A cruel joke has been played on “still the Dean” of JJ Group of Hospital, Dr. T.P.Lahane, by our Government. A week ago in one of my blogs, I had mentioned about my confusion as to the various reports newspapers published week prior to that, about shunting out of Dr Lahane from the post of the Dean. But no sooner than that, the same media had quoted him in one of their stories referring to him as the Dean. I blogged my confusion. As usual to clear the confusion, Dr Lahane himself called. In a heart-to-heart talk for about about 3 minutes over the telephone and various exchanges of messages, my heart went out to this once upon a time “uncrowned” King of JJ Hospital. A person who has managed to keep the helms of JJ in his hands for so many years now, is a soft target amongst the political rivalry that exists in the corridors of power. Known to be a close aide of NCP’s supremo Sharad Pawar, Dr Lahane is trying with all his best to cancel his promotional order and remain in the JJ as the Dean or either gets his promotion “permanent”. But Devendra and Vinod, as Dr. Lahane fondly calls them (our state’s Chief Minister and School Education Minister), are not paying any heed to this. A career of 32 years and working for nearly 12 to 14 hours a day, this is not done. Areee baba, in the powers of corrodor, where such postings are stayed within minutes, it is really surprising as to why Dr Lahane has been treated like this? Even visits and calls of nearly 70 MLA’s and MLC’s and 2 hours of meetings over cuppa of coffee’s with close friend cum night life lover Minister Girish Mahajan and Ajit Pawar’s duplicate (strictly in terms of attitude and nothing else) Minister Ram Shinde has not yielded any favourable results. I hear yesterday there was a lunch feast held over a meeting with PWD officials wherein the contractor was asked to foot the bills of 100 hungriest men on the planet.
Even Ajit Pawar and Eknath Khadse during their trial times in their respective parties, were not able to gather such clout and affection from 70 MLA’s. Had this been the case, today Ajit Pawar would have overpowered Supriya Sule to be CM candidate, and Khadse would have got the clean chit in all the scams he has been booked in. But then why this affection and love was only for Dr. Lahane? Reason? his commitment to work for everyone anytime and anywhere. In the media houses too, Dr. Lahane has a strong connect. With the Sandeep’s and “blind”ers to the Atulay’s and to the Sanjay’s and yes to the “mango”kar, all love and respect him. Love was never only for cup of coffees for these journo’s. Most of them come from the interiors of Maharashtra and often only on a phone call from any of these journals, patients form their villages or at times even their relatives were treated with immediate attention. But what led to the downfall of the popularity of Tatya? Why his once mentor turned his back on him? Why the professors and the doctors spoke behind his back? Why the media guys went against him? Why today everyone in the powers of corridor aren’t helping him? He had been given orders to get promoted as Joint Director at the DMER, but Dr Lahane has flatly refused his promotion. I have a copy of the order. It is such an embarrassment to get your promotional order only for 360 days. Goddammit!! at this level it becomes embarrassing…It is a temporary order, that Dr Pravin Shingare with all his might signed! A person who would and has changed careers of so many people (at least he openly threatens his junior’s), his own career in his last innings at work, is at jeopardy in the hands of Devendra & Vinod. Why no one is running for his support now? To rub salt on the wound further various NGO’s/Journalists knowing the in & out’s of JJ are filing RTI’s for information now digging old graves. Dr Lahane is saying, he is ready to move out, but not temporarily!
I have been to JJ in all honesty only 4 to 5 times. Spent an hour on my each visit and spoke to various authorities. I asked them the reason. Many people came up with various answers. Some blamed his brash attitude towards the nurses and junior staff’s, some were tired of his authoritative & abusive nature, some blamed his “no one can touch me ” attitude, some blamed his association to the second most hated in JJ after Lahane, Dr Ragini Parekh, some had doubts about corruption in the PWD was with his blessings, and some just hated him for being “publicity hungry” all the time. I remember so many doctors and professors had called me when Dr. Lahane had set up an eye (catract) camp in the Jalgaon district. They say, Dr Lahane had arranged for a private chopper to fly to the venue from Mumbai. One of my “shameless” journalist friend had also posted pictures in the private chopper along with other doctors on the Facebook. The patients in Mumbai were left at the mercy of junior staff’s as all the pioneer’s of JJ group were with Tatya at Jalgaon. This is where people came out and spoke their minds to the Press. This Jalgaon camp was nothing but showcase of power for then recently sworn in Minister Girish Mahajan who was and will always be number 2 to Eknath Khadse, and wanting to build his image at that time. Also many journalist’s were surprised to see their Mumbai counter parts arriving from private helicopters to cover the event when the same newspapers had representatives at Jalgaon. Such favours hurt many. But according to what information I possess, it was Shaina NC who held the march against Dr. Lahane that took an ugly turn, is also one of the main reason behind his popularity to soar. Where and how did Shaina NC turn up in JJ? Apparently they say, Dr Lahane who is used to speaking abrasively with his junior’s and support staff, said nasty things to this young man who unfortunately happened to be a close relative of Shaina’s. She took the matter to the CM and Vinod Tawde, who were also in the mood to replace the Dean, as many other such complaints and agitations by the nurses and resident temporary doctors had reached their ear’s. Another scam that hasn’t seen the light, but is commonly discussed is that of purchase of Intra Occular Lenses used for cataract surgery. I have a copy of complaint filed by an activist who happens to challenge Dr. Lahane’s procedure of cataract surgery. He smelt corruption in there and accordingly complained to Minister Vinod Tawde. As per the complain, during the surgery, the patients are offered either Indian (costing Rs. 4000) lens or an Imported one that costs around Rs. 7000. Now approx there are 30,000 (RTI reveals) patients who get their cataract treated at JJ annually. So the total cost incurred for such lenses soar to above Rs. 20 crore annually. This complainant has asked the government to buy such lenses either through quotation or Rate Contract or E-tendering, which is laid down by the Government. Again the complainant told me that he was denied information from the DMER’s Director Dr Pravin Shingare, who was directed by the Minister to inquire. When I mentioned this to Dr Lahane, his immediate reaction to the complain was “objective to make money”. Some blame the PWD mess in JJ cannot be without the blessings of the Dean as he was the final authority to approve the repairs and maintenance, leave alone talking about Jail inmates getting “friendly” treatment in the cabin of Dr. Bhavani or at St. George’s Hospital.
Now this leaves me more confused. On one hand, is the man who with his social adventures, helps thousands of people, gathers blessings, runs JJ with equal conviction and on the other is a man who has everything, but his fate is sealed to the worse. Today when the tide has turned against him, no one stands by him. There are people whom he has helped innumerable times, doing the loudest shouting against him. But as they say, such is game played in the powers of corridor. It didn’t spare Khadse and Suresh Jain. They have forgotten his 32 years of service to humanity and today’s his fate and chair are termed “temporary”!