The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked the Prime Minister to file a case against yoga guru Baba Ramdev for insulting modern medicine and health professionals thereby endangering the fight against the Covid pandemic. It was Baba Ramdev's anti-modern medicine campaign that went viral on social media recently that provoked IMA. Ramdev alleged that when the Prime Minister came up with the vaccination campaign, IMA leaders across the country had rallied for it, and despite both doses of vaccine, tens of thousands of doctors died of Covid. IMA alleged that Ramdev's statement was a challenge to the vaccination prescribed by the government and that campaigning against the pandemic should be seen as an act of treason when the country and the people are fighting it. The IMA further claimed Ramdev's attempt to portray modern medicine as a stupid attempt which demoralized the nearly million-strong hard-working doctors and called for strong prosecution against any deliberate attempt to thwart vaccination.
Ramakrishna Yadav, commonly known in his yoga guru avatar as Baba Ramdev in Indian politics, took a rather short span of time to rise as one of the country's many corporate giants. His business empire of Yoga, Ayurveda and others grew under the BJP regime. He began his career teaching Yoga on television in 2000. With the launch of his Patanjali brand in 2006, he introduced a series of panacea for almost any disease under the sun. A political alliance with the BJP was his idea of improving the market for Yoga and Ayurveda. The plan did not go wrong. Business thrived, with equal portions of Hindutva and communal propaganda spiced with Yoga and Ayurveda. He became one of the country's main monopolies. All competitors and other obstacles in the path of his prosperity gave way with the help of the ruling government's favours. Fuelled by Hindutva, when BJP ministers at both state and the Centre themselves are trying to resolve the COVID crisis with cow dung and gau mutra, who does Ramdev have to fear? This helps his move of questioning modern medicine and impacts the fight against COVID.
In this situation where the spread of Covid has intensified, the Prime Minister's earlier claims proved false, and complete uncertainty persists in crisis management, the whole country is in a race to expand vaccination and scientific therapies. The scientific community is working hard to steer the prevention campaign by changing the time gap between vaccine doses and empowering more companies to produce it. Meanwhile, the BJP's own Swamy has come out with false propaganda against allopathic treatment. Governments at the Centre and in the states are proposing only allopathic remedies for COVID prevention without even adopting the AYUSH approved Ayurvedic and Homeopathic treatments. Those streams of treatment are distinctly discouraged, backed by even a campaign against them, and what more even the preventive steps by AYUSH stream including homeopath are deemed as an offence. It is in the midst of all this that Baba Ramdev comes onto the stage with superstitious propaganda smeared with Ayurveda and misleads the masses on a large scale. He even campaigned that the government-approved Remedesivir and Fabiflu for Covid treatment had caused the deaths of millions. Not only is the Centre not attempting to rein in the fake propagandist, but instead it is giving maximum encouragement. The Union Minister of Health, Dr KS Harsh Vardhan and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari were also present at the launch of Patanjali's Coronil kit which Ramdev claims will cure COVID in a week. When the BJP government in Haryana distributed over one lakh Coronil kits to COVID patients at the government's expense after Ramdev came out against allopathy, how can we trust the same health minister to fix this mess?
Ramdev has proven capable of fooling thousands of his followers in north India. It is noting this risk that the IMA has demanded filing sedition charges against him. Ramdev, however, confident that the union government is under his thumb, Ramdev keeps boasting that nobody's father can catch me. Will the government legally take on these anti-people and anti-national activities that endanger the efforts against the pandemic? Or will they abet the effort to ridicule modern medicine and thereby overturn virus prevention? What treatment will the state give to this fraud-guru, who seems to be the master of frauds more dangerous than the coronavirus itself?