Telangana doctors to observe ‘Black Day’ protest against Ramdev

Yoga guru Ramdev is accused of mocking doctors and modern science, thereby causing vaccine hesitancy.
Holding a book, Ramdev poses for a photo
Holding a book, Ramdev poses for a photo
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The Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association (TJUDA) has offered its support to the nationwide ‘Black Day’ protest on Tuesday against yoga guru Ramdev, who has mocked doctors and modern science. The doctors will observe the protest wearing black bands and won't impact services. Ramdev, who claims to be a ‘divine doctor’, has questioned the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines, and also falsely claimed that “lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for COVID-19” without any basis. His statements disparaging modern medicine and vaccinations can lead to vaccine hesitancy among people, the agitated doctors say.

The doctors have demanded Ramdev to issue an ‘unconditional open public apology’ for his malicious remarks. The protest is being led by several associations including the Indian Medical Association, Federation of All India Medical Association and other Resident Doctors Association.

Condemning the remarks made by Ramdev, TJUDA in their statement issued on Monday said, "The disgraceful and derogatory statement of Ram Krishna Yadav (Ramdev) is equivalent to belittling the sacrifices made by the COVID warriors." Many of them have laid down their lives in the line of national duty, his baseless unscientific and illogical claims have potential to create a sense of fear and panic in the public and it may derail the vaccination campaign, they said.

Questioning the government’s hesitancy in taking action against Ramdev, the doctors demanded that he be arrested under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.  

“We demand unconditional open public apology from him or action against him under the relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897," the Federation of Resident Doctors Associations said in a statement.

Last week, a row erupted over Ramdev’s remark in a viral video clip in which he was heard questioning some of the medicines being used to treat the coronavirus infection and said that “lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for COVID-19. The remarks were met with vociferous protests. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked him to withdraw the “extremely unfortunate” statement following which Ramdev withdrew the statement on Sunday.

However, the yoga guru posed 25 questions to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in an 'open letter' on his Twitter handle, asking if modern science offered permanent relief for ailments. His remarks had irked the medical fraternity, upsetting both the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Delhi Medical Association (DMA).

The IMA had also lodged a police complaint against Ramdev, seeking an FIR over his "dishonest and wrongful representations" on modern science.

The IMA had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that Ramdev be booked immediately under sedition charges for his misinformation campaign on vaccination and challenging government protocols for treatment of COVID-19.

The apex medical body of modern doctors has also served a defamation notice on Ramdev for his alleged disparaging remarks against modern science and doctors, demanding an apology from him within 15 days, failing which it said it will demand a compensation of Rs 1,000 crore in damages from him.

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