Yoga guru Ramdev has “irreparably” damaged the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and people creating confusion during such a time are “anti-national”, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said on Tuesday.
The doctors’ body in an open letter to citizens, also alleged that Ramdev thought it fit to launch his tirade against national Covid treatment protocols and the vaccination programme to look for an opportunity to “market” his products.
Ramdev has “irreparably damaged the Indian government’s efforts to contain the pandemic”, the IMA said.
“People creating confusion during an epidemic regarding national treatment protocols and the national vaccination programme are traitors and anti-nationals. They are anti-people and anti-humanity. They deserve no mercy,” it said.
The IMA has extended support to the black ribbon protest called by the Federation of Resident Doctors Associations (FORDA), and other medical and resident doctors’ associations of the country against Ramdev.
The IMA said modern medicine is in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic and 1,300 doctors have sacrificed their lives for the nation.
Starting from medical students and resident doctors to critical care and emergency care physicians, every single doctor has been deployed in the defence of the people, it said in the letter.
“Creating confusion in the minds of the people against the national Covid protocols and national vaccination programme is an anti-national act of heinous proportions. The IMA has demanded to deem it as sedition and prosecute him (Ramdev) under the Disaster Management Act,” the association said.
“His calling modern medicine a stupid science is a totally different criminal act. Inaction from the government would seriously hurt the doctors who are fighting the pandemic,” it said in the letter.
Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust on May 22 denied allegations by the IMA that the yoga guru has misled people by making “unlearned” statements against allopathy and defamed scientific modern medicine
Citing a video circulating on social media, the IMA had said Ramdev is seen saying that “allopathy ek aisi stupid aur diwalilya science hai… (allopathy is such a stupid science)”
Ramdev has “utmost regards” for doctors and support staff who have been working day and night during such a challenging time of the pandemic, the Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust had said in a statement.
“Swami jee has no ill-will against modern science and good practitioners of modern medicine. What is being attributed against him is false and nugatory,” the statement signed by Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust General Secretary Acharya Balakrishna had said.
Ramdev later withdrew his statement on allopathy after a strong worded letter from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Alleging that Ramdev’s supporters have attempted “diversionary tactics of malicious attacks” on the IMA and its national president, the doctors’ body said nothing will deviate it from its resolve to nail “this anti-national”. The IMA’s activities are within the four corners of the law, it said.
“The total number of COVID-19 patients in the country so far is 2.78 crores and 2.54 crores have recovered. Our case fatality rate remains 1.16 per cent. Even with the limitations of official statistics it can be seen that Indian doctors, nurses and health care workers have fought tirelessly,” it said.
“Countless children and family members of doctors have been infected. To trivialise these martyrs and the warriors is a sacrilege. IMA beholds to the nation to draw its own conclusions. History will record the services of its doctors. Posterity will also name the criminals,” the IMA said in its letter.
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