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A case of false dichotomy

Looking at the Baba Ramdev versus IMA controversy from another perspective.

Keeping unnecessary politicization and rivalries aside, who do you support in the Baba Ramdev against the Indian Medical Association controversy?

When renowned Yog Guru Baba Ramdev went ahead and publicly accused allopathic medicine of being bogus and misleading, the opinions of the public were divided. While some supported Baba Ramdev’s claim that Allopathy has failed terribly in Covid management, considering the failure of Remdesivir, Ivermectin, and convalescent plasma among others; others were outraged because to them it was a moral attack on the millions of healthcare workers across the globe who have sacrificed their comfort, safety and even their lives protecting the world against this unseen enemy.

Later on, Baba Ramdev further strengthened his argument by posing the 25 very legit questions which enumerated every ailment that Allopathy has not yet succeeded in finding a permanent solution of. On the other hand, even though the IMA could not answer those questions, their stance was seen reinforced because the contribution of our saviours, our doctors, could by no means be denied.

Numerous unnecessary religious spins and political standoffs later, the Delhi High Court finally put an end to the fiasco by declaring that Baba Ramdev’s statements on Allopathy, however offensive or otherwise, fall within the parameters of Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression and hence cannot be challenged by the IMA. The Court also remarked that the allopathic profession should focus on finding ways to beat the pandemic in the interest of public health rather than involving in attempts to shackle public opinions, and rightfully so.

Notably, while it cannot be denied that allopathic remedies have not exactly succeeded in curbing the spread of the virus, ‘Coronil’ which Baba Ramdev claims to be effective against it constitutes of plants like Giloy and Ashwagandha, which although have numerous health benefits, are also resplendent with steroids which are alleged to be the main cause behind the break out of mucormycosis. And this fact has prompted many to outrightly accuse Baba Ramdev of quackery. But it also must be noted that steroids have great anti-inflammatory properties and hence are prescribed by conventional allopathic doctors as well, and are harmful only when taken in arbitrary quantities. And even the Ayush Ministry approves of the use of these herbs in replenishing the body’s immune response. Therefore, whether ‘Coronil’ is perilous or indeed boosts one’s immunity, as claimed by the Yog Guru, still stands debatable.

But now that the court has put an end to the controversy, it is time to understand that neither is Baba Ramdev the epitome of the Ayurvedic way of medicines nor does the IMA speak for the entire allopathic community of doctors. This tip-off was in reality a small part of a larger battle. A battle of perspectives. A battle between India and the West.

The West may not agree, but the ancient art of Ayurveda is the predecessor of all medicines, however modern. Even the roots of surgery, which is considered exclusively to be an allopathic method of treatment, can be traced back to India in 800 BCE when Sushruta formulated the Sushruta Samhita. Every aspect of the ‘healthy lifestyle’ that the West is turning towards today has existed in Ayurveda and the Sanatana culture since time immemorial.

As opposed to the claim that it is a pseudo-science, Ayurveda is more of a science that we have not begun to properly comprehend yet. Because it is a science we have lost due to our own ignorance and obsession with the Western culture. This is why even though, as Baba Ramdev stated, Ayurveda does have answers to issues that Allopathy has not been able to address yet, we hesitate to go the traditional way because we are unable to understand it well enough.

But with whatever research we do have in both the fields, one thing that can be concluded is that an Ayurvedic way of living develops one’s innate strength and saves them from having to resort to gruelling allopathic methods of treatment, whereas Allopathy comes to the rescue of people who refuse to abide by Ayurveda and indulge in unhealthy practices. And at the end of the day, both save lives!

Do you support Ayurveda or Allopathy?

The answer is, yes. Because this is a false dichotomy. While Ayurveda helps in maintaining health in the long run, Allopathy is crucial at points when time is precious. If both are ways of saving lives why does there need to be a battle between them? One may prefer it over the other but the fact that both are basically different manifestations of the same thing is an irrefutable truth.

Go back to the question posed initially. Keeping unnecessary politicization and rivalries aside, who do you support in the Baba Ramdev against the IMA controversy? And this time, rise above all kinds of propaganda and false dichotomies and think again.

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

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