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Bengal: After TMC mainstreamed anti-Bihar sentiment, pregnant woman says doctor turned her away because she did not know Bengali

When the pregnant woman said that she did not know Bengali, a doctor at JNM hospital in Kalyani town in Nadia district allegedly told her to go to Bihar for treatment

A woman in West Bengal has alleged that she was denied treatment by a Bengali doctor for speaking Hindi. The incident allegedly took place at the College of Medicine & J.N.M. Hospital in Kalyani town in Nadia district of West Bengal.

The woman was scheduled to undergo a Caesarean delivery (C-section) on Tuesday (April 26). As such, she was admitted to the emergency ward of the JNM hospital. The woman, who is a resident of Kakinara in North 24 Parganas district, said that a doctor inquired about her physical condition in Bengali language.

When the pregnant woman said that she did not know Bengali, the doctor allegedly told her to go to Bihar and undergo treatment there. “Bangla na janle Bihar e giya chikitsa koran (If you don’t know Bengali, then go to Bihar for treatment),” she accused the doctor of saying.

Reportedly, the incident took place in the presence of the woman’s relatives, who then had a heated argument with the doctor, nurses and the hospital staff. Thereafter, a scuffle broke out between the two groups.

In a video that has now come to light, a Burqa clad woman could be seen assaulting the health workers after they tried to snatch her phone, which allegedly contained a recording of the doctor’s contentious remarks. The woman and her family had filed a complaint with the police.

While speaking to TV9 Bangla, the woman claimed, “I am 9 months’ pregnant. I had gone to the hospital with my medical issues…The doctor-in-charge told me to go back to where I came from. He also tore the medical papers. I was beaten badly at the hospital.”

The hospital authorities had meanwhile dismissed the allegations and accused the woman and her relatives of obstructing them and recording videos without prior permission. “There was a language-related issue. The woman’s family were soon up in arms. It’s a condemnable incident. We have notified the police,” they told TV9 Bangla.

A doctor, working at the hospital, anonymously told Anandabazar Patrika, “If a patient is erroneously treated due to a language barrier, then, who is going to take responsibility? The patient’s family always play the victim card. This is a kind of blackmailing strategy,” he said. The police have launched a probe into the matter and are investigating claims made by both sides.

Opindia had tried reaching out to the College of Medicine & J.N.M. Hospital multiple times but failed to connect to the hospital authorities.

Anti-Bihari sentiment mainstreamed by the TMC government

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been responsible for ‘mainstreaming’ discriminatory behaviour towards the people of Bihar. In the run-up to the 2021 West Bengal Vidhan Sabha polls, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee made several distasteful remarks against the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

She tried to consolidate the Bengali vote by first labelling the BJP as a party of ‘outsiders‘ (Bohiragoto). “Baira thaka goondara aisa bangla ke dhokhol kora nibe, Banglar sanskriti ke dhokhol kore nabe, banglar asthitya dhokhol kore nabe.(Goons from other States will come here and take over Bengal, destroy its culture and identity),” the incumbent West Bengal Chief Minister alleged during an election rally in Nandigram.

In March this year, a Trinamool Congress legislator named Manoranjan Byapari compared Biharis to ‘diseases’ during a speech at the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair.

“If you have the blood of a true Bengali like Binay-Badal, Khudiram and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and love the Bengali language, then, ignite the fire in you. You will also have to say it out loud: Ek Bihari, 100 Beemarii (One Bihari is equal to 100 diseases). We don’t want diseases. Make Bengal disease-free,” the lawmaker was heard as saying.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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