NMC faces criticism for using ‘Bharat’ and changed logo with Hindu deity

NMC’s new logo also refers to the organisation as the ‘National Medical Commission - Bharat’ with no mention of the term ‘India’.
NMC's new logo featuring Hindu deity Dhanwanthari
NMC's new logo featuring Hindu deity Dhanwanthari
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A color image of the Hindu deity Dhanwanthari has become the official logo of India’s National Medical Commission (NMC). The new logo also refers to the organisation as the ‘National Medical Commission - Bharat’ with no mention of the term ‘India’, once again triggering speculations about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government’s alleged plans to remove the word ‘India’ from the Constitution in the upcoming special session of Parliament. The new logo is already being used in the official website of the NMC, and seems to have been introduced clandestinely.

Dhanwanthari is believed to be the physician of all devas in Hinduism. In the NMC logo, the deity — made to be very short in size — has been placed in the middle of a circle, which features three figurines of saffron, white, and green colours holding hands. 

Ever since the ‘revamped’ logo came to public notice, the NMC has been facing criticism from various quarters including the medical fraternity. In an official statement, the Kerala chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) called the NMC’s move “entirely objectionable.” “It is dangerous for an organisation that is supposed to function secularly, with a scientific temper, to use religious symbols on its logo. This decision is unacceptable to the modern scientific community, and the IMA demands that it be immediately withdrawn. The Union Health Ministry should take the initiative and direct the Commission to withdraw the logo,” said the statement, signed by IMA Kerala unit president Dr Joseph Benaven and secretary Dr K Sasidharan.

NMC uses the national emblem as its logo on its social media pages. But as an official pointed out, the image of a deity was in its previous logo, it was however in black and white. It is unclear from when NMC was using its previous logo. The NMC was formed in 2019 and replaced the Medical Council of India.

NMC old logo
NMC old logo

In February last year, the NMC had come under similar criticism for bringing about several purported changes in the medical college curriculum, including replacing the Hippocratic Oath with what has been termed as the “Charak Shapath”. Critics and activists were quick to point out the regressive nature of the Charak Shapat, which is adopted from an ancient text on Ayurveda that tells physicians to not treat people hated by the king, ‘extremely abnormal’ people, and women unattended by husbands or guardians.

Editor's note- The previous version of this story said that the color image of the deity had replaced the national emblem. We regret the error. 

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