As the COVID-19 pandemic rages, Baba Ramdev and his consumer packaged goods company, Patanjali Ayurved has repeatedly made headlines. From touting Coronil was a cure for COVID-19 to the more recent incident wherein he dubbed allopathy a "stupid science" - the yoga guru has emerged a controversial figure. But if a now viral video clip is any indication, that does not seem to be bothering him overmuch.
Even as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) served Ramdev a defamation notice for alleged disparaging remarks against allopathy and allopathic doctors, the Patanjali founder appeared to be laughing off the thought of his possible arrest.
"Arrest toh unka baap bhi nahi kar payega," he can be heard saying in the short video. While it is not clear who exactly he is referring to, Ramdev also laughs off various names he's been called, as well as other remarks made by critics.
The IMA for their part have demanded 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. He has been asked to make a video clip contradicting his previous allegations, and also asked to withdraw a "misleading" advertisement from all platforms endorsing Coronil kit as an effective medicine for COVID-19. Failing this, the notice says, an FIR and a criminal case will be lodged against him by the IMA.
To give a bit of context, the IMA has come down heavily against Ramdev after a recently circulated video showed him claiming that lakhs of patients had died thanks to allopathic medicines rather than a shortage of oxygen. He also contended that Remdesivir, Faviflu, and other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India have failed to treat COVID-19 patients.
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. On Sunday, Ramdev was forced to withdraw his comments.
(With inputs from agencies)