Kailash Chand: general practitioner, NHS campaigner, and medical politicianBMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2041 (Published 18 August 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2041
- Rebecca Wallersteiner
- London, UK
Born in the hills of Shimla, northern India, on 10 June 1948, Kailash Chand Malhotra grew up in a large family. His father, Harish Chander, worked on the railways, and his mother, Hem Lata, was a housewife. The eldest of four brothers and one sister, Chand was educated in the village school of Adhoya, in the Kurukshetra district in the state of Haryana. Athletic, as well as academic, he excelled at cricket and both founded and captained the school’s first cricket team at the age of 15. A gregarious, popular, and driven student, he was a natural leader.
In 1968 Chand entered the Government Medical School, in Patiala, Punjab, through the “sports quota” on the back of his cricketing prowess, a sport that he continued to enjoy playing throughout his impressive career. An admired paternal uncle who was involved in politics and keen to help disadvantaged people sparked his own interest in politics.
In the early 1970s, Chand, along with other medical students, became involved in two uprisings when they stood up for farmers’ rights after the Indian government imposed harsh landowning restrictions. Wearing his white doctor’s coat, Chand was arrested twice and released on bail. Thankfully, his medical studies were unaffected.
In Delhi, after a year’s internship at the Northern Railway Hospital, …