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'Fake Doctor' as Demon in Durga Puja Pandal Creates Controversy

The step to decorate the demon in the form of a doctor irked the West Bengal Medical Council, encouraging it to register its objection to the puja committee. The council said that the theme will send a wrong message to the masses about doctors and their profession.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 23, 2017, 8:11 PM IST
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'Fake Doctor' as Demon in Durga Puja Pandal Creates Controversy
A YouTube screen grab of the Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata.
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Kolkata: A Durga puja committee in West Bengal dressed demon Mahishasura as a doctor, landing it in trouble.

The Mahishasura idol at Mohammad Ali Park committee pandal holds a stethoscope and is wearing a white apron taking money from patients. The theme mocks 'doctors' practicing the profession with fake certificates.

The step to decorate the demon in the form of a doctor irked the West Bengal Medical Council, encouraging it to register its objection to the puja committee. The council said that the theme will send a wrong message to the masses about doctors and their profession.

The organisers, on the other hand, sought to clear the air, saying that they intended to create awareness among the masses about "fake doctors".

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee intervened in the matter asking the committee to change the theme.

Medical council Chairman Dr. Nirmal Maji said that he was shocked to know the puja theme. This will create a mistrust between patients and doctors, according to Dr. Maji. "They are maligning the image of doctors," he said, adding that the contentious idol should be replaced with a normal one. The council also wrote to Kolkata police commissioner, seeking a tough action against the organisers.

Dinesh Bajaj, Mohammad Ali Park puja committee chairman, said: "I would like to clarify that the intention was not to hurt anyone. We are going ahead with the theme to expose fake doctors in Bengal."

Later, it was learned that the committee was mulling over changing the theme and had taken steps ahead of the inauguration on Sunday.

The 'fake doctors' theme was based on the ongoing investigation into several people practicing the profession holding fake certificates.

In April 2017, the WBMC tipped the state CID that several fake doctors were operating in Bengal, requesting the institution for a crackdown to save hundreds of lives.

Several fake doctors have been arrested from Bengal and its adjoining states ever since. The investigation revealed that most of the arrested fake doctors were attached to some of the well-known hospitals, including Kothari Medical, Belle Vue Clinic, Ruby General Hospital, Kalpana Women and Child Care, ILS Hospital etc.

One of the fake doctors, Subhendu Bhattacharya, who was arrested recently, had even received an award from former President of India Pranab Mukherjee. He used to run a private nursing home - Kalpana Women and Child Care - in Howrah district.
| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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