Doctors’ Body Of AIIMS Delhi In Soup For ‘Political’ Post From Its Twitter Handle After Delhi Poll Results
The politicisation of the medical mind and its unabashed public display has caused a flutter among professionals. They say such views are wholly personal and do not have any place in the professional domain.
The administration of the Central government-run All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has asked the president of the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of AIIMS Delhi to explain a “political” post from its Twitter account on 12 February.
Though the letter did not mention the content of the tweet (it did however mention the time of the post as 2.30 pm), Swarajya has reliably learnt that it was this:
Congrats to the people of Delhi for showing the whole country how democratic power can prevail over fascist forces & how people of a nation can decide on the kind of leadership they deserve! Congrats to @arvindkejriwal & @AamAadmiParty for such a great victory ! #DelhiElections (Sic).”
In a letter addressed to the president of RDA, AIIMS Registrar has said, “The content of this tweet was political in nature on the Delhi State Assembly Elections. It has also been brought to notice that this tweet was posted by the President of the RDA.”
The letter further says, “This has been viewed seriously by the Competent Authority. President, RDA is required to give his explanation regarding the above tweet within 48 hours from the date of issue of this memorandum.”
The letter, dated 21 February, has been marked to the Director and the Dean of AIIMS Delhi.
A member of RDA of AIIMS Delhi, without wishing to be named, confirmed that such a letter was sent to the RDA president. Several messages sent to the spokesperson of AIIMS Delhi, however, went unanswered.
This correspondent contacted president of RDA of AIIMS Delhi, Adarsh Pratap Singh, but he disconnected the call as soon as this correspondent introduced herself as a journalist.
Several messages subsequently sent for a response were read but not answered.
Singh‘s Facebook account shows he posted the same tweet on his Facebook wall after the results of the recent Assembly elections in New Delhi.
In the polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 62 out of 70 constituencies, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won eight seats. Singh’s tweet is perceived to be referring to the BJP as “fascist forces”.
A doctor at AIIMS, on condition of anonymity, said that the tweet had created quite a furore among the RDA members as well the larger doctor community in AIIMS and other Centre-run institutes, and was subsequently taken down.
He shared a message by Singh on a WhatsApp group after deletion of the tweet, which reads, “Dear Residents, The tweet regarding winning of AAP yesterday was my personal opinion. I apologise for posting it on the official RDA Twitter handle since it represents the entire AIIMS Residents community and it caused inconvenience to the ones who do not think alike (sic).”
Saurabh Sachar, who is senior resident and Governing Council Member of RDA of central government-run Safdarjung Hospital and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, told this correspondent, “RDAs are apolitical organisations and basically mandated to work for the welfare of resident doctors. The political views that their members hold are individual and RDA platforms should not be used to propagate them.”
It is pertinent to mention here that several students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who are associated with the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had alleged “discrimination” on the basis of ideology by doctors at AIIMS Delhi in January.
It was after two students groups indulged in violence. The injured were all taken to AIIMS.
In a 7 January report, India Today quoted Kratika Sen, introduced as “a JNU student and ABVP activist”, as saying, “Doctors in AIIMS discriminated against us. PG (Priyanka Gandhi) and her people also asked us first — from which wing we are?"
Sen told the channel that doctors asked students whether they belonged to the ‘Left or ABVP’.
Another student, Sheshmani Sahu, made similar allegations while talking to Swarajya in January.
Watch his statement below:
A doctor at AIIMS told this correspondent this week that “no professional doctor discriminates like that”. “What happens is that outsiders enter the wards and begin to act like treating doctors. Some of them may be former AIIMS students or doctors so nobody asks them to leave,” he said.
“Some of them have become full-time political workers. Maybe they did something that made students felt discriminated. Of course, the students can’t differentiate between AIIMS and non-AIIMS doctors in the wards,” he said.
This correspondent had earlier reported that one Harjit Singh Bhatti, who was introduced by news portal Newslaundry.com as being a “doctor at AIIMS” and as saying that the injuries of ABVP students “looked superficial”, is not employed with AIIMS at all.
Bhatti, in fact, is a member of the Congress party.
Journalist Barkha Dutt also introduced Bhatti as “first official word” and “first official medical response” on injuries in JNU violence for a report done by her venture, Mojo Story.
None of the publications, however, made any corrections after the Swarajya report.
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