Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev drew massive flak from several medical associations, including Indian Medical Association (IMA), over his recent comments on allopathy and scientific medicines, claiming that more people died of modern medical treatments for COVID-19 than the coronavirus itself.
In a video widely circulated on social media, Ramdev, while reading from his phone, can be heard saying, "Lakhs of people have died because of allopathic medicines, far more than those who died because they did not get treatment or oxygen," NDTV quoted. He further called allopathy a 'stupid and bankrupt' science. The comments were made at a recent event in the presence of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Sending a legal notice, IMA has demanded a written apology and withdrawal of the statements. The medical association has urged the Union health ministry to prosecute Ramdev under the Epidemic Diseases Act as he had misled people by making 'unlearned' statements and damaged the reputation of practitioners of allopathy and modern medicine while they strive to save lives from the death tentacles of the virus.
Ramdev further claimed that DCGI and CDSCO approved drugs such as Remdesivir, Faviflu have failed. Despite being the face of one of India's most giant consumer goods and alternative medicine empires, Patanjali, Ramdev and his associate, Balakrishna, have been taking modern medical treatment when they got into illness, IMA said.
Instead, the yoga guru has made several false acquisitions about his company products and misled people, including the controversies surrounding Coronil and Swasari, IMA mentioned in the strongly worded letter. There is a criminal complaint against the company in Muzaffarpur court.
However, modern treatments, including medications, oxygen therapy, are approved by the medical bodies and the judiciary. "With the pain and agony of loss of 1200 modern medical doctors, amidst the limited infrastructure and manpower, the majority of Modern medicine doctors are working in the frontline with a sense of compassion," the statement read.
IMA urged the health ministry to either accept the challenge and accusation and dissolve modern medical facilities or prosecute him. The association will approach the judiciary if no action is taken.
The Delhi Medical Association has also criticized his comments. They have lodged a complaint at Daryaganj Police Station, the DMA alleging that Ramdev has apparently assaulted medical science and the medical profession for personal gains.
The Resident Doctors' Associations of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital also condemned his statement and demanded stringent action against him.
Later, Patanjali issued a clarification saying that Ramdev holds the utmost respect for medical science and that IMA's allegation that he defamed allopathy and scientific medicine is untrue. Ramdev was reading 'a forwarded WhatsApp message'.
"Swami Ji has no ill-will against modern science and good practitioners of modern medicine. What is being attributed against him is false and nugatory," the trust's general secretary Acharya Balakrishna said.