The recent statements of Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev on allopathy have led to much criticism from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the left-liberal establishment. The IMA has said ugly things about Ayurveda several times and now they cannot take the criticism of allopathy when a Yoga Guru used the same kind of language against it.
When the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) notification authorised the post-graduate Ayurveda practitioners to be trained to perform general surgical procedures, the IMA in its press release, said, “The entire modern medical profession of the nation feels betrayed by the level of violation and encroachment by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM).”
However, the bitter fight between IMA and Swami Ramdev isn’t the whole point of discussion in this article. The fundamental question is why the West, which gave an entire branch of medicine that stands on the placebo effect (Homeopathy), hates Ayurveda so much.
Ayurveda has its roots in Hinduism and the Vedic texts have very elaborate chapters on this science. The famous practitioners of Ayurveda included – Dhanvantari, Sushen, Sushruta, and Patanjali who have contributed to human wellness by inventing Yoga, surgery and so on.
The West is obsessed with the dissection of the human body as well as illness and then performing the therapy. On the other hand, Ayurveda works as a preventive as well as therapeutic science and it is more concerned about the end result – human wellness. The Allopathic practitioners use chemicals to produce drugs while Ayurveda uses a different combination of natural ingredients to treat the patients.
Today, the West is one of the largest markets for Ayurveda and Yoga, and the people in Western countries are increasingly adopting this system of human welfare. But the IMA, which sees a threat to its monopoly in the welfare market due to the adoption of Yoga and Ayurveda, is vehemently opposing this.
The West always has had a problem with someone asserting Hindu identity and things like Yoga and Ayurveda are associated with this identity. If someone is asserting Graeco-Roman identity in the modern West, they are considered superior but at the same time when the best practices of the East are asserted, they raise questions. And the people in the IMA, which is filled with missionaries at the top level, assist them in the same.
Dr JA Jayalal, the President of the IMA, also used crass language against Baba Ramdev, saying that the Yoga Guru should receive two slaps for challenging Allopathy. For the uninitiated, he is the same man who wants to use medical institutes to spread the “word of Christ” or in simple terms, propagate Christianity in medical schools, training centres and hospitals. Clearly, his enthusiastic attack on Ayurveda has roots in his religious biases.
And what of Swami Ramdev’s questions? They should be addressed by the medical fraternity but by no means does it give the IMA the right to slander Ayurveda, an ancient and respected system of medicine.
Previously, while responding to IMA’s criticism of Ayurveda and its practitioners, the Chairman of the regulatory body for Ayurveda, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), Vaidya Jayant Deopujari, said that the objection by the IMA is nothing but just “hypocrisy”.
He said, “95% ICUs are manned by Ayush practitioners, not just in Maharashtra or Gujarat, but across the country. It is the allopathy doctors who teach them everything about how to manage the ICU, insert a central line, give IV etc. Why do they do it? For them, to make money. Then these doctors go and sit in the Indian Medical Association and object to Ayush doctors being used. It is just hypocrisy.”
In an interview with the Times of India, he also reiterated what Susruta talked about various surgeries centuries ago, and how we just need to upgrade them with modern scientific advancement. He said, “Sushruta mentions cataract removal but there was no lens to put in at that time. Now that lenses are available, why shouldn’t ayurvedic surgeons implant them? Phacoemulsification is just about buying a machine and getting trained to use it. We are allowed to incorporate advances in modern technology and advances in science to supplement the Indian system of medicine. This is mentioned in the new law passed, the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020. It was also mentioned in the 1970 Act, showing that this vision was clearly there right from the start.”
The West and the IMA should not try to destroy a whole branch of medicine that has been traditionally practised in India and has been long known for its effectiveness, just for narrow self-interest and needs to be broad-minded about accepting the ancient scientific knowledge of Ayurveda.