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Court's blow on fake medicines

Courts blow on fake medicines

Controversial tantrics, demigods and psudo Siddha experts who defied laws and made fools of the people have existed in India almost at all times. They thronged the corridors of power, lining up ladders and pulling ropes. From Dhirendra Brahmachari to Chandraswami, they even behaved as if they were turning the wheel of the country's governance in many crucial moments. Very influential god empires are also growing centred around each state. Many of them also enjoy extraordinary immunity from prosecution as the criminal investigation officers, ministers and jurists bow down even when they are faced with serious charges such as murder, sexual assault and land snatching. One small example of many is of a police officer who came to investigate a mysterious death in an ashram in Vallikavu, bowing down and receiving the blessing of a human God Jaggi Vasudev, who is accused of breaking all the environmental regulations in the name of an ashram and building a huge building complex and running a tree-soil conservation campaign. Asaram Bapu, who faced several allegations of sexual harassment, was jailed due to the determination of the complainants and the steadfastness of the judiciary, but efforts to overturn the case and eliminate witnesses continue unabated. Despite being sentenced to 20 years for the rape of girl followers, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is granted parole whenever he wants, while the BJP top brass, including ministers, draw solace by attending his Satsang programs on parole.

The reprimand given to Ramkrishna Yadav, better known as Baba Ramdev, who ran an entire godman industry and acquired economic, social and political benefits by the Supreme Court the other day has been discussed in the Indian social sphere for several reasons. Ramdev, who walked in the shadows of power centres by teaching yoga through TV channels and selling few medicines, came up with a yoga practice camp in Thiruvananthapuram years ago and drew electricity for the programme by pilfering it from a roadside post. When the matter came to notice, he escaped by paying a fine. A few months later, he became the brand ambassador of the fight against corruption and black money and became a leader of the agitation held at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi with Anna Hazare in front. Baba, who won votes for the BJP using thousands of his followers was showered with perks including Z-category security and vast acres of land by the Modi government that came to power. Ramdev's Patanjali company made crores in revenue by launching products without even getting permission from the food safety department.

Ramdev, who has been constantly critical of modern medicine through servile media - which have completely surrendered to the Modi government - has cashed in on the Covid pandemic. While the medical community around the world was in race to find a vaccine and antidote, Patanjali launched a drug with claims that it will provide complete relief from Covid-19. The media of the country, netting in crores through advertisements, supported the fake drug without asking questions about the results and without conducting any investigations. Despite the Maharashtra government banning the drug and the Madras High Court imposing a fine, Ramdev went ahead with the sale of the drug by holding ceremonies in the presence of central government dignitaries including Nitin Gadkari and Dr Harsh Vardhan. It is comforting that the Supreme Court has come forward to give a warning to the pseudo-medicine trade even though the country's health sector has suffered severe fatigue and damage. The bench chaired by Justice Hima Kohli was not willing to listen to Ramdev's specious justifications as he does in press conferences and TV debates. Although it is impossible to say which way the case will go in the coming days, the stand taken by the Supreme Court to date is brave and exemplary. Ramdev was forced to tender an apology which the court described as insincere. Will the media and central government elites, who are in fact co-accused in this false business, be prepared to at least offer a similar apology?

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TAGS:GodmanpatanjaliBaba RamdevEditorial
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