Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan asked Baba Ramdev, the founder of Patanjali Ayurved, to “fully withdraw” his “objectionable and unfortunate remark” against allopathy in relation to Covid care in a strongly worded letter on Sunday, saying it could “break the morale of doctors and weaken our battle against the pandemic.”
The letter was posted on Twitter by the Union Minister, who tagged Ramdev. Ramdev replied to the tweet with his own letter late Sunday, in which he said that he “withdraws” his comment. “We have also saved many lives during the pandemic by using ayurveda and yoga; this, too, should be respected,” Ramdev wrote.
The exchange comes a day after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed a complaint against Ramdev under the Epidemic Diseases Act, accusing him of making a “vitriolic claim” against modern medicine.
The IMA had objected to Harsh Vardhan sharing the stage with Ramdev during the launch of Patanjali’s Coronil product in February. Patanjali Ayurved announced on February 19 that the tablet had been certified by the Ayush Ministry as a medication promoting Covid care under the WHO’s certification scheme. The qualification was issued by the Centre and WHO does “not approve or disapprove any drugs”, it was later explained.
Harsh Vardhan wrote on Sunday, in response to alleged comments from a recent Ramdev video posted on social media, that “calling the allopathy treatment for Corona tamasha (farce), bekaar (worthless), and diwaliya (lame duck) is unfortunate.”
He wrote that “people are highly angry about your remarks on allopathy and physicians,” and that “it is extremely unfortunate that you said that lakhs of people have died as a result of allopathy medicine”.
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माननीय श्री @drharshvardhan जी आपका पत्र प्राप्त हुआ,— स्वामी रामदेव (@yogrishiramdev) May 23, 2021
उसके संदर्भ में चिकित्सा पद्दतियों के संघर्ष के इस पूरे विवाद को खेदपूर्वक विराम देते हुए मैं अपना वक्तव्य वापिस लेता हूँ और यह पत्र आपको संप्रेषित कर रहा हूं- pic.twitter.com/jEAr59VtEe
संपूर्ण देशवासियों के लिए #COVID19 के खिलाफ़ दिन-रात युद्धरत डॉक्टर व अन्य स्वास्थ्यकर्मी देवतुल्य हैं।— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) May 23, 2021
बाबा @yogrishiramdev जी के वक्तव्य ने कोरोना योद्धाओं का निरादर कर,देशभर की भावनाओं को गहरी ठेस पहुंचाई।
मैंने उन्हें पत्र लिखकर अपना आपत्तिजनक वक्तव्य वापस लेने को कहा है। pic.twitter.com/QBXCdaRQb1