Resident doctors across the country, on Tuesday, are working with black-coloured bands tied to their arms in a nationwide protest against Baba Ramdev and his statements against modern medicine.
From Delhi, Karnataka, and Gujarat to Maharashtra, Telangana and Bengal, resident doctors have condemned Ramdev’s comments. While Ramdev withdrew his statement on May 23, they have now demanded an unconditional public apology from him and that action be taken against him as per relevant sections of the Epidemic diseases Act, 1897.
Banded under the Federation of Resident Doctors Associations (FORDA), doctors stressed that healthcare services would not be hampered. The doctors wore black armbands, ribbons and held up placards.
“Despite laying down their lives in the line of national duty, we are being subjected to insensitive, inhuman and insulting statements from Mr Ram Kisan Yadav alias Ramdev Baba. Not only this, he tried to derail the government of India's vaccination drive across the country as his statement has added on to vaccine hesitancy,” FORDA said in a statement on May 29.
Resident Doctors of AIIMS too wore black ribbons and held placards outside the premises in protest against Patanjali’s Ramdev.
These protests come a week after a video surfaced of Patanjali’s Baba Ramdev mocking allopathy, calling it a ‘stupid science’ and alleging in the video that modern medicine is the reason for the death of many amid the pandemic.
The protest has also been supported by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), and other similar organisations across the country.
“This will be our first demonstration of protest. We urge the Government of India to take immediate action against perpetrators of such heinous and deplorable acts, barring which our associations may need to take stronger measures,” FAIMA said.
A member of the Maharashtra State Association of Resident Doctors added that doctors don’t want patient care to affected but want people to understand that Ramdev’s comments are wrong and should not have been made.
Ramdev’s comments not only irked the medical fraternity but were also condemned by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who then wrote to Ramdev last week asking him to withdraw his statements. Following this Ramdev withdrew his comments and said in a statement, “My statement quoted is from an activist meeting in which I read a WhatsApp message that came out, I am sorry if anyone's feelings are hurt."
Meanwhile, doctors in Gujarat and Bengal have lodged a complaint against Ramdev on Monday.
In Gujarat, prominent associations representing doctors approached the Ahmedabad city police and sought registration of an FIR against Ramdev for his alleged disparaging remarks against modern medicine and its practitioners.
Senior doctors and office-bearers of the Gujarat unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA) submitted separate applications to the Navrangpura police, seeking action against Ramdev.
In Kolkata, the complaint was filed by the Bengal chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) at Sinthi police station in Kolkata accusing Ramdev of creating confusion among the public with "misleading and false information" during the pandemic.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) too, last week demanded that Ramdev be booked under the Epidemic Act and said in a statement that he deserves to be prosecuted for disobeying and causing danger to the life of many by turning them against allopathic drugs and stopping them from taking the medicines.
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST