WITH KC: The Kathmandu Post editor Akhilesh Upadhyay briefs editors of other publications about Dr Govinda KC’s deteriorating health. The crusader’s hunger strike entered its 19th day on Thursday.
Crusader Govinda KC’s tenth fast unto death has entered the 18th day, and cumulatively the doctor has been on hunger strike for 119 days. He is the only citizen in Nepali history, probably in the world as well, who has risked his life relentlessly to reform the medical education sector. Hence, it is our responsibility to address his demands and save his life.
Recently, the government breached the agreement signed with KC by appointing a junior person as a new Dean at the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University Tritha Khaniya appointed KP Singh against existing norms and this prompted KC to stage another fast unto death.
Some politicians have cited KC’s demand impractical and criticised it. They argue that the appointment of a dean should be based both on seniority and working capacity.
KC’s mind is as sharp as his arguments. He is aware that a person working at an executive post should be picked up on the basis of various factors. Past irregularities have only helped for the for-profit medical education under the IOM.
If capable deans were appointed at the IOM, there wouldn’t have been fake doctors in many hospitals, students would have received quality education and medical colleges would not have got additional seats every year by paying big bribes.
KC’s first strike was against the culture of appointing deans close to politicians. There were signs of improvement at IOM and medical colleges only after deans were appointed on the basis of precedence.
Singh wasn’t made dean because of his skills and qualification. The condition of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) was unsystematic and haphazard when he was director of the IOM. There were even charges of irregularities on equipment purchases which the CIAA is still investigating.
Singh is a close colleague of KC and helped him in previous hunger strikes. KC is demanding the expulsion of Singh and Khaniya from their posts because KC’s fight is for a system and country.
Khaniya himself is an outcome of corrupt politics. Late Prime Minister Sushil Koirala appointed him as TU Vice Chancellor despite charges and proof of plagiarism. KC is fighting for his life. His health is deteriorating rapidly. Who will be responsible if anything untoward happens to him?
The resignations of Singh and Khaniya is the only solution for now. The government must ensure that the IOM dean is appointed on the basis of seniority and competence in future.
We appeal to the political parties not to waste time to sack TU Vice Chancellor Khaniya and Dean Singh of the IOM. KC’s life is more important than any of these posts. Singh was appointed the IOM dean four months prior his retirement and Khaniya had expected that KC would remain silent on this issue.