The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that yoga guru Ramdev be booked immediately under sedition charges for alleged misinformation campaign on vaccination and challenging government protocols for treatment of COVID-19. The apex medical body of modern doctors has also served a defamation notice on Ramdev for his alleged disparaging remarks against allopathy and allopathic practitioners, demanding an apology from him within 15 days, failing which it said it will demand a compensation of Rs 1,000 crore from the yoga guru. In its letter to Modi, the IMA said it was gratifying to note that only 0.06 per cent of people who received both the doses of vaccine “got minimal" infection by coronavirus, and “very rarely" 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 as on date and according to its registry, 753 doctors died in the first wave and 513 lost their lives in the second wave due to COVID-19. None in the first wave could receive the vaccine and the majority who had died in the second wave also couldn’t take their vaccine for various reasons. “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 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. On Sunday, Ramdev was forced to withdraw a statement made in the 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 the doctors’ association, following which Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked him to withdraw the “extremely unfortunate" statement.
A day later, the yoga guru posed 25 questions to the IMA in an ‘open letter’ on his Twitter handle, asking 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 hemoglobin.
Soon after, Ramdev’s close aide Acharya Balkrishna took to Twitter, saying the yoga guru and Ayurveda were being targeted by allopathic practitioners under the IMA as part of a conspiracy.