Denial of human rights in India to persons of select groups or castes is nothing new. In fact it is age-old tradition zealously defended by many custodians of religion and culture.
Doctors of modern medicine in India are the new “untouchables”. With politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary, police, religious preachers, MBAs, CAs, advocates, engineers, bankers, insurers, quacks, traders, clerks, hawkers, roadside vendors, beggars and others occupying the higher echelons of this new caste system, doctors of modern system of medicine have been pushed to the lowest rung.
They are allowed to live their subhuman existence but to serve without any rights of their own. They are made to work long hard hours, can be asked to work at night in name of emergencies, do not have any weekend “off”, should work free of cost or accept whatever pittance is offered, should offer the other cheek if assaulted but cannot strike or protest even if some of them are beaten up brutally or even killed.
Medical Council of India (MCI), which is the regulatory body of modern medicine doctors, now dictates that action would be taken against doctors who go on strike. Since the only action MCI is capable of taking involves cancellation or suspension of registration it means your registration will be cancelled or suspended if you go on strike.
We should thank Nathuram Godse for having killed Mahatma Gandhi because the Mahatma, if he had been alive, would have been hurt at this new caste system and at treatment meted out to these new untouchables. His principle of ‘Non-Cooperation’ on which he gave India its Independence is trampled with impunity in his own country. The new untouchables cannot protest!
Though Dr Kunal Saha publicly has attacked the MCI mostly on all issues but in this matter MCI is doing his bidding even without being directly asked to do so. ‘People for Better Treatment’ under Dr Kunal Saha had approached the Supreme Court to take action against striking doctors. SC felt it was a difficult relief to grant. But MCI took its own steps and ordered State Medical Councils to act against striking doctors. MCI today has become politicized and has no concern for the very doctors it governs. It is but doing the bidding of its political masters as it has in the past.
Dr Neeraj Nagpal
Convenor, Medicos Legal Action Group
Ex-President, IMA Chandigarh
Medico-Legal Expert Dr M C Gupta Comments:
“MCI or nobody else can dictate anything. We live not in a dictatorship but in a country ruled by law. MCI/SC have no power to ban strike which is a fundamental right. The referred MCI circular is a paper tiger and is nothing but an empty threat. It is for the ‘cream of the society’ to choose how to respond to an empty threat.”