Author Chetan Bhagat on Friday faced incessant trolling after he threw his weight behind protesting doctors of West Bengal. His support for agitating doctors came on a day when more members from the medical fraternity in Kolkata joined the protest against the Mamata Banerjee government demanding punishment for those who attacked a junior doctor of NRS Medical College on 10 June.
Taking to Twitter, Bhagat wrote, “I support India’s doctors, who are amongst the best in the world. They work tirelessly, often to compensate for an inadequate healthcare system. Still they are judged, threatened, shamed for trying to make decent living and their genuine issues aren’t heard.” He concluded his tweet by using hashtag #SupportIndianDoctors.
I support India’s doctors, who are amongst the best in the world. They work tirelessly, often to compensate for an inadequate healthcare system. Still they are judged, threatened, shamed for trying to make decent living and their genuine issues aren’t heard. #SupportIndianDoctors
— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) June 14, 2019
Bhagat’s tweet appeared innocuous and well-meant but the writer soon became a target of incessant trolling. Many were quick allege a glaring hypocrisy in Bhagat’s stand by asking whether he had taken any stand on the atrocities committed to doctors in BJP-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh. Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde wrote sarcastically, “We remember with gratitude your support of Dr Kafeel and Dr Mishra when unfairly targeted by the UP Government in Gorakhpur.”
We remember with gratitude your support of Dr Kafeel and Dr Mishra when unfairly targeted by the UP Government in Gorakhpur. https://t.co/c2hy2e3l9P
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) June 14, 2019
In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath government had arrested Dr Kafeel Khan and the principal of BRD Medical College Hospital Dr SK Misra and his wife Dr Purnima Shukla to allegedly hide its role in the deaths of hundreds of children in the home city of the chief minister. Dr Kafeel, who was widely hailed as a hero for saving many lives, was released after spending nearly eight months in jail.
Hegde wasn’t the only one taunting Bhagat, whose timeline soon was inundated with similar mocking. Others also reminded him about a similar incident in Karnataka where BJP MP Anath Kumar Hegde was seen thrashing doctors at a hospital since they, according to him, had not looked after his mother.
What happened to your gratitude for your support of Dr Kafeel and Dr Mishra when unfairly targeted by the UP Government in Gorakhpur.
— Vaishali ✌? (@TimeTideRide) June 14, 2019
Please also give a call to support BRD doctors of Gorakhpur as well. Suspended for 2 years and no salary despite court orders.
It’s a crying shame against everything that our constitution guarantees!
— Yasmin Alvi یاسمین الوی (@YasminAlvi) June 14, 2019
— Naveen Jain (@sashabeebaba) June 14, 2019
Tell us what you feel about Dr Payal Tadvi? In what ways you showed your support to her bereaved family?
— manjushaمنجوشا (@ManjushaBhagade) June 14, 2019
Meanwhile, the stand-off between protesting doctors and the state government continues with all the 33 faculty members including the director of Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine resigning on Friday citing ‘inordinate delay’ in handling of the situation.
In a further setback to Mamata Banerjee, the daughter of her close aide and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim, had last week slammed her by saying that she was ‘deeply ashamed’ at the chief minister’s inaction.