Sunday, January 16, 2011

Indian Crab Syndrome by Shobha John

I remember watching the movie 'Ek Doctor Ki Maut' on DD many many years ago. Pankaj Kapoor plays a doctor whose seminal research is met with stiff peer opposition. The movie was inspired by the real-life story of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhaya. Dr. Subhash's story is tragic and the movie brilliantly portrays his frustration and in effect portrays the story of all individual in India who dare to have a mind of their own, or is creative or has seminal ideas. Sadly, hierarchical structures in all aspect of human life is a truth in India and this fosters nepotism, false sense of entitlement and concentrates all power at the top. Energy is spent on fighting this structure instead of doing something constructive. A piece in the Times of India made me remember the movie and I felt like sharing that article on this blog. The article titled 'Indian Crab Syndrome' can be fond here. The article follows.
Indian Crab Syndrome by Shobha John
Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness — George Orwell
Doctors, especially those in India, can relate to this. When the 2010 Nobel Prize for medicine was given to Dr Robert G Edwards, many said it was 32 years late. Edwards and fellow researcher Patrick Steptoe did pioneering work on IVF but had to constantly wage a psychological and physical war on the opposition. They also had to battle to pay the bills. Eventually, they won through. But so many don't, particularly in developing countries like India.