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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Near-tragedy and farce at TUTH: 122 hrs. ordeal of Dr. Govinda K C ends in positive note

It was not supposed to happen this way. When Dr. Govinda K C ended his first fast about one month and half back after appointment of the Dean in TUTH on seniority basis, that was supposed to place a new trend in appointments. Eventually the TU officials proved that wrong. 

This time around, politics prevailed throughout the course of fasting in all it ugliness. People went as far as pointing to Dr. K C as the culprit for sorry state of the institution while themselves hollowing the institution with due blessings from politicians of borderline criminality. 

After ugly and bitter bickering among themselves and high drama yesterday, the TU officials today finally relented to the pressure all the way from the streets to the president's office by appointing Dr. Prakash Sayami as new Dean on seniority basis. Eventually Dr K C has ended his fast after an extraordinary ordeal that lasted for at least 120 hours.

It is still impossible to be convinced that the TU officials will not revert to their old trend of serving their political masters at any cost while the institution faces the bleak fate of other public institutions. Habits like theft, debauchery and crime are easy to come but difficult to impossible to abandon; that is the basic human nature. Other societies recognize the thieves and criminals in early stage and either punish them or castigate them while in our society, the same people reach the top posts by manipulating the system. That is what best explains the way the TU officials have dealt with Dr. K C's attempt to cleanse the system at TUTH. 

For now a chapter of struggle has ended at TUTH. Despite the transient nature of accomplishments at TUTH, the protest program has contributed for many positive developments. First is the fact that it has drawn attention of public and media to the shoddy businesses that take place at the government health institutions. 

The second development is that the medical fraternity in the country has united to one in pushing the agenda of cleansing the health institutions of the rampant corruption. Nepal Medical Association's consensual decision to halt all health services except emergency in solidarity with Dr. K C's protest speaks volumes about the determination of the family to cleanse the system.

Yet, if the criminal cartel of the politicians and their proxies is to be fought seriously, this can be termed a good beginning at best. The next targets of cleansing need to be the mammoth institutions of Nepal Medical Council and National Academy of Medical Sciences.

People including professionals will always hold some political conviction but the kind of dirty politics fraught with outright theft of public wealth that characterizes Nepal's national politics should always be kept at a distance from professional institutions like TUTH. The right thing now is to advance the agenda of this protest program led by Dr. K C through whatever means possible.

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