On Saturday, even as Delhi went out to vote, director Vivek Agnihotri shared a meme claiming that weed could ‘kill Coronavirus’.
He shared a meme claiming that the drug could cure Coronavirus and wrote: “Solution to a lot of world’s problems lie in India. But you can’t find them as long as you ridicule our ancient wisdom. Cannabis is a magic plant. Till mid-80s it was sold by Govt. Because of Rajiv Gandhi and western Pharma companies it got bad name. Make cannabis legal.”
Known for seminal works of art like Chocolate (worst remake of The Usual Suspects), Dhan Dhana Dhan Goa and Hate Story, Vivek Agnihotri appears to have found his metier as a self-styled 'India-wing activist'. However, his films like Buddha in a Traffic Jam and The Tashkent Files have also sunk at the box office.
Vivek Agnihotri is partially right about marijuana being banned in India where ganja, charas and bhang were legal but New Delhi kowtowed to Washington’s overtures.
During America’s ‘ill-advised war on drugs’, Rajiv Gandhi buckled under the pressure and enacted a law called the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Whatever the health benefits of marijuana, no scientific study has claimed that it could be ‘cured’ through marijuana.
And it’s foolish to make unscientific claims when the world is grappling with this serious issue, but perhaps that’d be foolish to the point of optimism to expect the director of Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal to not make them.
India’s battle with coronavirus
As many as 1,39,539 passengers from 1,275 flights have been screened for possible exposure to novel coronavirus so far at 21 identified airports and no new case has been detected in the country, Union Health ministry said on Friday.
India so far has reported three confirmed cases of nCoV from Kerala.
Three medical students studying at the Wuhan University, all natives of Kerala, who returned to India recently and self-reported at a hospital in the state have tested positive for the respiratory virus.
As of now 1,232 samples have been tested and 1,199 samples were found negative. Three samples have already tested positive. Besides, 30 are under process, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said.
Also, 6,599 persons are presently under community surveillance in 29 states and UTs while around 128 are admitted in isolation wards at various hospitals across the country.
Screening is also being conducted at international seaports and border crossings.
All 647 people evacuated from China's Wuhan city, who are lodged at the quarantine facilities set up by the Army and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in and around Delhi, have tested negative for nCoV.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 636 in China while the number of those affected by the deadly disease has crossed 31,000.
One death was reported earlier this week from the Philippines.
So far, the virus has spread to Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Macau, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, United States, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Russia, Finland, Spain, UAE and Sweden.
With inputs from agencies