Right from the terse title to the last sentence, the editorial "Get back to work" (May 30) was bold, clear, and correct. The striking medicos should call off their anti-reservation agitation immediately. Their concerns, as feared, seem to "lie elsewhere." Slogans such as `no compromise with merit' and `equality for all' ring hollow in a divided and unequal society. They are cries of the fat for more milk. The big corporates who want unfettered control over their economic empires, which include the business of higher education, are the ones who seem to be behind the strike.
Do the doctors, especially resident doctors, have the right to deny treatment to the poor by striking work? They have obtained their degrees with the help of taxpayers' money. Whose interest do they want to protect? That the medical profession and prestigious medical institutions are in the grip of those who have been and are on top of the social ladder is well known. Do they want to keep these institutions their exclusive preserve? When an elected government seeks to do justice, why do the medicos insist on staying on the warpath even after repeated assurances that their share will remain untouched? Why should a nation of crores be taken for granted by a few thousand medicos?
The agitating medicos should go back to work immediately. With the Government conceding virtually every demand of theirs, and the Supreme Court already seized of the matter, the students are shifting the goalpost by making fresh demands. It is time the Government told the privileged agitators `enough is enough.'
The Supreme Court's refusal to stay the 93rd Amendment Act is indeed welcome. Justice Arijit Pasayat's statement that the anti-reservation protesters should end their agitation as the matter is before the court should be given due consideration. Non-compliance would amount to contempt of court. The protesters' contention that reservation will divide the country on caste basis is not acceptable. The policy makes a reasonable classification and it will also help to achieve the goal of social justice enshrined in the Constitution.
N. Sindhu Mathuri,
If we lived in an equal world, I would certainly oppose reservation. But even today, there exists crippling inequality among social groups. People of different castes are looked down upon, denied social or economic mobility in many cases even physical mobility as they have been for centuries. Reservation is only a small gesture to alleviate the problem. I would like to remind the protesters that any injustice they perceive in the Government's move is insignificant when compared with the institutionalised oppression the backward classes have faced on a daily basis.
Continuing the strike even after the President, the Prime Minister, and the Supreme Court have appealed to the medicos to withdraw it is beyond all reason. The medical profession is different from other professions. Doctors have a moral responsibility towards the sick and suffering.
Now the issue is before the Supreme Court. Considering that the judiciary has given many verdicts keeping social welfare in mind, the doctors should resume work without further delay.
The editorial is right in saying the doctors are insensitive. The strike was morally justified when it began because it was meant to make the Government see reason. But now, it risks the danger of getting undermined with loss of public support and empathy, especially in the context of the problems of the poor who are in need of medical attention. If the Government now acts against the medicos it will be seen as holding the moral high ground. This is not to absolve the Government of its hasty decision but two wrongs do not make a right.
The striking doctors' total insensitivity towards the plight of their patients, suffering from absence of proper and timely medicare, ironically strengthens the case for the very quota system they are opposing. The so-called meritorious doctors at the end of the day have portrayed themselves very poorly, displaying utter disregard for the value of life.
Having fattened themselves at the cost of society, and thriving on a superiority complex, they are now arrogating to themselves the right to decide the democratic discourse, by opposing constitutionally laid down policies that have the sanction of Parliament.