if the government continues, with this unhealthy trend, I repeat what I saw in that little girl’s eyes, a reluctance to serve in rural areas, or even in cities, without security. If this happens, the same government can build the best hospitals, equip it with the best machinery, but such will be staffed by empty corridors! Empty consulting rooms! Empty operation theatres! Then one day soon, India will ask again, “What shall we play today?” 

“Politician Bashing!” will scream the tired, sick, hysterical, mob, as they look at hospitals without doctors, and vote these politicians out..!

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