The ignorant will always try to suppress the voice of the genius. After all, they don't know any better. Doctor Subhash Mukhopadhyay was one such genius who was humiliated till the time he decided to take his life. Dr Mukhopadhyay was an extremely talented man who spent the majority of his life trying to create a test tube baby in the easiest way possible. He did manage to reach his goal, but unfortunately never got recognised for his revolutionary work.
A physician from then Calcutta, Dr Mukhopadhyay was the one who created India's first test tube baby on the 3rd of October 1978 - only the second person in the world to achieve such a feat.
The first child Durga (Kanupriya Aggarwal) was born in Asia using IVF, which was just 67 days after Robert Edwards in UK, mastered this technology creating world’s first baby via IVF. Since 1978, nearly 4 million children have been produced worldwide using IVF. In 2010, Robert Edwards was honored with the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Sadly, his study never got the attention it truly deserved. When he did go public with his life's most crucial find, he was accused of 'claiming' to have created the world's first test tube baby. He was also questioned for going to the media without bureaucratic approval and creating a test tube baby with simple tools inside his home. People were not willing to believe. Other well-known doctors with bigger apparatuses had failed to create a test tube baby in a lab - how could this man do it so easily in his house?
A botched up trial is what followed. Being questioned by a group of people who did not have a single iota of knowledge about the modern reproductive technology, or his experiments and research, the justice system was also unjust to him. Pointless questions about his life lead to his experiment being declared a complete sham. Shame.
Dr Mukhopadhyay could not handle the constant criticism and outright harassment he was subjected to from thereon. Finally, tired of being targeted for no reason whatsoever, he decided to take his own life in 1981.
Many years later it was a doctor(Dr. Sunit Mukherji) who worked with Dr Mukhopadhyay, who stepped ahead and made a last attempt to bring recognition to Dr. Subhash.
He handed over Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s diary, which he had, to Dr. T.C. Anand Kumar who had also created a baby using IVF, claiming to be the first one. He was widely recognized as he went on to publicize his work and present it on a large scale.
In 1997, Dr. Anand went to Kolkata to participate in a Science Congress and over there Dr. Mukherji gave him the documents of Dr. Subhash having hand written notes and research. He studied it carefully and met Durga’s parents to assure. He also read Durga’s medical reports to be sure of what he was told. Dr. T.C Anand Kumar was the former director of the Institution of Research in Reproduction at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), so he was in power to exempt the false charges against Dr. Mukherjee.
That was the time when things took a turn. He generously gave up the title of fist IVF doctor, as it was Dr. Mukhopadhyay who indeed deserved it truly.
It was due to Dr. Kumar’s efforts, in 2002, that ICMR recognized his work for the first time.
On celebrating 25 years of IVF in Bangalore, Dr. Anand Kumar invited Durga and his family as guests.
It's nothing but shameful to know that the Indian system not only failed us and Dr Mukhopadhyay, but was also in some way responsible for his death. The story of his life was adapted into a wonderful film starring veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor titled, ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’.
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