Tuesday, January 27, 2015

History of NMO( National Medicos Organisation)


Chapter XI

(From an Autobiography of an Unknown Medico- DR.Dhanakar Thakur) 

Foundation of the

national MEDICOS ORGANISATION (NMO)

(1977)

 

            After coming out of the jail, I had a bitter experience of political leaders who only proved to be the birds of the same feather on the issue of the closing down of the capitation-fee based medical colleges. All politicians, be of the Janata Party, the Congress or even the Communists, had the same colour. Providing admission to their children or wards without capitation-fee obliged many of them. A large number of students admitted to such colleges were wards of influential guardians. They fought their battle like life and death. Even a personality like J. P. could not support providing justice to the students of the Govt. medical colleges, say, few extra marks for their PMT examination’s superiority in merit. Instead, the capitation-fee was abolished but the colleges were taken over by the Govt. benefiting the students and teachers of private medical colleges.

            I had disillusionment from the politics in the jail itself, even senior workers of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) did not come out in our support (though later on, they led unsuccessfully such an agitation in Karnataka) as they had workers in non-governmental medical colleges as well. While we were in jail, none of them came to see us.

            I had written a letter to Ma. M. G. Deoji, the then Organiser of the Bihar* State of the RSS in deep sorrow that had I been at Delhi or Patna, or Arun Jaitley / Sushil Modi were involved such negligence would not have happened. It has been my old notion that we are capitalists at least in one sense that we listen to voices prevailing in the capitals only. Deoji has been working in Bihar* since 1940 and I think though a Marathi, he has travelled to every nook and corner of Bihar*, more than any Bihari**. He has known me since my childhood. He told me that since it was a students’ problem, he had referred my letter to Govindacharya of the ABVP.

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* Including Jharkhand

** or  Jharkhandi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            On the day of Kunwar Singh Victory Day (23rd April) in 1976, I had seen Deoji on the nearby road passing through my college and he had informed me that Dr. Shrikant Shiledar and Dr. (Mrs.) Shilpa Shiledar had left for Nagpur as the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra Hospital, Lohardaga had also been sealed by the Govt. due to its connections with the Sangh.

            In that background, I was thinking in those days as to what could be done for the medical community. Only after five days of the withdrawal of the agitation, Govindacharya visited Darbhanga on the 8th August 1977, on Rabindra Smriti Divas. While seeing him off at the station, I could get a few minutes to explain to him the distinctive problems of medicos and suggested that if something like the Medical Chhatra Parishad was formed we could sort out our problems instead of fighting amongst ourselves and we could also provide a platform for wider social service so as to help the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, with medical man-power. He told me to write down these ideas and to send them to him so that they could discuss in the Central Committee Meeting to be held at Bombay, probably on 25th August.

            I was thinking over the proposal and on the weekend, I went to my ancestral village, Samaul (in Madhubani district). On Sunday, the 14th August, 1977, it occurred to me that now it would be too late, if I did not send my ideas for discussion and I woke up after post-lunch nap and scribbled on paper, the manifesto entitled Seva Hi Dharmah (Service is Religion), given in original in Hindi in the chapter XXVII - epilogue (V)-(A), pg. nos. 266-277, with the aims and the organisational nature of the proposed medical organisation.

            I posted the draft to him on 19th August and copies of the same to Ma. Eknath Ranade, Kanyakumari and Ma. Bala Saheb Deoras, Nagpur on 20th August. I had been very much impressed by Eknathji’s address at Ranchi on 28.4.1973 and was willing to have his guidance for the proposed organisation, since he had been widely acclaimed as the founder of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Though, he could not guide us, I, as ‘Eklavya’, worked on the few principles he had enunciated at Ranchi :

^uk{kja  ea=jfgra u ewye~ vukS"k/ke~A

v;ksX;% iq:"k% ukfLr] ;kstd% r= nqyZHke~AA*

(There is no letter which cannot be used in a mantra, no vegetable which cannot be used as a medicine, no man is worthless, what is needed is a good organiser).

 
            I referred to Ma. Eknath Ranade with this shloka when I had the occasion to introduce the NMO, in the First Conference at Patna on 30.3.1980.

 
            The Central Meeting of the ABVP at Bombay approved the ideas outlined in my dispatch to them. On October 3, 1977, in the Bihar* State Conference of the ABVP at Darbhanga, the assembled medicos (from Darbhanga. Patna and Muzaffarpur) had a meeting in the presence of Govindacharya, where I again pushed my ideas. Later Govindji told me to come to join the 23rd National Conference of the ABVP at Varanasi scheduled from Nov. 4 to 6, if I was serious with my ideas. I was also nominated a member of the Bihar* State Executive Committee of the ABVP, though I was not even its primary member. The local Divisional Organiser of the Sangh, Jiveshwar Mishra consented and withdrew his proposal for me to work as Nagar Bauddhik Pramukh.

            I also thought that it was an important work and therefore I left for Varanasi, forgoing extra classes of Pathology and Histopathology while final examination was also at hand.  On the way, at Patna, I heard the historic appreciation by J. P. for the Sangh while he was addressing its training camp.

            In technical terms, I had gone abroad (Nepal’s Biratanagar, only a few km from Forbesganj) and outside the state (coastal Jagannathpuri) but Varanasi was the biggest city I had seen so far. People say it is on the trishul of  Lord Shiva. I think Kashi is the religious-centre-capital of the motherland, spread and bounded triangularly from the points of Kashmir, Kamrup and Kanyakumari.

            I also witnessed for the first time such a huge gathering of youth, visited the shrines and places of Varanasi and even talked for the first time with some French tourists speaking in their language. But, I did not know that God had ordained me to come to Kashi where he was to use me as a paper or a pen to write a new chapter in the medical history of the land, in the city of the legendary Dhanwantari Himself.

            But it was not so easy. I met Govindji and asked him as to what he had planned. He in reply said that as he was too busy in the management, Mahesh Sharma (General Secretary), programme in-charge of the conference, should be contacted and he alone could convene a meeting of the medicos. My friend from Muzaffarpur, Om Prakash Singh, was an old ABVP activist and he could procure the permission for the meeting and its announcement in that large tent-township.

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* Including Jharkhand

            I was also told that a senior worker, Laxmi Kant Bhala would be in the meeting who later asked me to address the meeting myself due to his busy schedule. Initially the organising secretary of the ABVP, Bihar*, Chandreshwarji had assured me that in case nobody came up; he would be joining our meeting.

            I thought, only an announcement might not work and so I should meet medicos personally from tent to tent. Ajay Jindal of Amritsar took keen interest in canvassing with me. Later, I learnt, medicos of Amritsar had also such ideas already in their minds for such a separate organisation.

            On the morning of the 5th Nov., there was the address by Prof. Rajendra Singh, in a nearby shakha. Bhauraoji was also present there. I knew them personally. After the shakha was over, I told Bhauraoji about the proposed organisation and requested him to come to our meeting in the afternoon. He was happy to know about the intention of a service-oriented medical organisation but expressed his inability to attend the meeting owing to some prior engagements.

            He, however, assured me that he would be meeting us in future and suggested to me to speak to Ma. Madan Das, the National Organising Secretary of the ABVP. I did not know at that time the significance of this post (I had come for the first time in any such conference and as such was not well-versed with it). Moreover, I was thinking that I had already talked to the National President, Bal Apte and General Secretary, Mahesh Sharma. I could hear  Ma. Madan Das in the concluding session only. I was pleased to listen to his appeal for starting the change from ‘I’. Subsequently we were quite friendly.

            I had already brought a few blank un-ruled copybooks for the use of the organisation. Since the time allotted to us for our meeting was only 30 minutes, I told Ashok Kr. Shrivastava of Patna, to cut papers in small pieces for identity slips. He wrote: name, class, college, roll no, address for correspondence and permanent address, putting blanks therein to be filled up by the attending medicos.

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* Including Jharkhand

 
            I requested Dr. Kripa Shankar, a paediatrician of Varanasi (who had passed from the Darbhanga Medical College) and  who was in-charge of  the dispensary for that conference, to preside over that meeting. Identity slips were distributed (5 min.); the preface and aims of the proposed organisation were put up by me (10 min.); the medicos were asked to submit the names they suggested for the organisation (5 min.); active members’ names for the executive committee were asked (5 min.); a few queries and the address of the president (10 min); totaling 30 minutes. No Sooner had the time elapsed, I received a slip from Mahavir Dutt Giri that press conference was to be held there and so     I should finish in time.

            This is the history of those 30 minutes. Those who were present there themselves were probably unaware of the fact that they were creating a history. Since the time was short, I could not reply to the last question from a friend from Bihar whom I had asked to talk in the tent as he was from my state. After coming to Darbhanga, I wrote to him, in the care of the address of a known boy (since the medicos of Ranchi had not deposited their identity slips). Later, in 1981, he became the Secretary of the NMO but it took much time to convince that friend Mrityunjoyji. Such things were inevitable in such a short meeting.

            The names of the members attending the meeting institution/place-wise, were:

Varanasi -  Dr. P. N. Gupta, Dr. Kripa Shankar;

DMC,Darbhanga -- Dhanakar Thakur;

ANMMC, Gaya --  Sunil Kr. Singh;

PMC, Dhanbad -- Gopal Krishna Nair;

SKMC, Muzaffarpur --   Om Prakash Singh;

NMC, Patna --   Arun Kr. Singh;

PMC, Patna --  Ashok Kr. Shrivastava;

RMC, Ranchi --  Dr. Shanti Prakash, Mrityunjoy Kr.;

BSMC, Bankura --  Subhash Sarkar, Badal Asru Ghata;

GMC, Guwahati --   Nayan Jyoti Das, Lohit Baishya, Uday Kr. Sharma;

Pt. BDSPGIMS, Rohtak --  Bhim Sain Sharma, Sushil Saini;

GMC, Amritsar--  Ajay Jindal, Ashwani Sharma, Bharat;

GMC, Bhopal -- Kuldeep Saxena, Rajendra Agrawal;

GRMC, Gwalior --  Dr. Vishwas Sapre, Dr. Ravindra  Arora, Vinod Gupta;

BJMC, Ahmadabad--   Manilal O. Chhotaliya;

MPSMC, Jamnagar --  Bhaumik V. Upadhyay, Bhavna I. Mehta ;

GMC, Nagpur --  Dhananjay V. Chati;

OMC, Hyderabad -  M. Pulla Reddy, P. Raghava Reddy,

J. Nag Manohar, N.G. Nirmala , Deepika Siri, N.G. Geetha;

BMC, Bangalore --  Ram Das Mallya;

G. D. C. & H. (Govt. Dental College & Hospital), Hyderabad  --  A. Surendar.

 
            So, apart from Varanasi, we were from 18 medical colleges, and one dental college. Actual attendance was a few more than 37 as enumerated above and I am unable to recollect them.

            There were some medicos from Ayurveda and Homeopathy as well and in fact, we took them initially in the organisation, but the very next day, they demanded equal representation in all bodies and I found myself not in a position to satisfy them and later on with the advice of Chandreshwarji, I dropped the idea of one single organisation for all pathys.

            I had already mentioned in my first draft that we should have separate organisations in Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Agriculture and Veterinary and Engineering; to this later, I liked to add Accountancy and Management. I also advised some of the inquisitive engineering students who were observing our meeting to organise themselves like us.

            Then we had the problem of finally selecting a name for the organisation. I had talks with Maheshji also who had told me to have some attractive name, maybe in English. I along with  Om  Prakash Singh and Ravindra Keshari (a very senior worker of the ABVP, Bihar*) went through the collected slips of the proposed names. There were many, both in Hindi and in English.

            We decided in favour of English, as also due to the non-availability of a single word in Hindi substituting the word medicos as in English which meant to include a medical practitioner plus a medical student and more so for the simplicity in the use of the word medico to facilitate the working of a newly formed organisation.

            Our final issue was to find out   the best name from amongst the three : National Medicos Association/Organisation/Council.

            As ‘Association’ was simulating with the IMA and ‘Council’  with the MCI, we opted for-         

            NATIONAL MEDICOS ORGANISATION (NMO).

            Thus  the NMO was born as if an Indian edition of the WHO to cater to the needs and welfare of the one-seventh global human population, attractive, phonetically simulating to even the WHO and stimulating the medicos to its spirits.

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* Including Jharkhand

 
 
          Much later from the slips received, I noticed that though   Dr. Shanti Prakash of Ranchi suggested ‘National Medicos Association’, it was a permutation and combination taking ‘Organisation’ from some other medico’s ‘All India Medical Organisation.’ (My own suggested name was Akhil Bhartiya Chikitsak Mahapariwar or All India Medical Grand Family).  I still feel, the final choice of the NMO was the best, one could think of.

            I had a wish that the NMO should work for the nation like the Red Cross. Not only it has proved so but also surprisingly in 1989, I could know that the Indian Red Cross itself was also born on 5th November (in 1920).

            Then, there was a committee to be formed. Seeing the largest number from Hyderabad, I told Om Prakash to name Pulla Reddy as the General Secretary and also to have our office at Hyderabad but he insisted that since it was a new work, I must act as the General Secretary. I was apprehensive that people might think, I was working for the name (and it happened so later) but on his insistence, I had to agree. Had he or anyone else agreed, it would have been easier for me either to roll the cart or as per his guess the chapter would have been closed. After the whole thing was drafted, I had a talk with Mahesh Sharma who was amazed to find such progress and asked me to give him some cyclostyled copies of the press release, which he later distributed in the afternoon press conference.

            The press release had mentioned the objectives of the NMO and its Executive Committee. It was mentioned that the NMO would mobilise medicos on a common national platform to serve the poor, particularly in the rural areas. The objectives of the NMO would be to develop national character among medicos, creating a sense of devotion towards the nation and the humanity and also creating fraternity amongst the students of different systems of medicine.

            It was also envisaged that it would extend active co-operation to the ABVP and other patriotic and like-minded organisations in different fields of constructive work. 

 

            It would share the responsibility of delivering primary healthcare services in the villages, concentrating on One College, One Village programme in keeping pace with the Gram Vikash Programme of the ABVP.

            The news was flashed by the national dailies all over the country. When I reached my ancestral village, my uncle had brought a copy of The Indian Nation, of Patna. In the 14th November’s issue it had a big coverage, most aptly captioned, Medicos Body to Serve Poor Formed.

 

Medicos Body to Serve Poor Formed
            Decision to mobilise medicos on a common platform to serve the poor, particularly in the rural areas was taken at a conference of medical students and doctors held on the occasion of the 23rd national conference of Vidyarthi Parishad.
         Large number of medical students and doctors who had assembled here as delegates and observers to the ABVP conference resolved to name the new organisation as National Medicos Organisation. The objectives of the new organisation would be to develop national character, create a sense of devotion to the nation and humanity and creating fraternity among students of different systems of medicine.
         The conference resolved to extend active co-operation to the Akhil Bharitya Vidyarthi Parishad and other patriotic and like-minded orgatnisations in different fields of constructive work.
         The National Medicos Organisation will share the responsibility and of delivering primary health care services in the villages. The conference resolved and said that its units will concentrate on “One College, one village” basis in keeping pace with the Gram Vikas Programme of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
         Following were elected office-bearers and members of the central executive committee of the NMO:
President- Dr. Kripa Shankar, General Secretary- Mr. Dhanakar Thakur. Secretaries- Mr. Ajay Jindal (North Zone); Mr. M. Pulla Reddy (South Zone); Dr. Vishwas Sapre (West Zone); Mr. Om Prakash Singh (East Zone); Office Secretary- Miss Deepika, Treasurer- Mr. A. Surendar, Members: .............................................
                     (The Indian Nation, Patna, Nov. 14, 1977)
           


            When I returned to Darbhanga, friends were congratulating me but I was in a deeply perplexed mood as to how to shoulder the new responsibility? I drafted the first circular; showed it to many; got it cyclostyled and posted them to all the founding members.

 
     Now when I look at this circular, I am amazed to read my own ideas. I had asked for the suggestions for the draft of the membership form, the place for the Central Office and its first national conference; issue and contents of monthly bulletin, and also sent to them the guidelines for forming various college and state units, One College, One Village Programme and appointing project-in-charges of the same besides collecting donations and for financing tours; a fixed share of which was to be borne by each personally and did also mention that the correspondence would be the ‘blood’ of the NMO and if possible to send postal stamps for reply. Sending news-cuttings was requested and a proposal for issuing identity letters for fraternity promotional tours of medicos was suggested.

             Myself being from a remote corner of the country, I wished to see that finest day of my life when I could hand over my responsibility to some other able member at the first National Conference.

            Much water would have flown in the Ganga through the famous ghats of Varanasi, many promises would have been made by the persons at the helm of the upheaval of the second independence, a revolution, brought by ballots and more so by the illiterates who liberated even the literates by giving mandate against the National Emergency. And, by others and others... Only people can judge what had been done and what should have been done.

            But as far as the NMO is concerned, its roots have gone deep and the NMO has taken its pledge to every word of it and it has been pure and dedicated to the humanity, so divine like the divinity and purity of mother Ganga in every drop of its water.

            Concluding this chapter, I humbly wish to suggest that nobody should assume that someone is a founder of this divine organisation. Divinity is neither born nor is dead at any time. As I have pointed out already; I was playing merely the role of a paper or a pen of Him and for this I was grateful to Him and the medicos who had given me this opportunity to learn and serve.

            Tolstoy in War and Peace says,’ It is not the leader who makes society or brings change, it is the society which in a particular set-up of environment brings about a change in itself and so somebody comes up as a leader on the surface.’

 

            When I later toured, many medicos, seniors and juniors, all over the country (from Punjab to A.P.) told me that they too had such ideas in their minds and they were happy to know that such an organisation existed. And, this was the environment, which prompted me to work. Hence, the Office Secretary of our great organisation, the NMO, subsequently honoured me as its first life member.

 

* and to establish such model institutions.(added in 2007)
Aims and Objects of the NMO
   (a)   To create a nationwide organisation of the medicos on a democratic         basis, irrespective of caste, colour, creed and sex for ‘positive health’ of the nation.
   (b)   To work for the all round welfare and development of the medical profession.
   (c)   To utilise their energy and dissemination of the medical knowledge for solving the various health problems of the down-trodden people of the nation particularly for the rural and tribal people with the help of central and state governments, educational, professional and voluntary  organisations.
   (d)   To work for satisfying the basic needs of the medicos and to guide and help them in solving their various problems arising from time to time.
   (e)   To develop national character and discipline among the medicos.
   (f)    To promote constructive activities in social and cultural spheres and         utilize medicos’ energies in the various nation-building activities.
   (g)   To promote progressive outlook among them along with love for the cultural heritage of the land.
   (h)   To develop harmony and homogeneity among the various components of the society by reviving a sense of tolerance and brotherhood.
   (i)    To seek the co-operation and goodwill of doctors, educationists,  educational and health authorities in the work of the NMO.
   (j)    To promote better teacher-student relationship in medical colleges and institutes.
   (k)   To promote the academic environment in medical colleges and institutes*.
   (l)    To form a common platform on the basis of a common mode of work for all the members of the medical community, viz., students, doctors and educationists for the reorganisation of medical education in the comprehensive context of national reconstruction.


Chapter XII

 

A Christmas in Burial GROUND:

Andhra Cyclone Relief Work

 

            While the first circular for the founding members of the NMO was in the process of posting, the news of the devastating cyclone on 19th Nov. 1977 in coastal Andhra Pradesh was flashed in the newspapers of 22nd Nov. 1977, reporting over 6000 deaths of people apart from the colossal loss of property, cattle and agriculture. The entire nation was in panic.

            A Nepali student prompted me to do something for relief work. I issued an appeal for collecting money. I also sent a wire to the Hyderabad unit to proceed towards the cyclone-hit areas. At Darbhanga, I started collecting smaller contributions from medicos. Veteran freedom fighter Ramnandan Mishra appreciating the move, contributed a small amount too as a token of his blessings to this work. The money was sent to The Times of India Cyclone Relief Fund, Rs. 240 and Rs. 130 (from girls) and Rs. 107 to the ABVP relief fund.   

 

Fig. 13 _ For the Andhra Cyclone relief Fund the NMO, Patna presenting a cheque of Rs.1471/- on 21.12.1977 to the Governor of Bihar H.E. Jagannath Kaushal (L-R), Mahendra Singh, Chiranjiva Khandelwal, Ashwini Chaubey (ABVP), Durgadas Mishra and Baidya Nath Mishra.


            I recall that the agent of the local SBI branch called me the second day and apologised that on the first day, the draft was levied an exchange fee. A  token amount of Rs. 51 was also sent to the P.M.’s relief fund. Altogether 305 boys and 80 girls contributed.

            Our Patna unit deposited Rs. 1471 to the Governor of Bihar. H.E. Jagannath Kaushal on 21.12.1977, which was announced in the news on the AIR, Patna also.

            From the western coast-end, the Jamnagar unit sent Rs. 414.47 to the relief fund. Today I can say that a contribution of Rs. 2413.47 to the cyclone relief fund was too small but it was contributed by over one thousand people including the contribution from Ramnandan Mishra as well (who for long remembered this work and also recalled it in his message to our First Conference in 1980). It had come from Bihar and Gujarat, which are far away from Andhra.

            Not only that it was the maiden work from a nascent organisation, in its second month; had no letterhead of its own; no fund, nothing which indicated an organisation. The morning shows the day; the medicos had shown their spirit that the NMO was going to be the prime mover of social service in the coming days which it has kept up so far, be it relief in Tripura’s inhuman Mandai massacre of 1981; Bohpal’s MIC Gas tragedy of 1984; earthquakes of Bihar in 1988; and Uttarkashi in 1990 and or devastating perennial flood*, the NMO’s response was instant, and spontaneous everywhere, truly a mini-Red Cross, in the service of those in suffering.

            Sending the money to the cyclone relief fund was not the end. On the morning of 22nd December 1977, we were four in the shakha. Suddenly, a proposal came to render service personally in Andhra. One non-medico among us was a bit pessimistic but two medicos of second year, Ksh. Birendra (who hailed from Manipur) and Satyanarayan Lal happily agreed. And we planned to move the very next day — imagine no money, no medicines, and no reservations in the train.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*Super-cyclone of Orissa 1999; earthquake of Bhuj in 2001 and Tsunami disaster of 2004. 

            But if there is a divine thought it is He who does, not you. We met the President of the IMA, Darbhanga, Dr. S.R.P. Sinha, who issued an appeal for physician’s samples. One cannot believe that some six or seven big sacks of medicines were collected by next 8 a.m. Four teachers also gave some money to us (total Rs. 60).

            It is exhilarating to recall, with Dr. B.N. Das Gupta, it was my first encounter as a medico (though in 1972, I had gone to him in connection with the treatment of my sister’s son having hydrocephalus, who died of it. Dr. Das Gupta was very short-tempered and for  a concessionary fee, on the suggestion of his ‘compounder’ (assistant),    I had told him falsely that I was a medico at Ranchi, though I had appeared only for the PMT. Had he queried anything about the medical college of Ranchi?). I had gone to him with Ramanji, Secretary of the IMA, Darbhanga. When I asked for donation, he gave me Rs. 20 but cautioned Ramanji to take all accounts from me.

            It was the cyclone relief work which brought Dr. Das Gupta in the folds of the NMO and it was with his help that we could establish it in Bihar*.

            Dr. S. N. Sinha promptly issued the concession orders with      a forwarding letter to the authorities for help. Dr. S.R.P. Sinha asked me to prepare a list of medicines and I recalled the days of my father when he had left the job of a Sethji. But Dr. Sinha was with us, working assiduously and went to see us off in his car. He had told us to have       a camera (even today, I have not got one though I feel one should always carry it as I had missed not only many such memorable events but also interesting cases on the road, better than those printed in the text-books). We could catch the train, as it was late (though in Mithila, you did not need a time table, you could simply go to the station, some train might be there, which might be of any time of the day as per schedule). At Samastipur, we could get berths in the Mithila Express and we slept turning the pages of Prabhakar Machave’s 15 Languages of India, presented by Om Prakash who had come from Muzaffarpur to discuss the developments of the NMO.

 

* Including Jharkhand

            We woke up in the morning crossing the harvesting paddy fields of Bangbhumi. Howrah, a crowd or station, I am still not able to differentiate, and that was my maiden visit. Railway reservation, though now easier with the computers, was a matter of money in those days, which we hardly had even for proper tickets. On producing the identity letter of relief workers, somebody suggested to us to go to the Strand Road office for the VIP quota. No doubt, the receptionist received us as VIPs with great honour as we were going on a relief work. But how could I be a VIP who while using a lift for the first time there, escaped from being trapped in the gates although I had solved numerous sums in Physics on it during my pre-medical days.

            It is also thrilling to recall my first use of a telephone in my school-days in the house of a businessman at Forbesganj, when I disconnected the line ignorantly by pressing the buttons while the talk was still in progress and even before that in attending a trunk call, I could hardly understand the message that Bhaiya had told me for my father. Though I could handle TV, VCR, myself only in 1989, I found that my brother-in-law, little Saket was better, so I had given him an eponym ‘Voltage Master’. The electronics has changed the life but whether the I.Q. has also been raised? And, certainly raising standards of life have hardly any correlation with human values.

            Since the wait was prolonged, we came back and caught the worst train, the Madras Janata Express and viewing the seacoast reached Vijayawada on 25th Dec. 1977.

            Next morning, we went to Avanigaddha and Guntur on way to the interior villages where now stands Deendayalpuram. The villages were hardly traceable in those days. Families had been flushed out. I could meet a man who was the only survivor among the family of seven members. The house-owner of our camp had lost his parents. When some young men from Hyderabad asked Sridharji, a senior Sangh worker, to have our breakfast in the hotel itself as everything used to be brought from there, Sridharji’s remark, I still remember, “The owner, a lawyer who was also a big farmer used to have some 200 sacks of paddy each year. He has not only lost his parents but also the crop. If we ask some chatani and mix it in our breakfast purchased from the shop, he will have a feeling that his guests are having their meals in his home and he is not totally withered away.”

            Such were the remarks of the cyclone relief workers, a life long lesson for me.

 

            We were engaged more in making huts than distributing medicines since we had little knowledge of medicine at that time. Yet, we learnt many things from Dr. Subramanyam and Dr. M. H. Patil (of Hubli). We used to note the requirements and supply them the next day and somehow helped them in managing hundreds of cases.

            The environment was yet smelled foul due to the dead bodies of cattle. Mostly the Sangh workers had already buried human corpses. We were told that even army people were unwilling to perform this service. It was a burial ground. I saw a damaged church having festoons of Christmas.

            The devastation was such that iron poles of electric lines were twisted like a rope twined and intertwined. Very few traces of houses were left for miles together.

            The cyclone that was unprecedented in previous 108 years was reported to be so furious that one person told me that he could be saved only by catching an iron-rod which after receding water-level was found to be nothing but the trishul on the top of the Shiva temple of Ganpateshwaram, a village few km away from his home where he was sleeping in his hut and the trace of which that I could see was only a cemented nad (manger).

            We could work only up to 30th December 1977 as our college was to reopen and my examination was imminent. The IMA in its meeting felicitated us. We shared our memoirs. The AIR, Darbhanga interviewed me and I listened myself on the air, for the first time. My professor of Pathology, Dr. S. N. Varma had also listened to it and so he agreed to preside over the first public function of the NMO on 14.1.1978, where we had put a big board showing the path of the cyclone and our places of work. Our narrations were very much applauded. It was more of an adventure.

            Later in 1984, when Swami Vivekananda, a medico, whose parents had named him so, approached me for helping him to go to Bhopal for the MIC tragedy relief work, I dissuaded him, as I was myself busy in my thesis work. His simple argument silenced me that if I could have gone to Andhra while a student why could he not? 


 

            I, then helped him to go and the team remained there, even on the day of shudhikaran (neutralizing the remaining poisonous gas) when half of Bhopal’s public, including many doctors had left the city; the NMO workers were there to help the victims in the Hamidia Hospital. Seeing them a correspondent of The Indian Express said, “Who says the country is dead...?”

            Indeed, our Christmas vacation in the burial ground will inspire many ‘Vivekanandas’.

 


 

Fig. 14 _ Six members of the NMO from Darbhanga with the ABVP members during action at Bhopal in 1984 after MIC gas tragedy.


 

Fig. 15 _ The NMO workers in the Orissa super-cyclone, 1999. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

CHAPTER XIII

 

DORMANT NMO: MY UNDULY DELAYED SESSION OF FINAL MBBS (1978-79)

 

            In reply to my first circular, the founding members of the NMO expressed keen interest. Correspondence began flowing really like the ‘blood’ of the NMO. One member, in fact, had superscripted his envelope with ‘Blood NMO’, another had once sent a postage of 25 paise for reply. Letters pouring in were full of enthusiasm. Citing a few lines may be worthwhile – from Jamnagar…”This is the first step towards our motto to gain ‘positive health’ of the nation. I am sure we will be organised within the shortest possible time;” from Amritsar…”Nothing is impossible, let us move from Varanasi to Kanyakumari.  India is one... is to be proved by us by doing maximum possible...” from Nagpur…” I promise that I will try my level best for the benefit and spreading of our organisation...” from Hyderabad (even before the receipt of my letter)… “As you have said about medical wing formation, what have you decided?  I think by this time you must have planned everything, let me know the same as early as possible...” from Bangalore.  “We will do whatever we can do...” and so from Gwalior someone rendered his service for our proposed monthly bulletin.

            The work was in full swing when I left for the cyclone relief work in Andhra.  From Vijayawada, I went to Hyderabad where Ma. Somayyaji, the State-Organiser of the Sangh promised to me all help, including a suitable place for the office, if he could get approval from the higher authorities.  I returned via Nagpur and had the opportunity to discuss things with Ma. Balasaheb at Khapadi camp. Ma. Dr. Abaji Thatte was there who listened to our talks attentively.  Ma. Balasaheb assured me of all help and he asked me to write to all medicos passing MBBS for opting to work in the service projects irrespective of their background or ideology.
 

 

 

 

            When I returned to Darbhanga, I was informed that  Prof. Rajendra Singh was to visit Darbhanga on Makar Sankranti on 14.1.1978 and the medico swaymsevaks  had accepted the advice of Ma. Deoji to hold Prof. Rajendra Singh’s meeting in the campus itself, that too under the auspices of the NMO.

            It was going to be the first public function of the NMO.  We collected Rs.2 from each as contribution from 32 medicos going to the shakha. From this fund of Rs.64 only, our first programme was organised.

            This programme was, in fact, mainly to welcome the freshers in the college in which Prof. Rajendra Singh delivered a thought-provoking lecture on, the role of medicos in national reconstruction.  But, the programme also proved to be welcome to the freshly formed NMO itself as he dealt in detail with the meaning behind the words __ National, Medicos and Organisation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prof. Rajendra Singh
(Ma. Rajju Bhaiya)
 (29.1.1922-14.7.2003)
P.P. ex-Sarsanghchalak
of the RSS
 



thus spake Prof. Rajendra Singh at the first public

function of the NMO at Darbhanga on 14.1.1978:

   Þus'kuy esfMdkst vkWjxsukbts'ku* dk uke cM+k lkFkZd gSA

vki ^esfMdkst* gSa D;ksfd thou& foKku dk vki v/;;u djrs gSaA

   nwljk 'kCn ^us'ku* cgqr egRo dk gSA geeas ls çR;sd ds vUnj

;g ^vkWjxsukbts'ku* ,d jk"Vª dh Hkkouk fuekZ.k djsxk fd tks

vkt xjhch dh ftUnxh esa] vLokLF;dj fLFkfr esa jg jgs gSa]

budh lsok dk lkSHkkX; esjs thou dk y{; gksA

;g Hkkouk ^us'kuy* 'kCn ls tkx`r gksrh gSA fQj vkrk gS

^vkWjxsukbts'ku*Adfy;qx esa laxBu esa gh 'kfDr gSA

   fo'o ds vUnj Hkkjr dk xkSjo'kkyh 

LFkku cus] tSlk gekjs iwoZtksa us cuk;k FkkA 

fo'o ds çFke ltZu esa lqJqr dk uke vkrk gSA

iphl lkS o"kZ iwoZ pjd us cM+k esVsfj;k esfMdk cuk;k

vkSj fgiksØsfVd 'kiFk ls vPNh 'kiFk nh fd]

 ^^eSa iSls ds fy,] /ku çkfIr ds fy, ugha] eSa lsok dh Hkkouk

ls ;g çksQslu Lohdkj dj jgk gw¡A**

       mu 'kCnksa ds fy,] lPps cudj] jk"Vª ds mu {ks=ksa esa

tgk¡ dksbZ igq¡pus ds fy, rS;kj ugha gS] vxj gekjk

^us'kuy esfMdkst vkWjxstukbts'ku* yksxksa dks çsfjr dj ldk

;g mldk cgqr cM+k dke gksxk vkSj mUgksaus tks dk

vkjEHk fd;k gS] mlds fy, c/kkbZ nsrk gw¡ vkSj vis{kk djr

 gw¡ fd os bl dk;Z esa ;'kLoh vkSj lQy cusaAß

 

 

 
            Principal Dr.T.N.Jha inaugurated the function and Prof. S. N. Varma presided over it. Apart from a second year student, Govindacharya also welcomed the freshers.

            While I was describing our cyclone relief work, I cautioned everyone that in this country the organisations also had high mortality rates like that of infants and if it so happened, the contribution of the NMO in Andhra would be remembered as expressed by Ben Johnson in the famous English poem, It is not growing like a tree, where a little flower was judged of more worth than a long-lived, useless tree like an oak. Prompt reaction to this was from Prof. Rajendra Singh, “Those who have confidence and will-power, prosper and when such strong persons come together in an organisation they see that their desires are successfully fulfilled.” The jam-packed hall had over a dozen of senior professors.  The senior most among them, Prof. B. N. Das Gupta remarked that those boys would do something in future.

            But the little flower of the NMO dedicated to the nation had to face rough weather.  Keeping this in view, I had made the remarks in the maiden public function.

            Soon started clouds of suspicion and our senior friends had drawn a hasty conclusion that the whole show was for some nefarious motives of mine for name or fame.  I had prolonged correspondence and virtually I surrendered as per their wishes, closed the files and the NMO went in abeyance, which later proved to be a phase of ‘dormancy’ only. 

            I can only say, for anyone who could not understand the motives behind the NMO: “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing” – what Christ had uttered on the cross.

            Govindji had a suggestion for me to work at the local level to see the results.  I argued with him that it might not give a significant result for two reasons: either I would have worked hard which might not be of interest to the medicos as a whole in the country or even if I liked to work in my college, the local friends would not cooperate with me thinking it to be a personal project of mine and might even taunt on the degeneration of a so-called national body working in a single college.
 

 

            I knew it well that even if I worked in a class-room or even personally with a nationalistic spirit, in fact, it was national, a grand organisation was not national without the spirit of nationalism.  Yet, it was a matter of the prevalent notion also that a national organisation should have such geographical dimensions.  It should not be national only by thought.  That was why, I had asked him to suggest medicos of different centres in the country to run such pilot projects and test its feasibility and if it had to be in only one college, let it be somewhere else, not in mine, to avoid the personal bias.

            And so, I decided to work on a personal basis, even without the banner of the NMO.  I vividly remember on the WHO Day, 1979, instead of going to attend a function of the IMA, I preferred to go to a nearby Harijan village, Chhapaki, with some drugs.  The villagers welcomed me.  There I continued serving till 21.6.1981. The first patient, an infant was brought to me, having corneal ulcer in his pupillary area. I gave tetracycline eye ointment to apply.  Next week, I again visited the village; the ulcer was healed without any sequel.  It gave me immense pleasure, difficult to describe in words.  And, at that time, I did not know that atropine should also have been prescribed for a corneal ulcer.

            Later in 1979, Prof. Rajendra Singh visited Darbhanga again but I did not mention to him about the NMO though I had arranged his meeting against utter protest by some CPI and Congress minded sections (the AIMF and the NSUI) of medicos.  It may be mentioned that the Progressive Medicos Federation, a forerunner of the AIMF had earlier demanded in a pamphlet banning the RSS Shakha in the Darbhanga medical campus. 

            Medicos were attracted finding the word ‘medico’ in the PMF/AIMF, but later when the NMO was formed, almost all of them gravitated to the NMO, finding the NMO as their own platform and organisation.  This programme of Prof. Rajendra Singh was held in between the two theory papers of Medicine of my final MBBS examination.  The meeting was held peacefully and was well attended in our auditorium and I also did well in my examination papers.  If you work for a social cause, God helps you, since it is His work you are only a doer.

 

            Encysted in files, the NMO went into a dormant phase on 14th Feb. 1978, finally receiving the letter of Govindacharya not to expand the NMO and I became busy for my fourth year examination from 4th April 1978.  I was in utmost tension and probably I would have fared better in examination with the NMO work.

            I had enteric fever, and in its paroxysm, I appeared in the first few papers.  A cot was arranged for me in the examination hall and when I finished my first paper, out of tiredness or toxaemia, I had to lie down and invigilators came near me in anxiety. Initially, when Chandrabhanu had approached the principal for special permission of writing in examination on bed, the principal was under the impression that it was for adopting unfair means but Chandrabhanu had told him that it was better to take my examination in the principal’s chamber itself.  When the principal came to the hall and knew it was I, he regretted for it ultimately.

            I had changed from my ISc days and it was the examination where Prof. H. R. Yadav and many others were impressed with my honesty when nearly all examinees were copying from books on their desks.  I also protested against a walkout in the last paper and asked for protection, as I was willing to appear even alone, though I did not know some of the answers.

            By those days, the sanctity of examination was totally lost. The extension of dates was a common phenomenon.  Our examination should have been held in June 1977 itself.  I vividly remember, when some boys had approached me for my signature on an application for fixing the examination dates on due time, I told them to take my signature on another sheet also, which they could require for the extension of examination on which I would not sign at any cost later on.  Believe me, they were the same who did require it afterwards for it but dared not ask me to sign again.

            I used to say in-joke that a good dissertation could be produced on the impact of marriage dates on examination dates as in those days; the dates had been advanced as an influential student was going to be married. 

 
 
            I also witnessed one of my lady classmates weeping in the hall on the walkout day of Pathology examination, since she was full term pregnant and she feared that she could not appear in the re-examination.  Indeed, it was one of the factors of my severe protest.

            But students are not the only cause for the extension of examination dates; probably more important are the authorities i.e. college as well as the university.  Medical colleges being usually attached to general universities, results are further delayed unnecessarily many a time where a tabulator hardly understands what the different terminals, practical, viva or clinical examinations are meant to be.  The sufferers are ultimately the students and so if a demand for the extension of dates comes through students, I will term it nothing but a sacrilege or in  a most simple word, suicidal.

            My final examination (scheduled in 1978) was held in 1979 and the result could be declared (due to non-returning of answer-books by the examiners) in 1980 and finally, I could join internship on 18.3.1980 (having been admitted to the first year on 13.11.1973), total course being only of four years and six months (and myself completing and passing in the first attempt, could complete MD in only Sept. 1985). No doubt, I had been with medicos for a longer time to have experience but at a great cost.  This menace of delayed sessions is to be fought against by all of us.

            In spite of illness, I did better in the fourth year than in the final year, not because I had read better, but as the examiners of the fourth year were still ‘teachers’ not merely doctors.  While my Microbiology examiner was himself insistent on my knowledge of ‘Sabauraud’s media’, on the basis of my vivid description of the differences between cholera and cholera el tor and the life cycle of Paragmonis westermani causing haemoptysis, the external examiner in ENT was asking a VIP candidate about the score of the day’s cricket match since he was apprehensive that any question might prove to be a ‘bouncer’ and he had promised a senior secretary of health secretariat to award ‘Honours’ to his future son-in-law.  (Unfortunately, in spite of awarding Honours in Eye & ENT, the boy failed because the examiner of Obstetrics & Gynecology was not satisfied and was ready to ask even questions of ENT, when approached for passing that candidate).

 

 

            As one grows to the final year the pairavi factor becomes worse as influential in-laws are of superior strata (common in the days of merit purchased by dowry).  I am sorry I was married much later.

            One interesting case of pairavi was that of a boy few years later.  A candidate was the ward of a Union Minister.  There used to be a coding system for theory papers, so sample of his handwriting was sent to the examiner. The examiner could not differentiate it from the handwriting of another candidate and so he awarded 83 marks to both in Surgery paper.  Thank God, the other poor fellow also did get senior ‘housesurgeonship’ in Surgery due to it.

            One other boy was famous for pairavi due to his versatile use of the bicycle, which he had purchased only for this purpose to have close contacts with gurus in the widespread colonies of the DMC.  Whether it was a marriage party in any house or any household work, he was omnipresent. Once, he flew on a helicopter with the Chief Minister’s daughter after she had delivered a baby in the wards.  Later, in due course of his service he got himself posted at the place where he liked.  On his success story of getting ‘Honours’ in many subjects, I used to tell my friends, “Please have pity on him, at least his pairavi is not congenital, but acquired by hard labour.”  He was the son of a poor farmer.  The story of Honours for money, bottles of wine or gifts like refrigerator was not unheard of.

            Yet, I found a great honest teacher, Dr. Basudeo Prasad of ENT, who was much pleased with the intelligence and labour of my brother-like Manipuri Birendra.  Though he had the highest marks in viva-voce but other boys got Honours by pairavi in theory papers.  After the results, Birendra had brought an idol of Krishna from Manipur for Basudeo Babu.  I went with him and gave it to his son.  Later, the teacher told me that even on knowing the fact that it was a token of reverence he did not like it.  His son had violated his standing instruction not to accept any gift from anybody but he had accepted the idol of Lord Krishna brought from Manipur on account of me as I was close to the teacher being a social worker.   

 

 

            Regarding Birendra, Dr. Basudeo Prasad had told in a junior class that he would have even awarded him an MS not to talk of Honours. He had also told the examiner of Ophthalmology that he himself had not such clear conceptions as those of Birendra when he was an under-graduate student.

            It does not mean that I had no pairavi at all but they were not so powerful.  Pairavis have different types – for Honours, high marks and passing, and for me it was mostly of the third variety, which I never needed, though someone might have told the examiners and again it was a fancy or phobia.  And, sometimes I was rather in deficit, as I was not asked hard questions.  Later on, I was repentant for pairavis made on my behalf. My pairavikars had probably assumed that I was a social worker so I should hardly pass; this myth could only be exploded when I competed for MD (Gen. Med.) and DCH, barely missing out MD (Paed.) also.

            Somehow, I could manage my examiners, at least some of them were pleased, by moving to uncommon points, e.g. in FMT, I was asked to define, Forensic Pathology.  I had never heard this term but instantaneously I made a definition, “That branch of Pathology which helps the state to run the law.” I do not know whether it was right or wrong, but he was satisfied.  He was honest, so probably having seen honesty in my theory papers, he found me among three students to pass separately in each theory paper (but he was close-fisted in awarding marks). 

            Such was also in the case of my external examiner in Medicine, Dr. T. K. Saha who had failed nearly all candidates in    a short case of the respiratory system but seeing my obsessively respected clinical methods (as standing in attention for showing drooping of the shoulders, refusing to percuss the front of the chest without bringing the patient to the sitting posture like Lord Buddha, refusing to count the intercostal spaces in lying position, etc.), he became much pleased but awarded me only 14 out of 25 marks in each of two short cases.  The other was a CNS case, in which I faired equally well.  Not only this, Dr. Saha praised me before the other external examiner, Dr. Bajpayi from Varanasi.  
 

            It is astonishing to recall that the same Dr. Saha as my examiner in MD could leave me in a distress as to why I did not count the rate of respiration in the patient. Probably by the time of MD so much unnecessary things were deposited in my brain due to the modern knowledge of Medicine that it sliced off those important clinical points, which were known to me in a masterly manner when I was an undergraduate student.

            But his fellow examiner, Dr. Bajpayi was a bit suspicious. On my diagnosis of ‘Hodgkin’s disease, stage III B’, he asked me the points in favour of it.  I could show him the ronchi on the back of the chest (due to glands pressing bronchi).  He said, “You would have done better, if you had not asked from others (like RMOs).”  An RMO instantaneously protested.  He said, “You do not know the boy who may be wrong but is honest enough not to take help from anyone else.”  It was beyond the comprehension of the examiner that an undergraduate could find and explain the pressing symptoms. He was not closed-fisted like Dr. Saha, but awarded me only 28 out of 50.

            Still the examiners of medicine were fair.  They had awarded me the third high mark in theory papers, largely on the honesty of my answers.  It may be amazing that on a note on significance of wave examination in Medicine, I had written full 32 pages, not only the clinically appreciated waves like that of a, c, v, etc. in venous pulse, etc. but also a vivid account of the diagnostic wave tracings of ECG, Echo, EEG, EMG, etc. 

            While I had written excellent essay on anaemia, depicting the Indian pattern, I did not know how I could write some tests of the HPA-axis whose relevance, I can appreciate now and only now.  I had written, “Give steroid and count eosinophil, eosinopenia will suggest for the hyperactivity of the pituitary.”  I know this test is not in practice but my knowledge of Physiology might have directed me and as I feel now, it can be very easily done.

            But do not think I was brilliant. I had not mentioned acute transverse myelitis as a cause of paraplegia.  I could not define brow in a dummy-pelvis though could describe the management of the face presentation.  One external examiner was so much pleased on listening, ‘Type I and Type II dips’ in cases of the fetal bradycardia that he offered me his pencil to draw the graphs (which I could hardly remember) and he asked me, “Where did you read it?  “Clayton’s edited Obstetrics by Ten teachers”, I replied.  

 

            The book was simpler than Holland and Brews Manual of Obstetrics for a simple student like me who had difficulty in the ENT paper for recalling the word ‘trumpet’ while dealing with laryngocoele and I had rather drawn a diagram of that musical apparatus.

            There were no teachers other than the Head of the Department of PSM to introduce me as a good student to the external examiners where my fate was judged on only two questions:  ( i ) “As an owner of a mine will you provide the workers shoes or shirts and why?” My answer was, “Shoes, to prevent hookworm in water-logged mines.” ( ii ) “By eating in a rat infested restaurant which disease will you encounter?”  Salmonella dysentery, not the plague”, I answered. I was awarded the best marks. But in the Physiology paper, long back, I had described all the signs and symptoms of cerebellar lesion but can you imagine all I had written was on the contra-lateral side!

            In a terminal examination of Biochemistry, describing the inability of the body in the peripheral utilization of sugar, in cases of diabetes mellitus, I had compared it with S.T. Coleridge’s famous The Ancient Mariner’s condition in the mid-sea, “Water, water, everywhere, not  a drop to drink” (so is sugar present in plenty here but unable to be utilized for want of insulin).

            I had my own method of studying and answering in examinations.  Every examiner of mine was not a drunk like that of the Surgery who possibly missed numbers even in totaling the marks (I think, my 51 marks may be for 61).  Fortunately, I passed because in any case, I was not the bottom-ranker, in the clinics of Surgery.

            I had a fascination of presenting the cases and I had a record from the third year class itself, whether those were before Prof. Mohan Mishra, Prof. N.P. Mishra, Prof. R. R. Ganguli, Prof. Jamuar, or anyone, I had no hesitation at all.  They all were famous clinical teachers of my State.  Prof. Ganguli could appreciate my worth when I told him that a lactating woman’s lactosuria could be differentiated from the glycosuria by the simple osazone test of the Biochemistry.  I knew it was difficult for the PGs to recall their pre-clinical teachings.

 
            Prof. Mohan Mishra in the theory classes of the third year knew me from my description of kuru in cannibalistic tribes when he had asked for examples of long acting viruses. Once, he had also remarked that intelligent persons suffered more from migraine – if it could be a criterion, I might also be rated as intelligent.

            But it is not the fact.  I recall, Prof. N. P. Mishra’s lecture in the third year (which was the first lecture on Medicine), “You can be  a Master of Arts or Science; You can be a Doctor of Medicine, but never a Master of Medicine.”  I still recall those sayings of that great clinical master.

            I had never read only for examinations, even  the night before the examination.  No one can imagine that the night before the Pathology paper, I was roaming over the anterior and posterior station developments in the life cycles of different species of Trypanosoma causing sleeping sickness or Chaga’s disease.  I knew pretty well that I was not to appear in the examination in Africa or Latin America, but it was true.

            When I view my student life in general and as a medical student in particular – I find, I was never systematic and step-wise in my approach. And only, a systematic study is called Science which is not like Philosophy.  Now it is too late, so I have chosen Medical Philosophy as my specialty.

 

Sushrut is remembered with great honour as the father of Indian Surgery. It is surprising that he had begun the surgery of different complex conditions such as fractures, amputations, tumours, and cranial and abdominal operations when the modern surgical techniques were in infant stage. He is also credited as the pioneer of cataract operation. (Courtesy, the Aayrurvigyan Pragati 1981: 1: Cover ii.

 

 

Sushrut

Father of Indian Surgery

  

 APTER XIV

 

NMO SPROUTS – MY INTERNSHIP AND ‘HOUSEPHYSICIANSHIP’

(1980-82)

            My final year classes and Sunday free clinics in the Harijan village, Chhapaki along with the Shakha in the campus were going on. The NMO being dormant in files, due to the utter disappointment and also lack of money, I did not go to the Bangalore conference of the ABVP. Later on, Om Prakash informed me with joy that my thesis on technical forums had finally been accepted there. Govindji had ankylosing spondylitis and he was recovering in Bombay. 

            He expressed his concern over rising menace of the Progressive Medicos Federation (PMF), a left wing organisation that had the intention to turn medicos agitators like trade unions instead of harmonising them with the spirit of service, as we in the NMO desired. Now the PMF is known as the All India Medicos Federation (AIMF).  He also wished in his letter of  22nd September 1979 that after my final examination, I should make a systematic approach towards it.

            I responded positively to his sincere appeal.  After examinations were over, the parleys began.  A meeting was held in room no. 4 of the old hostel of the Patna Medical College, where Baidya Nath Mishra, the Office Secretary of the Patna unit of the NMO, (1977) resided.  Friends from Muzaffarpur had also joined.  Later on, we had a meeting with Govindji at Vijay Niketan (Sangh Karyalaya) also.  It was felt that no official intimation to all concerned was sent. 

            Yet, we had finalised some preliminary things such as the NMO should operate in Bihar* only as a sponsored organisation of the ABVP. Again we met in the Bihar* State Conference of the ABVP at the Ram Mohun Roy Seminary, Patna**. But the meeting was inconclusive. Some new faces were adamant on its Hindi nomenclature. Dr. Chiranjiva Khandelwal was reluctantly submissive but I did not agree. I had the notion that we were to revive the dormant NMO and not to create a de novo synthesis. My roommate Arvind suggested to me wisely leaving it for the moment. I returned to Darbhanga.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Including Jharkhand

** Much later in 2005,Dr. Baidyanath Mishra  informed me that the girl  medicos of the PMC -   Shikha Gupta, Lata Shukla, Saroj, etc. had gheraoed Ma. Madan Das Devi and Ma. Govindacharya demanding that their organisation , the  NMO , should be allowed to run to which  both  assured  them positively.

 

 
    The journey to Patna in those days was tedious – you had to cross the Ganga by a steamer and then run for catching the bus or train first for Muzaffarpur and then for Darbhanga.

             The ABVP Bihar* State team met at Maithon (near Dhanbad).  Dr. Khandelwal was there. There it was felt that undue procedural delay was not good and so a final circular was issued on 14th Jan. 1980 by Sushil Kumar Modi, Secretary Bihar* State, ABVP, convening     a meeting of important medico workers at Patna on 26th Jan. 1980.

            I was in a fix, whether I should attend that meeting at all, apprehending no conclusion and that too after such a tedious journey to the State capital. Chandreshwarji assured me that this time the cart would move. I with Ashoka of the DMC went to Patna.  My roommate Arvind told me to bring a copy of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan’s publication, Aayurvigyan Shabdabali. I thought this time, I would accept a translation of the NMO also, along with its original name and to cover the nearest meaning, I translated it as ^jk"Vªh; vk;qfoZKku Nk= laxBu* (Rashtriya Aayurvigyan Chhatra Sangathan).

            Besides me and Ashoka  from the DMC; Om Prakash and Winay Siddhesh from the SKMC, Muzaffarpur; Baidya Nath Mishra from the PMC; Vishnu Prasad Agarwal from the NMC (who were subsequently designated as the office secretary and the treasurer); probably Vijay Krishna and Amitabh from the MGMMC, Jamshedpur were present and all were nominated for the State Executive Committee of the NMO.  The name of Vishwamohan from the RMC, Ranchi was also included on the advice of  Sushi Kumar Modi, but he never joined the NMO. I was asked to work as the convener of the committee and there we decided to hold the first conference of the NMO at Patna on March 30-31, 1980. (Initially, the dates proposed were Feb.24-25, but being the College Days of the PMC, the idea was dropped and instead, the meeting of the Executive Committee was fixed on Feb.27, which took place accordingly).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Including Jharkhand 

 

 

            The whole meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. The NMO’s name with Hindi translation was approved.  It was decided that the name of the ABVP would not be printed on letter-heads, receipts, etc. and its membership would be independent and there would be no unit of the ABVP in the medical colleges.  However, any willing person was free to seek membership of the ABVP.  It was also decided that the ABVP’s divisional-in-charge or anybody senior to him/her or a person designated by him/her only could guide a college unit of the NMO from the coordination point of view and the convener of the NMO’s college units would be an   ex-officio member of the town committee of the ABVP for wider co-operation.

    Govindji was also present and he delivered the concluding address. It was my humble opinion from the beginning that the NMO’s membership should be open even to those who do not subscribe to the Sangh’s ideology as the health is the most universal thing and I used to say that sponsorship by the ABVP was like that of the UNO’s sponsorship to the WHO which had its own constitution and separate membership. China was a member of the WHO since 1948 but came in the UNO much later.

    Om Prakash and I had made out a draft constitution of the NMO at Varanasi itself in 1977 and it was later presented to our executive committee meeting on 28th Sept. 1980 at Patna with some modifications therein.  In this we accepted ex-officio membership of the secretary and organising secretary in the state executive committee, on a reciprocal basis with the ABVP.  However, we could not get our organisation registered for want of money, skill and time to devote at Patna.  It was this meeting where the publication of the Aayurvigyan quarterly was also approved. I spelt it with Aa so that it might come on the top of the medical journals when arranged alphabetically.

    Though the NMO was dormant since 14.2.1978, it could sprout as an organisation on 26.1.1980.  The first conference was quite close and hectic efforts were required for the success of the conference as well as organising the NMO’s college units in that short span of time.  It was amazing and also amusing to note that we were not only successful but also it was a grand success.

 
 

    142 delegates from all 10 medical and dental colleges of Bihar* attended the conference except from Dhanbad where, in fact, we could not reach before the conference. Dailies flashed it including an editorial in The Indian Nation. If participation of Bihar* in successive conferences is analyzed, the first conference was the best. The conference was financially balanced. Doctors of Patna and Darbhanga remembered our cyclone relief work and donated for the NMO generously.

            Octogenarian Padmabhushan Dr. Dukhan Ram’s Deep Prajjawalan on 30.3.1980 was the most memorable moment for me and for many of the medicos who were wishing      to see this dream  fulfilled  for long. 
  I remember the reaction of Dr. C. Khandelwal, on the receipt of the first introductory booklet sent by me as a token of ‘Deepawali gift’ in 1980.  “It is the finest gift I have received in my life,” he wrote   from Varanasi as then he was doing his   MS there. Dr. J. K. Jain of the Deendayal Research Institute, Delhi was overwhelmed emotionally while delivering his talk as the chief guest.  Personalities like Dr. Lala Suraj Nandan Prasad, Dr. B. N. Das Gupta, Dr. S. N. Varma, Dr. C. P. Thakur,  Dr.  S.  N. Arya, etc. addressed the scientific session.  Talks by the editors Deena Nath Jha and Jaya Kant Mishra and RSS organisers Shrishankar Tiwariji and Madan Dasji were equally thought- provoking.


 

Fig. 18 Padmabhushan Dr. Dukhan Ram (Hony. eye surgeon to the First President Dr. Rajendra Prasad) inaugurating the first conference of the NMO at Patna on 30.3.1980. Others seen in the picture are the chief guest Dr. J.K. Jain, Delhi and Dr. Dhanakar Thakur.



 

 

 

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Including Jharkhand

 
              The medical world therefore had welcomed the NMO.  The chairman of the reception committee was Dr. R.V.P. Sinha, a nationally known surgeon. Dr. B.N. Sinha, President, IMA Bihar* State had showered his good wishes through a message.

The NMO also found its real President, in Prof. S. J. Kale, more a rishi than a doctor and an anatomist from Jamshedpur, under whose guidance we could make the organisation truly national again in the 1986 conference at Jamshedpur.

    I, myself, opted for the post of organising secretary and liked Om Prakash to be the secretary, who was the ablest. The slogan of “LokLF; lsok! jk"Vª lsok!!  (Swasthya Seva! Rashtra Seva !!)”, was the outcome of his fertile mind. I had chided him for not going on a scheduled tour of Dhanbad, which remained without any representative, but I liked him very much. He expressed his inability, I think due to his strained relations with the ABVP. 

Then, my choice shifted to Winay Siddhesh as he had laboured much for the conference and had intense love for the NMO. I remembered we had gone to the temple of Lord Hanuman near Patna station on the sprouting of the NMO on 26.1.1980. At that time the temple was much smaller than it is today. Though Chandreshwarji and I had taken his consent, I was later asked by Sushil Kumar Modi to change our mind for a person from the capital, and a person from a non-Brahmin group. 

Radheshyam Gupta who was selected as such though had worked for the conference, proved virtually a non-starter as the secretary.  It is my candid opinion that a person should be selected on his ability only in any committee of any organisation.

    I remember, the tour of Bhagalpur where I reached very late in the night.  I had to halt with a fellow passenger in his shop of electric decoration.  I had not introduced myself to him but later I saw him again near the conference venue at Patna and invited him to join the conference. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Including Jharkhand

 

    I know, many workers thereafter have spent their nights on the floors of the platforms otherwise we could not have established this organisation having minimal resources. Many of them were from well-off houses.  The taste of social service lies in dedication and austerity and not in the status or show.  I used to joke that when I had visited Goa in 1981, the whole group had slept on the moonlit platform and had experienced Goa, as Vasco-da-Gama himself might have probably experienced.

    The day I left for Bhagalpur, I had applied for the provisional registration with the Medical Council of India at Patna and on returning to Darbhanga, I joined internship on 18.3.1980.  I heaved a sigh of relief, as I would now be getting a stipend.  I had my first quarrel with my elder brother as early as 1978, when I had returned from the Andhra cyclone relief work.  I was under his financial support.  He rated it as a sheer wastage of my monthly allowance due to my association with the NMO work and, thereafter, I had to severe financial relations with my family members forever.  I made up my mind not to have money from the family thereafter – rather I would give as and when I earned.  Then initially my loan scholarship helped me and so did the stipend of internship and ‘housephysicianship’ later.

    So from 1980 to mid-1982, I could work satisfactorily.  The tours were also limited to few colleges of the State and the correspondence was also not much.  The NMO also grew to be self-reliant. Seed money of  Rs. 200 had once been given by the ABVP, which I wished to return but they did not accept.  However, we used their office and they also helped us with whatever was possible.

    In the days of 1977, I had, no doubt, spent from my monthly allowance __ mostly on correspondences numbering one hundred and odd.  Some of those mails were also registered.  I lived on  a notion that I never misused the money as I did not visit cinema or hotel like my other friends and thus my brother had no right to ask me how I spent my allowances.  I knew that it was not a fixed sum and my family’s money was kept in my bank account and I was free to use it as per my discretion.  I feel sorry but it was an unfortunate event that the NMO had to be dormant and as far as the gratitude to the family is concerned how I could repay that which had brought me up and allowed me to work for the society?

 

  
    Yet, I missed my occasional visits to the Sweet Home of Laheriasarai and evening snacks in order to compensate for the expenditures on the NMO.

    The days of the NMO have changed.  Only a few days back (on 12.11.1989), we planned for an ambitious collection drive of Rs.10 lakh for the Central Office at Ranchi that had started in 1977 at Varanasi with pieces of few papers from a copybook.

    But money is not an indicator of our success. It is the warm affection that the medicos developed for the NMO and only due to that the conference at Patna could be held under my ‘convenership’ though I was a student from Darbhanga. A change also came in me in as much as even the colleges hitherto thriving on capitation-fee were included in the NMO with the result that the first function of the sprouting NMO was held at Muzaffarpur on 17.2.1980, early in the morning, after the day of the full solar eclipse, as if the eclipse of the NMO had also passed off.

    The sun had a total eclipse on 16.2.1980 and my roommate Arvind was busy in experimenting on the dilated eyes of rabbits and I was preparing notes for the next day’s meeting at Muzaffarpur.  How I could change my skill of experimentation into social instrumentation, God only knows!

    I became unsocial, yet I preferred to attend the executive committee meeting of the NMO at Patna on 27.2.1980 to the yajnaopavit ceremony of my sister’s son and for this I was chided by my elder brother.

    I was very close to my mother. I purchased a small transistor for her and started visiting my village off and on to be with her.

    Any worker devotes most of his time to the place of his dwelling and I was no exception.  Dr. S. M. Mishra had long back suggested to me to organise non-controversial things like symposia and it was wonderful to recall that the Darbhanga unit of the NMO had organised over a dozen of such monthly symposium and the campus was thrilled with its consistent rhythm.

    I had the opportunity to meet each and every teacher, including retired ones, in some or other connection related to the NMO.  I had the habit of meeting workers of the NMO everyday in hostels widespread in the campus and I think I must have a record for wandering in these beehives of medicos, without being bitten anytime by anyone.

 

    The NMO work needed time and till my ‘seniorship’, I preferred night shift duty for that.  Though some of my friends were also fond of it, but for some other reasons … to have closeness with the staff of wards whom I always preferred to address as ‘sisters’ but surprisingly once a widow nurse protested at being addressed as ‘sister’.  During my ‘juniorship’ they were taunting me, as I did not allow them to enter my chamber in nights on the pretence of taking water from the tap. I had never been a member of any tea club as I did not take tea and was usually an absentee in the parties like farewell.

    I disapproved of photography for personal grandeur and I do not remember barring one event of group photography in the second year, if I was present in any.  Even in the farewell of my ‘seniorship’, I was an absentee for which the teachers were sore at me. I did not know why this attitude developed in me but only later I was able to change my habit.  Probably in the past it was all for avoidance of unusual pomp and show.

    Yet, people liked me. I remember a young man whose mother was in a serious condition. We had a token strike and when I resumed duty at mid-night, the relieved senior resident told me that Prof. N. P. Mishra had already conveyed to the relatives of the fatal outcome and whatever was needed, had already been done.  Around 3 a.m., the young man knocked at my chamber.  I went to see his mother and asked to bring injectable digitalis.  The murmur was 6/6; for the first time I could see the patient where such  a murmur was audible without a stethoscope, like a wheeze.  Intravenous digitalis had its effect and by the morning round of the professor, she had improved much, contrary to his predictions.  I think she had not been fully digitalised. The Prof. was very much pleased with me.  That boy used to come to me on and off for consultations.  When his mother was to be discharged he wished to offer some donation.  I told him to donate a book on the ECG. That boy still has much reverence for me.

 

    But another colleague of mine took the book he donated to the unit and I became angry and finally left that unit and joined ‘seniorship’ in Prof. Mohan Mishra’s unit.  Long back, that friend of mine had   a quarrel with another colleague.  Prof. N. P. Mishra scolded him saying, “Because of you, my best house-physician has left my unit.”

            Initially Prof. N. P. Mishra had an impression that I had no interest in work but later he saw my punctuality even in knee-deep waterlogged hospital in rainy days. Also, he found that I was able to find some unusual things like ‘silent gap’ in the auscultation.

            Once, I also disagreed with his diagnosis in the evening round for a hemiplegics (he had ascribed it to the embolism from mitral stenosis).  I stamped it functional, which proved later on to be correct.  On my subsequent diagnoses of functional cases, he commented that young Dhanakar diagnosed functional cases more in ladies and he should better know to manage them.

    But I had also lost a lady of middle age branding her functional but later on I could conclude that it was a septicaemic shock.  But it was too late and in spite of the intravenous infusion of antibiotics and steroids, I could not save her on that fateful night.  Prof. N. P. Mishra used to say, “Never brand a case functional unless you have excluded all other possibilities.”  She was a rural middle-aged lady, not a charming lady from a town.  (I do not mean that rural do not have psychiatric problems in contrast to that hemiplegic lady).  But Prof. N. P. Mishra used to appreciate my diagnosis of Psychiatry, which would have been a scientific entity not to label them merely as  ‘F. N. D.’ and giving painful injections as placebo.

    I also  worked on a patient of S.L.E. during ‘juniorship’. I said to Prof. N. P. Mishra, “If tuberculosis has multi-drug regimes, why not S.L.E. should have one which may reduce the dose of steroid.”  He allowed me to do so.  I followed her for three years and a paper was published on this case in the Pat. Medical Journal 1987; 61 (II): 230-232.  Such work in highly developed renal lesion was not done at that time anywhere else.  Even an immunologist like Dr. A. N. Malviya, from the AIIMS appreciated my venture in a meeting at Ranchi in 1984.

 
    On a rainy day while I was alone with Prof. Mishra, he told me that he was pleased with my work and suggested to me that it was an appropriate time for my marriage.

    Joining ‘seniorship’ in Prof. Mohan Mishra’s unit was interesting.  My friend from Tripura, Tarun Palit, was going to be replaced by me and so he was worried. I explained to him why

I had to leave that unit but he could not understand.  The Asst. Prof., M. P. Singh attached to Prof. M. Mishra was worried that  I was  a leader-like person and I would not work properly and so he asked someone to call me so that I could be prevented from joining his unit. The messenger friend apprehended how I could work there if the Asst. Prof. was not willing.  I told him that I would be meeting him with the joining letter the very next day and in due course of time; the teacher was amongst the closest to me due to my sincere work.

                        During ‘seniorship’, I recall how a brother could be intimately attached to a brother, a patient having berry aneurysm and I also saw how an old man was happy in his illness to find all his four sons near him like Ram, Laxman, Bharat, and Shatrughna.  I do not know whether we four brothers living far away from our parents will have this fortune?

    Prof. M. Mishra himself was known in the Doctor’s Colony as Shrawan Kumar for his utmost devotion to his parents.  But for his homesickness, he would have been in one of the best institutions of the world.  Methodical, scientific and specific in his approach, he was at the same time a great believer in Mithila’s glorious traditions.  Speaking in chaste Maithili with patients, public and even medicos, you could not flex him by any means. With a calculator in his pocket, he would find the statistical significance with ease as much as that of any sign or symptom of a disease. A master of the ECG and inquisitive to learn always, I sometimes think he was no doubt; a grand physician but he would have been a computer scientist par excellence.

    His senior and teacher, Prof. N. P. Mishra, had the rare faculty of consistency in efforts and by his assiduous labour he could reach any height.  Very popular as a teacher he used to bring patients like some other senior teachers from his personal clinic also.  For him no one was brilliant.  He used to say, “I need mediocre whom I will train to be fit in any institution.”

 

    A grand history taker and a meticulous clinical examiner, when he used to speak in post-emergency rounds, it might be difficult for you to keep standing if you were not accustomed to fasting.  How punctual he was in teaching that he told me when he had a cardiac attack (of multifocal extra systoles) that he felt something wrong was going on in his body during rounds in the ward but he had preferred teaching to retiring. A wonderful orator, Saraswati used to dwell on his tongue.

    I was really privileged to work under those masters.

    Internship period is said to be insignificant but I was impressed by the punctuality of Prof. H. N. Dwivedi, a friend of Prof. N. P. Mishra. Whether his batch was rarely gifted?  I had done five-suprapubic cystostomy, few hydroceles and many abscesses, etc.  Some of the operations were done in the torchlight (thanks to electricity dept.) even in humid climate during rains.  Prof. Dwivedi was eager that I should join Surgery.  He took me as his assistant in many major abdominal surgeries, lumber sympathaetectomy, amputation, and throidectomy, etc. My senior ‘housesurgeon’ was very much impressed to see that    I brought from the NMO’s drug-kit anti-diarrhoeal drugs for a beggar having carcinoma of rectum; probably none dared even touching him due to foul smell.

    I had given my choice for internship in Medicine in an insignificant unit to make free the RMO for his MD examination taking over all his routine work.  He was the same RMO, Dr. U. N. Singh, who had protested before Dr. Bajpai, my external examiner in the final MBBS. Dr. U.N. Singh was a socialist whose father died of peptic perforation during the National Emergency with  J. P.’s literatures under his head.   I managed the cases as per my choice and learnt more than an average internee.

            In Obst. & Gynae., my senior friend’s wife Dr. Kalyani Gupta, was the ‘housesurgeon’ who used to tease me, “You are to do P. V. in labour room, etc.” I experienced, the department had hardly anything in scientific fervour ... ladies used to talk more about their husbands and houses, knitting sweaters, etc. (Thank, my wife knitted a sweater for me before joining the Obst. & Gynae. department otherwise, she might have been at a loss to find a choice of the design)…But when my Bhabhi requested me to come for night duty at least for their safety,   I happily agreed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The P. S. M. duty period, I mostly spent in organisational work for lack of infrastructure to work properly in the field. The big three white elephants (i.e. ambulances) were only suitable for the national highways which were far away from Darbhanga.  Once on the road, it broke the old iron curved name plate of the college.  I could know in due course that parts of some worth of those ambulances were utilized for private use like the staff cars of public servants.

            But there the atmosphere was educative with a good number of  dedicated teachers; clinics and wards full of patients with   varieties of diseases that I could learn well  and could nourish the sprouting NMO at the same time.

 

 

 

Internship — Relevant or Redundant
(Abstracts — Students’ session, NMOCON-91, Karnavati)
 
                Dr. (Miss) Navjot Gill who was adjudged the best speaker said that during internship students put into practice all that they had learnt during MBBS course. This offers opportunity to acquire experience and perfection of skill. In learning practical procedures the shortcomings are picked up by seniors and rectified, rather than learning at one’s own risk.
            As all are not going to do post-graduation it is time to acquire clinical skills and confidence. Even for would-be postgraduate students it acts as an experience. One can choose or change the subject of choice by working in difference departments.
            Dr. Jogesh Patel, an internee said that internship is a golden period of the life both for curricular and extra-curricular activities. During MBBS curriculum they have hardly any time for developing clinical skill besides preparing for examinations, which are more theoretical.
(Courtesy, the Aayurvigyan Pragati 1992; 12:2)
  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter XV

 

NMO in Controversy

(1982-85)

  

The sprouting NMO worked somewhat satisfactorily with  the passing days of my ‘house physicianship’. After the  first conference, during the Puja vacation, the workers from Darbhanga, Gaya and Bhagalpur had arranged a medical camp in the remote village Anjan of  Chhotanagpur (the birth place of Lord Hanuman, who, in fact, was a tribal,       and not a monkey) which impressed   the senior workers of Ranchi who  had been so far   aloof from the development of the NMO.


           

Fig. 19 During Oct. 16-23, 1980 a medical camp of the NMO in Anjan (Gumla district of Bihar*) where Lord Hanuman is said to have been born.
                                   


            Two medicos from Ranchi went for the relief camp after Mandai massacre in Tripura and later the second conference of the NMO was held at the RMC, Ranchi during April 19-20. 1981 where the Aayurvigyan** was also released. The convener of the conference Dr. Mrityunjoy worked hard and the conference was comparable to any other medical conference. In the scientific session, a paper was presented for the first time in Hindi by Dr. Y. N. Jha of Bhagalpur on thalassaemia. The social session was over-packed with the medicos and Nanaji Deshmukh who himself had renunciated politics exclaimed over the thought and progress of such a constructive organisation.

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* Now Jhankhand

**Renamed as the Aayurvigyan Pragati from the second issue (after its registration with the Registrar Newspapers For India, R.N.39518/1981)           


            At the airport, Dr. B. N. Das Gupta told me to receive the guest Nanaji and Nanaji told me to take care of the guest, Dr. Das Gupta. Our saffron flag with the insignia of Dhanwantari was unfurled there for the first time. Medicos from Burla (Orissa) and Agra attended the conference as observers and we thought that the NMO would soon attain a national status. In the background of 1977, I was planning for a big leap.

            I had also expressed (at Hubli) on query of  Prof. K. N. Poddar, the then vice-president of the ABVP that running an organisation named ‘National’ in a State looked ridiculous and also it was difficult to work organisationally since out of nine medical colleges and a dental college except Patna, Darbhanga and Ranchi, students annually admitted to     a college were 50 or even less, and one could not expect good work at any time in more than 50 per cent of the total centres, as it depended upon the batches of workers, who were  a floating population. Later, I talked to other senior workers but they had their own priorities.

 
 
Fig. 20 — Dr. S. N. Upadhyaya hoisting the NMO flag during the third conference at the PMC, Patna on 8.5.1982, assisting him Dr. Baidya Nath Mishra, (extreme R.)  Dr. S. J. Kale, President, NMO.
           


 

 

 

 

            The third conference was also held at the PMC Patna during which we started Dr. Atam Prakash Oration. The delegates from Burla and Cuttack also attended. We thought medicos would be at ease to attend the conference, on the eve of the summer vacation but we were mistaken. Most of the boys had left for home a few days earlier and even the remaining medical students and doctors had refrained from attending it because of the scorching sun and the number of delegates dropped down to 70, 

 

            Though  in  our  Ranchi conference only 63 had registered, including two from Burla (Orissa) and Agra, the show there was very impressive as we allowed anyone to attend the non-executive sessions. The enthusiasm in the campus for the conference matters not the number of registrations. The number of represented centres in Bihar* remained six in both the conferences.

            Lack of enthusiasm for printing  the new issue of the Aayurvigyan Pragati, on account of inadequate number of articles and involvement of our workers in the surgical conference, prompted me to get it printed at Patna. The workers of Ranchi had rich editorial experience but they expressed satisfaction when the third issue was released at Patna. The organising secretary of the NMO, Darbhanga, Sushil and I laboured hard for it. For us, it was a new venture. Our experience was limited to the printing of letter-heads and pamphlets only. This also took much time and in spite of the hard labour of the convener of the conference, Dr. Baidya Nath Mishra and a new worker Shambhu Gupta, we could not attract too many medicos.

            But the doctors donated generously to the NMO and the conference was not in the deficit. I remember, Dr. Ashish Mukherjee’s advice of getting signatures of donors on the counterfoils. He said due to his honest work and clear accounts, Dr. S. K. Ghosh Dastidar could erect the magnificent IMA house at Patna. I promised and had also sent the summary of the accounts to all the donors.

            But the scorching sun during the conference period had also bearing on the minds of the workers and the sprouting NMO had, an uphill task to save itself in the coming years. Whenever,   a new thing comes on the horizon, controversies begin. The chapter of dormancy was one of them but again the same prejudices and egos came into play and they had different manifestations.

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            * Including Jharkhand 
 

 

            On the conclusion of the Patna conference, I stepped down voluntarily from the post of the organising secretary as my seniorship was over on 17.3.1982 and out of necessity; I had started private practice at Shubhankarpur, a suburb of Darbhanga. Due to the conference, I was a long absentee and also in view of my financial bankruptcy hovering over me, I wished to be free. However, on the request of workers, I kept the work of the Aayurvigyan Pragati under me, as it did not require any touring.

            Dr. Navin Kumar Sinha had done appreciable work at Gaya and he had also rich experience of social service camps, including that of Tripura. Our choice fell upon him as my successor and as a hard worker; Sushil Kumar was deputed as his assistant. The secretary, Pramod Kumar Tiwary of Ranchi was also a competent, honest and intelligent worker.

            I hoped the trio would work in unison and the cart would be moving smoothly but it was not to be. The growth of the organisation virtually came to a halt in the coming days.

            Though relieved, I got embroiled in my own problems, which are described in detail in subsequent chapters. Navin and Pramod also left the scene without even having taken over the charge in the true sense. In the next meeting, in July 1982 at Patna, they were absentees. The next meeting, scheduled at Gaya could not be held.

            In those days Mrityunjoy had joined the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, Lohardaga, and on his initiative Pramod issued a circular for   a meeting of the NMO at Ranchi during Oct.2-3, 1982. I had closed my clinic and was preparing for the P.G. entrance test though financially crippled. A young worker Deoranjan advised me for preparing for some higher goals in life. “Should I leave the NMO for the time being? “ But Pawan Agarwal insisted that I should go to Ranchi. On 21st May 1982,  Ma. Shrishankar Tiwariji had advised me to settle myself first and then contribute to social work. He had even advised me to join the Army, where it was easy to secure a job. Regarding the NMO, he was sore over the personality clashes and Darbhanga vs. Ranchi approaches, which were not consistent with the ideals of the Sangh. 

            I think this happened because Mrityunjoy and I were senior most in our places and were equally good workers but having some different approaches. Initially, the idea of a separate organisation of medicos was not palatable to him (which he himself told later in a meeting) and that was more due to a communication gap between us than prejudices. After Varanasi, I could see him in 1981 only and Dr. Mukul Bhatia of the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, Lohardaga, arranged the first meet. I found in him a good friend. I also think that distance from Patna was also a factor that workers from Ranchi and Jamshedpur had consecutively lesser attendance in the meetings.

            How these absentees created confusion can be exemplified by the choice of the insignia for the NMO. In Feb. 1981, we had  a meeting at Patna, in which it was proposed by me that we should adopt ‘Dhanwantari’. I had been seeing in my father’s clinic, a picture of Him, published by Zandu Pharmaceuticals. A worker brought that sample from a local drug store and we accepted it, in the map of undivided India. It was communicated to Ranchi to be printed in our journal, due to be released. Dr. Das Gupta had also advised us that the journal should have an insignia but it was not printed and only while releasing it, Dr.Barmeshwar Prasad advised on the dais mentioning ‘Dhanwantari’, it could be finally accepted.

            Again, in the next issue, He was portrayed like four-handed God (which I know is equally correct as per scriptures) but we later dropped it in favour of the present form looking like a rishi, sketched by an artist of Patna.

            I was told that some young workers had also argued for the colour of our flag as saffron against the suggestion of white. Of course, the matter was solved before I reached Ranchi, in favour of saffron.

            They also had objection on some of the articles for the Aayurvigyan Pragati, which had already been approved by the editor.  While appreciating the talents of the medicos of Ranchi as architects and of the medicos of Darbhanga as masons, I had suggested to   them  to  follow the instructions of  the editor.

            Mrityunjoy and Binod K. Khaitan were really gifted artists who shaped the journal, which we are still maintaining. A good worker Subroto died in an accident on the 11th December 1981.

  

            It was communicated to me that in the Ranchi meeting Ma. Srishankar Tiwari and Sushil  Kumar Modi would also be coming but they did not come. On the first day the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere under the presidentship of Dr. (Capt.) D. K. Sinha, a responsible and dutiful senior and we discussed many health-related issues of national importance.

            The message sent by Dr. B.N. Das Gupta is worth mentioning. He had advised: “(i) to be community service oriented, (ii) publicity of those services, be it medical or social, (iii) to make committees responsible for particular systems of work - this should include members in ‘stairs’, i.e. both senior and junior people, so that work can go on when seniors go away on job, (iv) to hold meetings more regularly so that members engaged in welfare of the society may come to know each other closely, (v) either by personal contacts and or letters, endeavour to have close contact with eminent professional medical people, (vi) in all committees, funds should be raised and strict control on finances be observed and internal audits be done and this be made an invariable condition of working.”

            I think these instructions would go a long way for developing any organisation.

            But on the 3rd Oct. 1982, no senior person, including Dr. D. K. Sinha was present and it was chaos when the issue came up as to what should be the name of the organisation? I told them that they were convening a meeting not for a de novo synthesis but of an organisation formed long back which already had its three big conferences. Some members, particularly Mrityunjoy and Sushil from Darbhanga were insistent that it should be known only in Hindi nomenclature.

            I told them that there had been a long debate already on this topic. It was no wisdom fighting on it. It would be better to popularise the Hindi name as I had no hatred for Hindi but I had difficulties because people used to confuse ‘Aayurvigyan’ with ‘Ayurveda’. So. I advised them to work and have the experience. Sushil had already developed some sort of personal differences with me and he protested for the first time there organisationally. Some young workers from Ranchi intervened and the meeting was adjourned.

  

            Nothing tangible happened in subsequent months. The ABVP convened a meeting at Patna during April 11-12, 1983. Though I was present in that meeting, I was a silent spectator, mentally confused over my personal financial problems while waiting for admission to MD. This time Mrityunjoy  replied on a question put by a younger member. He told him that initially he did not feel the necessity of a separate organisation but later on he felt that the medicos’ problems could only be tackled by a separate organisation like the NMO.

            After this meeting Mrityunjoy  withdrew* himself voluntarily from any activity of the NMO and engaged himself in his personal work. Pramod had not come in the meeting as he had joined service in the IEL, Gomia. Navin  too had been busy in his personal work. Sushil had also become busy in his hospital duty and study.

            In October 1982 and October 1983, however, I could manage to publish issues of the Aayurvigyan Pragati to maintain its registration alive. Sporadic programmes were held by Ranchi, Darbhanga and Patna units but Bhagalpur unit was a notable exception which really organised itself in those days and did several good programmes, particularly due to the efforts of Vijayendra.

            Now, Darbhanga had some new workers, notably Prabhat who suggested to me to tour south India for the propagation of the journal. I took up a 41-days extensive tour and as per our assumptions we received encouragement everywhere. I returned via Ranchi. At Ranchi new workers led by Dewanand were willing that the next NMO conference be convened at Darbhanga which the senior workers of the ABVP at Patna also liked.

            The real controversy started when in a workers’ meeting Sushil’s name was proposed as the convener of the conference. Though I had no objection but he had stopped even talking to me and so it was difficult to work. Yet, I did not protest.

            He convened a meeting of the workers and changed the officials of the journal arbitrarily and passed a resolution that the NMO name in English should be dropped despite protest from me that any local unit could not decide it. Even voting took place but in protest I walked out and put all the matters before Dr. B.N. Das Gupta, in the presence of Sushil and his supporters Pawan and Harinandan who were also good workers.

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* He rejoined the NMO during 1990s.

  

            Listening to both parties attentively what Dr. Das Gupta advised, still echoes in my mind: “(i) convene a bigger meeting, (ii) do it under the guidance of a senior person and (iii) sort out the problems as per the Constitution.”

            Nobody took care of his mature advice. The conference scheduled at Darbhanga during May 6-7, 1984, was put off on the advice of the ABVP seniors at Samastipur in the Bihar* State Conference of the ABVP during March 3-4, 1984. I, however, did not go there.

            The 6th issue of the journal was released at Wheeler Senate Hall, Patna, on 12.4.1984 by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) S. K. Sinha. It faced grave financial problems. Signatories refused to sign the cheque for the payment and I had to manage it somehow from other sources. Dr. Das Gupta was already puzzled with the complexities and he told me on 12.3.1984 that he would not remain as editor, if controversies were not resolved.

            On the advice of my saintly senior friend Dr. K.P. Deo, I came to Ranchi to learn Neurology and other aspects of Medicine from  Dr. K. K. Sinha in the summer vacation of 1984 and on return became busy in the laboratory work, for my MD thesis. In                             a Koshi flood relief camp near Badlaghat during Sept.29 - Oct.2, 1984, I was humiliated by a group of our workers of the NMO.

            There had been one more reason for them to have hatred for me. At the end of 1983, the AIMF had sponsored an agitation for the regularisation of hostels in the DMC. I had suggested to the NMO workers to remain aloof from it as it would finally lead to Rajput vs. non-Rajput clash and also the AIMF people had, not long ago, demanded banning of the shakha in the DMC campus and had also tried to disturb a meeting of Prof. Rajendra Singh. But for their own reasons, they preferred to follow the agitators.

            In the ABVP conference at Patna (Feb. 8-10, 1985), a meeting of the NMO workers was held and an ad-hoc committee under the ‘presidentship’ of Dr. (Capt.) D. K. Sinha was formed. Sushil became its organising secretary. I was a silent spectator in the show. They put my name also as an invitee member.

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* Including Jharkhand

        
 

            The committee later met at Patna during March 10-11, 1985, which I did not attend. I thought to let them work for the NMO and I should concentrate on the journal and its 8th issue was published in those days.

            Again a meeting of that committee was held at Patna during April 7-8, 1985 for which I was not informed. I received a circular (dated the 18th April 1985) on 27th April. As per the circular six workers attended the meeting and it was stated as the first point to use only the Hindi name of the organisation. I had seen the draft copy of that circular in the hands of the office-secretary, Abhay Kumar Ashok and had told him to convey to Sushil that this issue should not be raised again. But Sushil did not agree. The fourth conference was to be held in the last week of August at Bhagalpur.

            I expressed my inability to attend the next meeting at Patna, during May 11-12, 1985 in disgust. I wrote letters to Dr. (Capt.) D. K. Sinha and the ABVP seniors. I did not go to that meeting where virtually I was expelled from the organisation in spite of the protest from Dr. D. K. Sinha who advised them not to leave me out seeing my contributions. Some young workers were in a fix.

            On the same day (11th May) Dr. K. K. Sinha wrote a letter from Ranchi inviting me to come to Ranchi for doing editorial work. I received both letters simultaneously at a juncture when I was to appear for the MD examination very shortly.

            After attending my younger brother Shubhakar’s marriage on 26th May 1985 and taking my admission in DCH in the DMC on 29th May, I reached Ranchi on 2nd June 1985, and absorbed myself in the study and editing of Progress in Clinical Neurosciences. I returned to Darbhanga on 16th August and remained busy in appearing at the MD examination, which perhaps ended on 26th September 1985.

            Many important developments took place in the meantime. Before I had left for Ranchi, I had a detailed talk with  Ma. Shrishankar Tiwari, in which I had expressed that the NMO was worth running only if allowed to run independently since it was difficult  for the ABVP workers to understand the intricacies of medical field and also that they had their own priorities.
 

            I had also planned to go independently, based upon the views of a few good workers, being disgusted with the unpleasant happenings. Vivekanand was to go on a tour and we were to meet at the API conference, Udaipur in Jan. 1986 under the presidentship of some eminent doctor, e.g. Dr. B. B. Tripathy of Cuttack. It was my belief that as a swayamsevak, I was entitled to join any organisation, which had no foreign links and or faith in violence. The NMO was in contrast fully national, as well as true to the spirit being dedicated to the service of humanity but this plan could not be pursued.

            In the meantime, the ABVP, on seeing the complications felt that the NMO was worthless and in one of its central committee meetings, it passed a resolution to close it step-by-step. Initially, it was decided that the NMO should run only at Darbhanga, Ranchi and Bhagalpur and probably at the mammoth youth conference at Delhi the final word was to be said (though there again in a medicos’ meeting Vivekanand briefed them about the Aayurvigyan Pragati and the NMO).

            After a long gap, Pramod Kumar Tiwari suddenly appeared at Darbhanga with Dharmanand Jha for the preparation of the P. G. entrance examination. They could gather this news about the ABVP’s decision from Sushil who had cautioned them not to divulge it to me, as it would hurt me. I was not told about this till my MD examination was over, during which Harendra Pandey, a senior ABVP worker, had visited the campus whom the NMO workers Prabhat and Birendra had frankly said that they would not leave the NMO. Earlier, while I was at Ranchi, Sushil Kumar Modi had also visited the campus and had enquired as to who and how many workers were to follow me.

 Chapter XVI

 

Rejuvenation OF MEDICOS POWER: NMO SPREADS NATIONWIDE AGAIN

 

            In fact, nobody was following me. We all were followers of the same ideal. The whole controversy was pathetic. Yet, it needed a serious blow to have an end. When I knew the developments, I remembered, P. P. Guruji’s (M. S. Golwalkar) famous proclamation,  If everything crumbles down, I will begin from the beginning.” But, I had no such spiritual power. I asked Prabhat, the most sincere worker of Darbhanga, whether he would work with me, if a fresh move would be taken up. He assured me that he would follow me.

            Subsequently, an emergency convention of the General Body of the NMO was held at Darbhanga on 30.9.1985, under the presidentship of Dr. Pramod Kumar Tiwari. It was resolved that the NMO would work freely, dedicated to the nation as before. Medicos’ power was rejuvenated. Sweets, actually meant for my MD results, took   a better meaning on being distributed after the meeting.

            But it was not without an aftermath. The programme of blood donation to be held on Gandhi-Shastri Jayanti, was threatened by them. However, it could be held by the intervention of the local Sangh workers. It reminded me of an episode of the Ranchi unit of the NMO, which had been synonymous with blood donation (as Darbhanga was for the symposium). In its first blood donation programme, the AIMF people had disturbed it when Prof. Surendera Sinha had come out saying nobody could be wicked than one who disturbed a pious programme like blood donation, which might be arranged by anyone.

            Pramod, Dharmanand and I went to Rajgir to meet the seniors of the Sangh.      Dr. Abaji Thatte listened to us. With his introductory letter, the medicos, mostly from the Ranchi unit toured all over the country propagating the NMO. The Ranchi unit ratified our resolution immediately. Later on, the Bhagalpur unit too joined us, once the controversy was over.
 

            We met at Jamshedpur during Dec. 6-7, 1986 and declared it as the fourth National Conference of the NMO, under the saintly guidance of Prof. S. J. Kale. Convener of the conference Indrajeet and his friends like B.N. Roy, Mahesh, etc., being fully backed by their Ranchi friends like Vijay Raj, Satish, Suhash, etc. proved themselves to the satisfaction of the dignitaries like Ma. Bhaskar Rao, Dr. B. N. Das Gupta, Dr. B. B. Tripathy (Cuttack), Dr. N. N. Khanna (Varanasi), Dr. Sujit Dhar (Kolkata), etc. that the young medicos had yet creative power.

  

Fig. 21 — Workers of the NMO, DMC with the NMO, President Dr. Sujit Dhar at Jamshedpur, at the IV National Conference of the NMO, on 7.12.1986.
Fig. 22 — Mrs. Radha Singh, IAS, inaugurating X Anniversary Celebrations of the NMO at Ranchi on 24.12.1987.

 
 

            Radha Singh, IAS, the chief guest, was so thrilled that she announced the NMO as her own organisation and later its registration could be possible only by her personal efforts. Dr. H. P. Sinha, ex-principal of the MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur wished to spend the last part of his life for the NMO. Dr. Sujit Dhar came as an observer and took the reins of the organisation as the National President. Ma. Bhaskar Rao again came to guide us at the Bhagalpur conference. Ma. Madan Das also congratulated us.
Fig. 23 _ Dr. Suhash Tetarway (extreme L.), Dr. Ksh. Birendra Singh (extreme R.) and on his side Dr. Satish Kr. Midha conducting a medical quiz in the Bhagalpur Conference on 1.4.1988.
 

Fig. 24_ NMO workers of Bhagalpur with Ma. Dr. Abaji Thatte (3rd from L.),  Ma. Shrishankar  Tiwari (1st from R.), and Ma. Bhaskar Rao (2nd from R.) during  the V National Conference of the NMO at Bhagalpur on April 1, 1988.

 

            The purpose of this narration, in no sense, is meant to malign anyone. What I feel, on my part, is that I lacked the art of communication and, therefore, I am taking up all the blames on my shoulders. At the same time, the success in overcoming the riddles of the controversies belongs largely to the younger medicos whose dedicated and selfless service alone could create admirers like Ma. Dr. Abaji Thatte, Ma. Bhaskar Rao and Ma. Shrishankar Tiwari and many others in the medical and social fields.           Every organisation faces teething trouble in the beginning because it is made up of human minds, so subtle in nature and if it is controlled, you will go to samadhi, hardly having any interest in the worldly affairs. And such brittle differences, unfortunately take bigger shapes.

            Whether my peer Mrityunjoy was not well-communicated with my ideas or younger Sushil, Pawan, Hari and Deoranjan were not flexible or the successors of Mahesh Sharma of the ABVP could not appreciate the finer aspects of the problem, are not the points at all, as they all worked with their utmost sincerity for the NMO and the nation and I still owe to them much reverence for the zeal, they all had and they have still respect for me. It is merely the kal chakra! One can say only that we are all one as we were one. I welcome them all to the NMO folds, if anyone still stands ashore.

            We lacked probably guidance from our seniors for long and another conclusion is that the sentiments should be honoured and not weighed by mere hefty arguments. What is going to happen tomorrow is not predictable and any conjecture may have no end. For the NMO rather everything seemed to have ended well.

            For me, however, in my personal life, I will hide some truths, lest readers should become tearful. Truly this had been for   a great mission. I would be but a sinner, in case, I hate any fellow worker though he might have even abused me.

            Maybe, God was planning for the good or is still planning well for me, in my personal life as well as for the NMO. While thinking over the past few lines I had typed, the postman dropped an envelope having in it the divine message of His Holiness Swami Chinmayanada, which he wrote himself from Indore, on 14th November 1989. The message was:

            “National Medicos Organisation is an answer to a very urgent need in the country. I congratulate you all and wish the Organisations help from all charitable Trusts and liberal donors.

            The Organisation can consider itself as NAMO and not as NMO. It sounds as ‘NAMO’ and has a significant meaning. Love.”
 

 

            This was in response to a letter and literature of the NMO, which I had personally handed over to him on 10th November 1989 at Ranchi, on conclusion of his week-long Gita and Upanishad classes, which I had attended.

            How the great men change the meanings! Not long back, I had chided Suhash for writing Namo with some other workers on registers in lighter vein (he had even printed it, in Hindi, so, while thanking advertisers in the souvenir, published for the Gwalior conference, had to be corrected before being dispatched). I also remember, Om Prakash used to say in the days of 1980-82, ‘Non Medicos Organisation’ for the NMO. I wish some day it may so happen that some saint would say, “There is no need of medicine or medicos as everybody is healthy on physical, mental and spiritual planes,” and then it would be better called as Om Prakash used to say lightly. Sorry, he also used to abbreviate its Hindi translation jk"Vªh; vk;qfoZKku Nk= laxBu as RA.A.CHA.S. ¼jk{kl½-

            The divine message of H.H. Swami Chinmayananda reverberates as the blessings of Acharya Vinoba Bhave written in his own handwriting on the 23rd Jan. 1981, at Pawnar, which is:
982)

 

Fig. 25 — Divine Message from Acharya Vinoba Bhave.

 

            When medicos’ power rejuvenated, I think, on some medicos’ advice, I also did a good work i.e. marriage on the same date, eight years later Ramnandan Mishra had quoted to me Vinoba’s saying, “If you are in a fix whether to marry or not, you should.” I could obey him only due to the rejuvenation of the NMO.

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