Amid facing massive backlash for his comments belittling allopathic medicine, yoga guru Ramdev withdrew his comments.
Citing a video circulating on social media, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday had said Ramdev has claimed that allopathy is a "stupid science" and medicines such as remdesivir, faviflu, and other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India have failed to treat Covid-19 patients.
Post IMA’s statement, many doctors across the country had demanded an apology from Ramdev following which Union health minister Harsh Vardhan wrote to him on Sunday stating that his remarks 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.
Responding to Vardhan’s letter, Ramdev tweeted, “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),” and attached his statement.
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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 rakshak 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 said 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.
(With PTI inputs)