Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, May 22
Patanjali said on Saturday the remarks attributed to yoga guru Ramdev condemning modern medicine for being behind “lakhs of deaths in the country” was taken out of context---a statement that comes as the remarks drew doctors’ ire.
Ramdev had "utmost regards" (sic) for doctors and support staff who have been working day and night during such a challenging time of the pandemic, said the statement issued by the Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust.
He was "reading out a forwarded WhatsApp message received by him and various other members who were participating in the event", it added.
"Swami jee has no ill-will against the modern science and good practitioners of modern medicine. What is being attributed against him is false and nugatory," said the statement signed by Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust General Secretary Acharya Balakrishna.
The controversial remarks in question came from an undated video that showed Ramdev addressing an assembly. Ramdev can be heard saying clearly: “I am going to say something huge. It’s possible I’d be criticised for this. Lakhs of people died because of allopathy. There were more deaths caused by allopathy than those caused by people not getting to hospitals or getting oxygen”.
The remarks drew the ire of healthcare professionals across the country. The Indian Medical Association condemned the remarks as unscientific and asked the central government to take action against him.
Ramdev should be prosecuted under the Epidemic Diseases Act as "untutored" statements are "a threat to the literate society of the country as well as to the poor people falling prey to him", the apex doctors' body said in a statement.
IMA quoted Ramdev as saying in the video that "allopathy ek aisi stupid aur diwalilya science hai… (allopathy is such a stupid science)".
He also says that "lakhs of people have died after taking allopathic medicines", the association said, adding that Ramdev claimed Remdesivir, Faviflu, and all other drugs, which were approved by the Drugs Controller General of India, have failed in treatment of COVID-19 patients.
"The Union health minister (Harsh Vardhan) who himself is a practicing modern medicine allopathic postgraduate and head of this (health) ministry, should either accept the challenge and accusation of this gentleman and dissolve the modern medical facility or boldly face and prosecute the person for his words of arson on the sovereignty of the country and book him under the Epidemic Act to save millions of people from such unscientific utterances," the IMA said.
Yoga guru claiming Allopathy as stupid science. This pandemic brings new shock every day. pic.twitter.com/1W9ojVOIGY— Subhasree Ray (@DrSubhasree) May 21, 2021
It alleged that Ramdev is trying to take advantage of the situation and create a sense of fear and frustration among the people at large.
He is doing this "so that he can sell his illegal and unapproved so-called medicines and make money at the cost of the public at large", the association said.
The IMA said Ramdev deserves to be prosecuted for disobeying and causing danger to the life of many by making them believe in “not to take the advice of allopathy” doctors.
"The IMA demands and resolves if the minister (Harsh Vardhan) is not taking suo moto action we will be forced to resort to democratic means of struggle to propagate the truth to the common man and knock the doors of the judiciary to get due to justice,” it said.
Taking people for ransom and winning business by defaming scientific medicine are unpardonable offences, the IMA said.
Citing Ramdev's remarks, it said such "untutored and unlearned" statements are a threat to society.
Ramdev’s Patanjali has been marketing its own herbal medicine called 'Coronil' against Covid-19. The medicine has been mired in controversy since the start, with IMA asking for a clarification from the Health Ministry in February this year over the company’s alleged claims that the medicine has the World Health Organization’s certification of effectiveness. WHO denied this, forcing the company to issue a clarification.
This came after a controversy last year forced the health ministry to say that the Patanjali Trust could only market the medicine 'Coronil' as one for immune-boosting and not for Covid therapy.
Ramdev himself previously courted controversy over his video mocking Covid victims dying of oxygen shortage last month. (Read that story here)
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Parida joined the UT Administration on December 26, 2018