Yoga guru Ramdev on May 23 withdrew his recent statements on modern medicine which had triggered strong protests from the medical fraternity. Responding to a letter from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Ramdev said he wants to put the matter to rest. "Hon'ble Minister, I have received your letter. I withdraw my statement, putting to rest the controversy over various medical practices... (jee aapaka patr praapt hua, uske sandarbh mein chikitsa paddatiyon ke sangharsh ke is poore vivaad ko khedapoorvak viraam dete hue main apna vaktavya vaapis leta hoon)," Ramdev tweeted from his personal Twitter handle, attaching his statement.
Citing a video circulating on social media, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had on May 22 said Ramdev claimed that modern medicine (allopathy) is a "stupid science". He also allegedly said medicines such as remdesivir, fabiflu and other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India have failed to treat COVID-19 and "lakhs of patients have died after taking allopathic medicines."
The apex doctors' body urged the Union Health Minister to take strict action against Ramdev for misleading people by making "unlearned" statements against medicine. In a strongly-worded letter to Ramdev on Sunday, Harsh Vardhan said his remarks on allopathic medicine were "extremely unfortunate". "The statement disrespects the corona warriors and hurt the sentiments of the country. Your statement on allopathy can break the morale of healthcare workers and weaken our fight against COVID-19," he said.
Vardhan further said modern medicines have saved lives of crores and comments that the drugs are responsible for death of lakhs is "extremely unfortunate". Replying to the minister's letter, Ramdev in his statement said he respects all forms of medical science and allopathy doctors have saved people during the pandemic by risking their own lives. "I accept that allopathy has shown remarkable progress in life-saving system (jeevan raksha pranali) and surgery and has served humanity," he said.
Regarding the video in question, Ramdev said he was actually reading out messages forwarded on WhatsApp. "...if that has hurt sentiments of anyone, then I regret it," he added. However, he also claimed that traditional ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy have also controlled and provided permanent solution to several complex diseases like blood pressure, thyroid, sugar, arthritis, hepatitis and asthma. "...the allopathic doctors should also not mock the Indian medical systems like ayurveda and yoga by calling it as 'pseudo-science' as it hurts crores of people...," he asserted.
Earlier, the IMA said Ramdev's remarks should be "considered as hate speech" and he should be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act for misleading people by making "untutored and unlearned" statements. "We demand an unconditional public apology from Ramdev to allopathy and its practitioners," IMA had said.