Ek Doctor Ki Maut: The Relevance of a Movie Title in India!

Yes, the title ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut‘ (Death of a weight loss programs in mcallen tx) belonged to an award-winning Hindi movie made in 1990 by well-known filmmaker Tapan Sinha (1924- 2009). In the movie the protagonist, a medical doctor played brilliantly by Pankaj Kapoor, makes a rare discovery of a vaccine for leprosy after years of painstaking research, and instead of being recognized for that he is harassed and hounded by the authorities, and the doctor gets deprived of international honour also as he was transferred to a remote village. We cannot dismiss this story as a mere work of fiction, because the movie was based on the real-life story of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay (1931-1981) who became only the second doctor in the world to use in-vitro fertilization in childbirth. Again, instead of honouring him the then West Bengal government and the Indian Government harassed him thanks to the familiar factors of professional jealousy, manipulative politics and bureaucratic negligence making the doctor face ostracization, reprimand and insults. He was also barred from international recognition. Dr. Subhash, frustrated and utterly dejected, committed suicide on 19th June 1981, and he wrote in his suicide note, ‘I can’t wait every day for a heart attack to kill me.’

Another doctor died recently in Assam. Although he was not in the league of the doctor-scientists as above he was a dedicated and efficient physician, always trusted and loved by his patients. He was working for public sector company and mid-way in his career he started discovering himself in the thick of politics of manipulation, professional or even personal jealousy, administrative negligence and gradual ostracization, and over the years it assumed the horrid proportions of harassment at workplace, constant hounding and denial of deserved promotions/responsibility/desired transfer. The torture took an inevitable toll on his health, and he suffered a sudden inexplicable health disorder in 2018 for which he had to be treated in the critical care unit of a Delhi hospital. He recovered from the illness eventually, but the inhuman official harassment only intensified making him depressed, isolated and afraid to even attend office. The trusted doctor, while on a medical checkup after his recovery, decided to make a last try for a transfer to his hometown so that he could at least resume his normal work, and was taken to the head office by a few colleagues. There, a top-level officer insulted him by reportedly saying that if the doctor wanted to die, he could damn well die as the authorities would take care of his family. The selective targeting happened till the day before the end. His life was cruelly snuffed out finally, equally inexplicably, when it was all over in just five minutes during his usual afternoon nap.

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