Eminent gynaecologist and noted author Dr. Arun Gadre was reportedly surrounded by a gang of youths in New Delhi’s Connaught Place area and asked his religion while being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
While the Pune-based Dr. Gadre did not file a police complaint regarding the incident which occurred on the morning of May 26, he confided to a close friend of his.
“He [Dr. Gadre] was staying at the YMCA near Jantar Mantar as he was due to deliver a lecture organized by Indian Medical Association at Bijnor the next day. When he left for his morning stroll, he was accosted by a gang of five-six youth near the Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place. They surrounded him, asked him what religion he was and finally demanded that he chant ‘Jai Shri Ram,” said senior journalist, Anant Bagaitkar, to whom Dr. Gadre later narrated the incident.
Mr. Bagaitkar further said that Dr. Gadre, who had a bypass surgery recently, was “shocked and scared”. Issuing a late evening response on reaching Pune on Monday, Dr. Gadre downplayed the incident as “trivial”.
“On 26 May, I was taking a morning walk in Delhi at around 6 a.m. near the YMCA. Suddenly, few youths [confronted me] and asked me to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. I was a little taken aback and said it. They insisted I say it loudly. I just walked away and they let me. I was not physically manhandled…I did not want to make it public nor report it to the police because I thought it to be trivial…I request everyone to treat it as trivial and not draw any conclusion,” read Dr. Gadre’s response when asked about the incident.
Dr. Gadre, who has worked with the renowned Dr. Prakash Amte, has worked for the promotion of the patient’s rights, universal healthcare and the social regulation of the private medical sector.
Known for his concern about the decline of medical ethics, he is the co-author (along with Dr. Abhay Shukla) of the expose on the rot within the medical profession titled Dissenting Diagnosis.
Dr. Gadre, along with his wife Dr. Jyotsna Gadre, has practiced in drought-prone areas in Maharashtra’s rural hinterland for several years.