A controversy erupted last month during the second wave of Covid-19 when Ramdev questioned the efficacy of allopathic drugs against coronavirus.
“Lakhs of people have died because of allopathic medicines, far more than those who died because they did not get treatment or oxygen,” he was heard saying in a viral video. He even called allopathic medicine stupid, infuriating doctors across the country who protested against him.
Various units of the Indian Medical Association filed complaints against him with the police, based on which multiple cases were lodged.
The outrage led to Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan penning a letter to the yoga guru, saying words were not only insulting to scores of Covid warriors, but were hurtful to the citizens too.
“Your words have hurt and insulted the Covid warriors who have been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic and are risking their own lives to save others. At a time when modern medicine has saved numerous lives, what you said is especially unfortunate,” Dr Vardhan wrote.
Dr Vardhan reminded him of the countless doctors, nurses and medical staffers who had themselves succumbed to the virus while treating patients.
“Thousands are going home after recovering from Covid-19. If today India’s death rate is 1.13 per cent and recovery rate over 88 per cent the credit goes to allopathy and its doctors. I hope you will take your offensive and unfortunate statement back,” he said in the letter.
Ramdev soon retracted his statement, but with conditions applied. “I have been misquoted. My statement has been taken out of context. I was reading a few WhatsApp messages based on which I was quoted. Nevertheless, if my remarks have hurt anyone, I apologise,” he said in a statement.
Ramdev, however, said that if one highlights errors in a particular method of treatment, it shouldn’t be construed as an attack, but as a constructive criticism.
The yoga guru also stated that allopathy doctors have termed Indian medical science as “quackery and pseudoscience” several times in the past.
Reacting to the controversy, Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust denied the statement and said, “the truncated version of the video is totally out of context of what is sought to be conveyed by Swami jee.”
“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.”
-NAV, Inputs: Agencies