Doctors as a breed are universally acknowledged as people who save and affect lives. Whether it is Dr. Christiaan Barnard of South Africa who performed the first heart-transplant operation in 1967; or Dr. Naresh Trehan; or my cousin Dr. Anoop Ganjoo who is a brilliant cardiac surgeon; or doctors who provide prosthetic limbs to patients; or the interns and residents from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram, Wardha, who have to compulsorily serve in rural areas; or even the gynaecologists attached to several nursing homes who are on call at all hours.
So here is my simple poser to you.
Who do you think is the most powerful doctor in India?
Before you read ahead, just think of all the doctors you have seen / heard/known about — those that have an impact on our daily lives. And then think of the most powerful ones — the ones who have an impact on the largest number of people.
So how many people’s lives does the doctor you have in mind affect?
More than a lakh?
Day after day?
Here’s my gauntlet.
The most powerful doctor in India is… Dr. Vashisht!
Everyday, (especially weekdays) he impacts the lives of easily a couple of lakh people in Delhi. And such is his impact, that the authorities have had to bend rules to accommodate the extent of his impact. While the immediate impact can be for periods ranging from 10 minutes to an hour or more, its effects last for quite a while.
However, till about a few years ago, his impact was much more pronounced and would touch the lives of a far greater number of people and for much longer periods of time. In fact, it was rivalled only by the impact of the Deity in the temple across the road.
So who is Dr. Vashisht?
Do your Google searches to find out. While I too shall be coming out with my reasons, next week.