Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has on Sunday written a letter yoga guru Ramdev and asked him to withdraw his objectionable remarks against the allopathic medicines and doctors.
"The people of the country are very hurt with your remark on allopathic medicines. I have already told you about this feeling over phone. Doctors and health workers are like gods for the people of the country for whom they are fighting against the coronavirus on war footing," Dr Vardhan said in the letter in Hindi.
On Saturday, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had demanded action against Ramdev for his remarks on allopathy in a video making rounds on social media.
Condemning Ramdev's words, IMA in its press release demanded that the "Union Health Minister either accept the accusation and dissolve modern medical facility or prosecute him and book him under Epidemic Diseases Act." "IMA brings to the notice of our Hon. Health minister, a video circulating in social media portraying, the celebrated Yoga Guruji saying that 'modern allopathy ek aisi stupid aur diwaliya science hai' (modern allopathy is a stupid and failed science)," the IMA statement reads.
"In the past too, he has called modern medical doctors as murderers in the presence of Honourable Health Minister himself on the pretext of the release of his wonder drugs. However, it is a well-known fact the said Yoga Guruji and his associate Shri Balkrishna Ji have been taking modern medical allopathy treatment as and when they fall ill," it added.
The IMA said Ramdev made the alleged remarks to mislead the public at large and he is making all false and baseless allegations so that he can sell his illegal and unapproved drugs.
"Swami Ramdev deserves to be prosecuted for disobeying and endangering the life of many by making not to take allopathic drugs. His quote about Favipiravir as medicine against fever/antipyretic is laughable," the country's top medical body said.
"Modern doctors are working in the front line with a sense of compassion. When such an idolised person makes vitriolic comments, questioning the authority and integrity of the whole architecture of health ministry, the Hon Health Minister who himself is practising modern medicine allopathic postgraduate and head of this ministry should either accept the accused gentleman and dissolve the modern medical facilities or boldly face and prosecute the person and book him under the Epidemic Act to save millions of people from such unscientific utterances," IMA further wrote in the release.
Moreover, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) on Saturday lodged a police complaint against Ramdev. In a statement submitted along with the police complaint, the DMA alleged, "At this time of crisis, the whole country is battling against the pandemic, risking their own and families lives with whatever resources are available. Baba Ramdev has assaulted the medical science and the medical profession apparently for personal gains".
According to a senior police officer, the DMA submitted its complaint at the Daryaganj Police Station. "We have received the complaint and enquiry is being conducted," the officer said.
The Resident Doctors' Associations of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital too condemned Ramdev's statement and demanded "strictest steps" be taken against him.
What did Ramdev say?
In a viral video, Ramdev was heard saying: "Lakhs of people have died because of allopathic medicines, far more than those who died because they did not get treatment or oxygen." He can also be heard calling allopathy a "stupid and bankrupt" science.
(With input from agencies)