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Indian Medical Association questioned over 'double standards' after Kolkata clash, its strike call

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is in the news after it called for a nationwide strike in the wake of attack on doctors in Kolkata.

While IMA speaking for doctor's safety is absolutely understandable, it has also come under flak for not speaking up when doctors were attacked, beaten, arrested and jailed in the line of duty. 

Especially, Twitterati questioned the role of IMA that seldom takes cognisance of brutal attacks and avoids speaking on key issues, not just about assaults with doctors but malpractices in the medical profession as well. 

Twitter users mentioned how BJP leader thrashed a doctor but this didn't caused any anger or response from the medical fraternity. Worse, there have been incidents like Gorakhpur tragedy when due to lack of Oxygen, kids were dying and doctors who tried to save them were penalized.

Even more, the doctors were suspended, arrested and jailed. But IMA didn't issue any statement against Yogi Adityanath government, let alone call for a strike. Similarly, on incidents like Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide who allegedly ended life due to caste-based harassment, IMA didn't even feel the need to introspect or announce any measures to deal with such issues. 

"Did doctors go on a mass strike when Dr. Kafeel Khan was vindictively arrested by the Adityanath govt for trying to save babies?", tweeted Mohammad Anas, a journalist, while mentioning the incident that had occurred in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

Raj Gupta, tweeted that fraternity like doctors, IAS officers take their pride only when there is weaker opponent to target like AK govt in Delhi". Last year BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde was caught on camera, slapping a doctor. In fact, doctor-patient conflict has become a major cause of concern.

After deaths of patients, often hospitals and doctors are targeted. Doctors have called for strong laws to protect them and in some states measures have been taken to provide security to the medicos. But the question is whether IMA or doctors' bodies too act and speak selectively? 

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.