“Down with Fascism”
“Gajendra Go back”
“Smriti Irani Hai Hai”
The slogans rent the air in the FTII campus in Pune. Local, national and even international media followed the antics of a few middle aged students, ever eternal rebels without a cause, while political games were played and students willingly became pawns.
A few months pass, and there’s a similar protest against the government in Karnataka. Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) have gone on an indefinite strike. But the contrast between the two couldn’t have been sharper.
No politician tweeted their support. No film celebrities attended the event. No minister or “social activists” bothered with us. And, India, once again proved that our bureaucratic DNA is that of any Soviet influenced, essentially socialist country. This in spite the fact that the just 2-3 days ago, the striking doctors were beaten up by the Karnataka Police.
What are the doctors fighting for? A stipend hike, for Karnataka resident doctors are paid the least in India, and this is in spite of having such huge centres of medical excellence like Bangalore, Hubballi and Manipal. The average resident doctor in a state government hospital in Meghalaya earns more than twice earned by a similar resident doctor in Karnataka
Lest it be thought to be in a purely economic context, we have a more basic need too. Even as the country burns with suppressed anger over one sexual assault case after another, assault cases against Doctors, some even with sexual component, rarely get highlighted. Hospital administrations, with active support from civil authorities, suppress such news even as media in a well Orchestrated campaign, maligns doctors for so called “medical negligence”
Delayed, denied and murdered justice:
Karnataka govt has been sitting on this proposal for almost 2 years now. All assurances, all public statements have been pure face saving measures. There has been no increase in the stipend from 8 years now, and the steep increase in living costs is anyone’s guess
I write this article after having been made to wait for almost 4 hours by the authorities in Vidhana Soudha. I merely ask this one simple question: would a doctor making you wait for 2 years for his/her attention be worth the doctor Tag that they get?