In the respect of noble institute

Published: 11:00 PM, 14 Jan, 2021
In the respect of noble institute
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King Edward Medical University (KEMU) is a public medical university situated in Lahore, Pakistan. Founded in the year 1860, the university is named after King Edward VII. After the independence of Pakistan, the institution became the only medical college in the country. It is considered one of the top-notch medical universities all over the world. The highest merit students of the country are admitted in this prestigious and historical institution. Last year merit was 97.5% highest in the history. From the 1st Vice-Chancellor till now, each of them has done a tremendous job by serving humanity to the possible extent. The current Vice-Chancellor of the reputed institution Prof Gondal who has also received (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) is continuing the legacy. He is doing his best and serving the nation by modern adaptation. In this day of age of Artificial intelligence & Information Technology, he has made the institution to utilize this advancement by providing the patients with Tele OPD, Telepsychiatry, Corona Help Desk, and Nutrition Desk; making the University the first one to use them to help the needy. This year 52 students got residency in USA one of the highest figure since the inception of the university reflecting high standards of medical education and training under current administration and faculty. 

Recently, an incident happened that has surfaced in print and electronic media. A 17th grade lady doctor at a most famed and prestigious medical school in the subcontinent has been repeatedly launching complaints of harassment against teachers, the first one in 2019 against Professor of Forensic Medicine and various others complaints on record from her including warden and chief warden of the girls hostel. This is not a story of a single individual, it is a social tragedy that has not only disturbed all professionals associated with the medical field but also raised many question marks. There is no doubt that the law designed to protect women in the workplace was based on good faith. The aim was to ensure the protection and provision of an optimal environment for working women. But unfortunately, there is no remedy in this law defaming wrongdoers who cause irreparable harm to honorable members of society by resorting to this law with the unlawful misuse of social media, electronic, and print media. This raises a big question: Is it that the daughter of Eve always needs protection, or this protection can also be guaranteed for a son of Adam who has struggled for a lifetime to achieve a position of honor?

It is not right at all when a person serving humanity day and night for the last 28 years and somebody does his character assassination on someone’s instigations without any strong proof. This person, who has been allegedly accused, has a long flawless career and served the medical field in various capacities during last three decades. He has been associated with the management of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, the major postgraduate medical education institution, for the past 15 years. At least more than five thousand women doctors have been taught by him and also visit him from time to time on various academic issues. He was the first regular Vice-Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Medical University, a women-only medical institution. During his dynamic tenure of 4 to 5 months at Fatima Jinnah Medical University, every student, teacher, and colleague was a witness of exceptional administrative qualities. His services to the University were exemplary. Every person and every wall of the university was crying with tears at his departure. It is also not bearable as well according to the constitution as he is doing his job with perfection and highest moral value and professionalism that even the government itself has to recognize his services for the country by giving him the highest award. Reportedly, some senior aspirant doctors are using the complainant for their personal vested interests. It is understood that why they are doing this. As they are seeing themselves on the chair after him, they want him to lose his respect in one way or the other. 

In this regard, when I visited the social media and facebook and twitter account of the complainant’s lawyer where the complaint was uploaded I found in comment section numerous witnesses by the daughter of Eve in favour sons of Adam. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Medical University, herself a senior Professor of Physiology, wrote after reading about the story on social media: “As a Professor of Physiology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Medical University, I worked with Prof Gondal while he was serving at Fatima Jinnah Medical University as VC. I have witnessed his high moral values and self-esteem. He is an extremely kind person, an excellent teacher, and a fatherly figure that is endowed with ideal administrative and professional capabilities. I stand witness to his innocence”. In the same manner, hundreds of students and teachers started giving their full testimony. The Class Representative of final year MBBS during that period at FJMU wrote: “I have met him many times with female students. His respect for women has been unparalleled and he has always dealt us with paternal affection. Every student of the university is a witness to his high morals and unparalleled service to the institution”.

I want justice for this man having highest moral values and great reputation in the profession and public. Does the lady not know that what she is doing with herself and what she’ll answer to Allah on the Day of Judgment? It simply seems that she is helping someone by playing with fire. Nowhere is there any evidence of “harassment”, in the audios provided as proof. Instead, in those 3 audios, the word "Baita" was used by him on multiple occasions which I myself have listened. After the investigation, if proved wrong they all should be put behind the bars for such a shameful act. The common people, staff, and colleagues of Prof Gondal who know him well have made this trial especially on media by lady and her lawyer unsuccessful by standing like a rock in his support. A person’s height is increased when he works not for him but for the institution. And the Professor has done work for humanity throughout his career and not a single person can raise a question on his character. He has also taken a step and stood against this move for the cause of institution so that no one has to face similar blames in the future. 

This can lead to a great tragedy that affects not the individual but the whole family, including parents, spouse, children but the whole society at large associated with that particular person. If the accusation is proven wrong, if it is not remedied, it is the most devastating crisis for which all who do not speak up are responsible. How many complaints are there under the guise of this act that though, be proven wrong, and will not punish the complainant lodging the false statement? This would establish such traditions that would never be remedied and would become a part of our workplace culture. The responsible higher authorities need to think about this important aspect and take immediate action in this regard before more harm is done.

Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti

The Writer is a Senior Social Analyst & Chairman Pakistan Columnist Council.