India still wants proper meals twice a day, proper education for their children and jobs for them, and consumable and affordable health service said Dr Kafeel Khan, while discussing the role of democracy and the state in public health. Dr Khan was suspended as the nodal officer of the Department of Paediatrics, Baba Raghav Das Medical College (BRD Medical College), Gorakhpur.
The communist ideology, Dr Khan feels, has not reached the working class as much as it should have. "We should reach them, educate them and make them conscious," said the doctor. "I think we sort of failed to counteract these propagandas with the rural working class. While we called out slogans saying 'Chowkidar Chor Hain', people were trapped under the cosmetic propaganda of Modi," he added. He was speaking at a seminar titled, 'Public Health: Democracy and the State', organised by the Students' Federation of India's West Bengal State Committee on July 9.
"I have seen mothers witnessing their children, their newborns dying out of lack of oxygen. I call this a massacre — a man-made one. Seventy newly born lives were lost, which could have been saved just in exchange of 7 lacs lacuna," said Dr Khan. "I never considered myself a hero, anyone with a beating heart in their chest would have done what I did. They would dive into the fire to save the lives of children. I was not alone, we were 16 people — doctors and staff — who worked straight for 56 hours. We could arrange for 500 cylinders. I never for once judged whether the babies I'm treating were Hindu, Muslim, rich or poor. The Yogi government needed a scapegoat in order to handle the media storm. I was the one. Adityanath came and said 'Kaun hain Kafeel? Tu cylinders laya? Dekhta hu tujhko' (Who is Kafeel? You brought the cylinders? I'll see what happens to you). These words changed my life. After I was imprisoned, my family, the children were all tortured at the late nights at 2-3AM. What saddens me more is, after a few days, people forgot about those 70 children, and just remembered and talked about Kafeel," he added.
The whole of India is eagerly looking at West Bengal, he said, where the rhetoric is being established that the 'Red' is being converted into Saffron. "We must be united to combat this evil force. They want to divide us in order to sustain their autocratic rule, which we must resist altogether. We must uphold a campaign on 'Health for All'," he said. SFI General Secretary Mayukh Biswas, SFI state secretary Srijan Bhattacharyya were also speakers. Pratikur Rahman presided the seminar.
(This story originally appeared on edexlive.com)