Thousands of doctors across India wore black armbands on Tuesday, demanding the arrest of a wildly popular teacher who claimed yoga could prevent Covid-19 and conventional medicine had killed thousands of coronavirus patients.
Baba Ramdev, founder of a successful traditional medicine empire, said last month that the pandemic had shown modern medicine to be “stupid and failed science,” and said that hundreds of thousands “died because they had allopathic (conventional) medicine”.
On Tuesday, Black Day protested, photos on social media showed doctors with banners demanding the arrest of Kwak Ramdev while others wore PPE suits with the words #ArrestRamdev on their backs. The medical association of the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), one of Delhi’s largest public hospitals, described Ramdev’s remarks as “shameful”.
Ramdev, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, withdrew his comments after a phone call from India’s Health Minister and the teacher said he was only reading other people’s WhatsApp messages. But then he sparked further anger by saying he didn’t need the coronavirus vaccine because it was protected by yoga and traditional or Ayurvedic medicine.
Ramdev Patanjali Ayurved’s company costs several hundred million dollars and sells everything from toothpaste to jeans in their ubiquitous stores.