Letter condemning abusive and communal hate speech  by Dr. Aarti Lalchandani which violates principles of medical ethics and discriminates against Muslims


On 31st May 2020, Dr. Aarti Lalchandani the Medical officer of the Govt Hospital (Medical College Kanpur, UP) was caught on camera making derogatory, hateful statements that were intended to vilify and dehumanise the Muslim community by falsely attributing the Covid19 pandemic to them. The doctor was candidly caught saying “We are exhausting our resources on Jaamatis. Paying their hotel bills that run in lakhs. If it was not for them then there would be no cases. We are using 100 kits on them a day. If they weren’t there we wouldn’t need the kits at all.” On being asked “what should be done with the Jamaatis”, she responds stating “Please don’t leak this – They should be put in jails. The medicines are being wasted on them. More than the medicines the kits are being wasted on them. With the use of sticks they should be put in solitary confinement instead we are putting them in quarantine. There should be an order passed stating no resources should be wasted on the Jaamatis. They should be put in jungles in dungeons. They are terrorists. They are the reason for the spread. They will be the reason for the financial emergency.”[1]

At a time when the world is battling the spread of coronavirus which has been recognized as a pandemic by the WHO, viewing patients from the lens of religion by a doctor to determine who should be given treatment is criminal. The coronavirus has taken lives of 6075 persons in India[2] and such statements are fueling another communal virus pandemic. This pandemic calls for a responsive health system that will rise to the occasion to control the spread of the infection and to ensure that people receive adequate, comprehensive and ethical healthcare. This includes treatment, diagnosis, preventive efforts and counselling that is inclusive and non-discriminatory. In light of the critical times, healthcare workers have a heightened responsibility towards the patients and society at large. In such difficult circumstances the comments of Dr Aarti Lalchandani’s are unacceptable and irresponsible violating medical ethics and humanitarian principles.[3]

By making statements such as throwing the Jamaatis in the dungeons, solitary confinement, use of stick to put them in jail, the doctor is advocating for torture, inflicting of both mental and physical trauma which is in violation of Human Rights.[4] Furthermore, such action by a doctor in a government hospital that is required to provide care and treatment to all citizens, is criminal in nature specifically when the Government has issued statements of ensuring no stigma against the victims of corona. Calling the Jamaatis as terrorists is baseless, propagating enmity on religious grounds and in violation of Section 153A. Additionally, the doctor is in clear violation of Sec 188 of the Indian Penal Code as the doctor has ignored the directions of public officials to not stigmatise victims of the virus. Being in a position of power as the principal of a Government hospital, this discriminatory mindset can trickle down to the rest of the staff and also lead to overt and covert exclusion of Muslim patients who have as much of a right to healthcare as other citizens. We have observed this with other medical conditions like HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy etc., that targeting and stigmatizing communities leads to lesser reporting and prevents good public health interventions to control the spread of disease.

We vehemently condemn the statements made by her. They are unprofessional, uncouth, derogatory, divisive and in violation of the tenets of equality propounded in our Constitution. We demand that she be dismissed from services as she is a danger to the patients. Further, we demand the Medical Council of India to take cognizance of this matter and initiate disciplinary proceedings against her. There is also an urgent need for the Medical council, the Nursing council and all other allied professional bodies putting out strong statements against any form of discrimination, stigmatisation, negligence, denial of care based on the religion, caste, gender, occupation or geographical location of patients. We also demand that the medical fraternity condemn this action in order to restore the faith of the common man in the doctors.


1ZoyaEngineering manager
2Zainab Sulaiman
3Zahida TahseenDesigner
4Zafar AbbasService
7VivekIISER Mohali
9Vinay SreenivassAdvocate
10Vidya DinkerCitizens Forum for Mangalore Development
11Veena ShatrugnaIndependent Researcher
12Vasundhara RangaswamyMicrobiologist
13Vandana PrasadIndependent Researcher
14Umm AatifHome-maker
15Ujwal KpIndividual
16ThaiseerThe Human Collective
17TariqueIT professional
18Tanzeem IqbalJob
19Tanvi Avasthi, RNCampaign Against Racism/Nurse
21TahirAssociated with welfare party
22T JayashreeFilmmaker
23Syed Tousif MasoodNaavu Bharatiyaru
24Syed Ishaq Ul HaqCivil Engineer
25Syed IbrahimPouring the poison in nation
29Swaliha AsiyaContent Strategist
30Surbhi ShrivastavaResearcher
31Sunita BandewarPune
34Sumita KumarAnalyst
35Sulakshana Nandi
36Suhel KhanTechpreneur
37Sudha NIndependent
38SrishtiDigital marketing
39Soundarya IyerResearcher
40Sneha RajaramWriter
41Shibu VarkeyOphthalmic Surgeon
42Shehnaz khanTeacher
43Shazin SiddiquiThe Human Collective
44Shashidhar VBLawyer
47Shahid HusainWFM
48Shabana SultanHomemaker
51Sayyed Mohammed ArshadSoftware Engineer
53SameerThe Human Collective
54Samar Nadeem KhanHealth Activist
55Saleha TahseenTrainer
57Sabina BashaRetired
59Rosamma ThomasJournalist
61Reena JohnsonTeaching
62Ravi GDisability Rights Activist
63Ravi DuggalResearcher
64Ratul BiswasService personnel
65Rasheed UsmaniEntrepreneur
66Ramneek SinghPlaywright
68radha hollaIndependent researcher
69R SrivatsanResearcher
70Pushpa SSwaraj Abhiyan Activist
71Priti TurakhiaSelf
72Praveen Kolluguriindia
73Pratik MishraPhD student
74Prasanna SaligramPublic Health Researcher
75Pramod PCEngineer
76Persis GinwallaIndividual
77Omar FarookThe Human Collective
78NoorUnited religions initiative
79NizamuddinFraternity Movement Karnataka
81Nikita IslamDoctor
83Nazim KhanIT Professional
84Navaid AlamThe Human Collective
85Nasir NGThe Human Collective
86NasarSelf employed
87Nagaragere RameshPeople’s Democratic Forum
88N. JayaramJournalist
89N HanifiWorking
90Munowar warsiMarketing techno commercial rental machines & I.P.
91Mujahid SheikEngineer
92Muiz AhmedLifeline foundation trust
93Mueen AbrarTMC
96Mohd SarfrajEngineer
97Mohan RaoIndependent Researcher
98Mohammad IqbalService
99Mohammad Farhan ShaikhStudent
102Mir TaqeeullaThe Human Collective
103MirSoftware Engineer
104Meraj KhanMedia Sales Manager
105Mehdi KalimHuman Rights Activist
106MayureeSocial worker
108Manzar HusainSalaried
110Mahdi AliEmployee
111Madhuri KrishnaswamyIndependent Researcher
112M. KumarIndependent Writer
113M. A. SirajJournalist
114M Shakeel BadalThe Human Collective
115M Salim Ansariself employed
116Linda Sharp MDDoctor
117Laxmi NScientific Writer
118LatifaMovement for justice
119LathaSanman society
121Khalid QureshiEngineer
122KhalidIndian Patriot
123Khaleelullah RBusiness
124Khaiser FaizaSocial activist
125Karan Singh ChouhanAssistant Professor
126Kaniz Fatima MuneezaPublic Health Expert
127Kamayani Bali Mahabal Human Rights Activist
129Jyotsna SharmaSelf employed
131Jerald D SouzaSocial activist
132Javeed PashaFruit merchant
133Jameel Ahmed KhanDoctor
134Jameel AhmedSelf employed
135Jagrat BiswalSoftware Engineer
136Jagdish PatelOHS
137Istiaque HussainPublic servant
138Ismail khanStudent
139Isheath NisarSocial acitivist
140Inamur RehamanEngineer
141Imran khanSelf business
142Ihjaz MohamedThe Human Collective
143Huzefa I SuratwalaDoctor
144Huzafah Sadaf SMNone
145Humera jabeenDoctor
147Harun RasheedEntrepreneur
149Hamza Mohd. ZubairThe Human Collective
151GOUSE SADAKEmployee
152Gitanjali guptaHousewife
153FirdoseHome maker
155Fathima NahaStudent
156Farah AfrazDoctor
157Dr.Mohan RaoIndependent researcher in Bangalore
158Dr.Antony.K.RPublic Health Consultant Kochi
159Dr. Sylvia KarpagamPublic health doctor and researcher
160Dr. M. FarooqueOrthopaedics Surgeon
161Dr. KhudsiaMedical profession/
162Dr. Charm ShakeelDoctor
163Dr Sushrut JadhavUniversity College London
164Dr Sharfaroz SataniDoctor
165Dr RehanPrivate Practitioner
166Dr Gopal DabadeHealth Activist
167Dr Danish AhmedDoctor
168Dr Anoob RazakPublic Health Practitioner
169Dr AfzalDoctor
170Dhruv MankadResearcher
171Deepak KumarPublic Health Professional
172Deepak JoshiSelf employed
173David GoldbergRetired doctor
174D. Albert, S.J.Social activist
176Chinu SrinivasanIndependent Researcher
177Chandni GaneshStudent/Writer
178chaand ohriDoctor
179Brinda AdigeDevelopment Consultant & Activist
180Basawa KunaleLawyer
181B.Nasreen TajThe Human Collective
182Azhar Alam AdvocateAdvocate
183Ayesha latifHome maker
184Avani ChokshiCPI (ML) Liberation
186AthiyaHome maker
187Asma khanTeacher
188AslamThe Human Collective
191Arul AnthonyAdministration
193Arati ChokshiCitizen
196AnilkumarStudent (AUD)
199Amjad patelService
200Amita PitreGender and Health Professional
202Amar JesaniIndependent Researcher
203amar chourasiyait professional
204AlwynResearcher and Activist
205Al Furqan trustTrust
206Akash BhattacharyaTeacher, Azim Premji University.
207Ajab Motorwalanone
208Ahmed SaleemuddinEngineer
210AhamedSoftware engineer
211Abu khanStudent
212Abrar RashidStudent
213Abeer zainiStudent
214AbdullahIT Engineer
215Abdul WasaySoftware professional
216Abdul haseebEngineer
217Abbar KhalidStudent
218Aarti BhattMD
219Aarif MalikCommunications Professional
220Aaliya ShafiTeacher
221A AhmedThe Human Collective

[1] Video can be found at https://youtu.be/zvDvF-Ck7sE, reported by NDTV at https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-on-camera-up-doctors-hate-rant-against-islamic-sect-members-2238882, reported by The Hindu at https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kanpur-medical-college-principal-allegedly-says-jamaat-members-are-terrorists-should-be-placed-in-solitary-confinement/article31719553.ece, fact checked by Alt News at https://www.altnews.in/verification-speech-targeting-muslim-community-by-kanpur-medical-college-principal/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=newpost 

[2] The number is underreported.

[3] B. Duty and Responsibility of physician in general, 1.1.2 of the Code of Medical Ethics Regulation 2002

[4] 6.6 Human Rights, Code of Medical Ethics Regulation, 2002