New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that yoga guru Ramdev be booked immediately under sedition charges for his alleged misinformation campaign on vaccination and challenging government protocols for treatment of COVID-19.
The secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)’s Uttarakhand chapter, Ajay Khanna, had earlier served a defamation notice on Ramdev for his alleged disparaging remarks on allopathy and allopathic doctors, demanding an apology from him within 15 days, failing which compensation of Rs 1,000 crore will be demanded from him.
In its letter to Modi, the IMA said it was gratifying to note that only 0.06% of people who received both doses of a vaccine were infected by the coronavirus, usually mild cases. Very rarely have vaccinated people had a severe lung infection.
“It is well proved that by vaccination we save our people and country from catastrophic cascades of severe infection. At this juncture, painfully we bring to your kind notice, the video claiming 10,000 doctors have died in spite of taking both the doses of vaccine and lakhs of people have died due to allopathic medicine are circulating virally in the social media, as said by Mr. Ramdev, owner of Patanjali products,” the body said in its letter.
“We the members of the modern medicine professionals submit; we follow the guidelines and protocols issued by the ministry of health through ICMR or the National Task Force in our treatment offered to millions of people coming to our hospitals. If someone is claiming the allopathic medicine has killed people, it is an attempt to challenge the ministry which has issued the protocol for treatment to us,” it stated.
The IMA pointed out that to date and according to its registry, 753 doctors died due to COVID-19 in the first wave and 513 lost their lives in the second wave.
“Now deceitfully attributing 10,000 people have died in spite of two doses of vaccination, is a deliberate move to stall the efforts of vaccination to reach our masses and it needs to be curtailed immediately,” the IMA said.
It said that “IMA, the professional organisation of modern medical doctors” respects, acknowledges and compliments all systems of medicine, especially the Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine.
“We are not against any medicine promoted by the ministry and happy to share in most of our public health treatment centres, the drugs promoted by the AYUSH ministry. We opposed certain drugs promoted without the approval of ministry as a curative drug.
“We are pained to witness the great services rendered by nearly 10 lakhs of modern medical doctors in the forefront to work…are ridiculed and called as a stupid system.
“We appeal to your highness, to take appropriate action against individuals viciously propagating the message of fear on vaccination and challenge the government of India protocols for treatment for their vested interest in their company products. This in our opinion is a clear-cut case of a sedition and such persons should be booked immediately without any delay under the charges of sedition,” the body said.
The secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)’s Uttarakhand chapter has served a defamation notice on Ramdev for the yoga guru’s alleged disparaging remarks on allopathy and allopathic doctors, demanding an apology from him within 15 days, failing which compensation of Rs 1,000 crore will be demanded from him.
The six-page notice served on behalf of IMA (Uttarakhand) secretary Ajay Khanna by his lawyer Neeraj Pandey describes the remarks by Ramdev as damaging to the reputation and the image of allopathy and around 2,000 practitioners of it who are part of the IMA.
Terming the remarks of the yoga guru a “criminal act” under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, the notice demanded a written apology from him within 15 days of its receipt, saying a compensation of Rs 1,000 crore will be demanded from him at the rate of Rs 50 lakh per member of the IMA if he failed to do so.
The notice has also asked Ramdev to make a video clip contradicting all his allegations and circulate it on all social media platforms where his earlier ‘disparaging video was circulated.
It further asked the yoga guru to withdraw a “misleading” advertisement from all platforms endorsing the “Coronil kit”, a product of his firm, as an effective medicine for COVID-19, failing which an FIR and a criminal case will be lodged against him by the IMA.
On Sunday, Ramdev was forced to withdraw a statement made in a viral video clip in which he is heard questioning some of the medicines being used to treat the coronavirus infection and saying that “lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for COVID-19”.
The remarks were met with vociferous protests from doctors’ associations and health workers, following which Union health minister Harsh Vardhan asked Ramdev to withdraw the “extremely unfortunate” statement.
However, a day later, the yoga guru continued to question modern medicine, posing 25 questions to the IMA in an ‘open letter’ on his Twitter handle. He asked if allopathy offered permanent relief for ailments such as hypertension and type-1 and 2 diabetes.
He went on to list modern-day ailments such as Parkinson’s disease and wondered if allopathy had any painless cure to treat infertility as well as to reverse ageing and increase haemoglobin.
Soon after, Ramdev’s close aide Acharya Balkrishna alleged on Twitter that the yoga guru and ayurveda were being targeted by allopathic practitioners affiliated with the IMA as part of a “conspiracy”.
Note: This article was originally published at 4 pm on May 26, 2021 and updated at 6:50 pm on May 26, 2021 to include details of the IMA’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.