January 07, 2006

Continuing antics by Brinda Karat and Health Minister

see previous

Suddenly realising that she had put her foot in the mouth by trying to malign Ayurved, Brinda Karat changed tack and said that her main issue was the alleged flouting of labour laws by Baba Ramdev's Pharmacy and not the presence of animal parts in his medicines. At the same time, on Television, she kept repeating her allegations about the use of animal and even human parts in the medicines.

She tried to project that it was Baba Ramdev who was diverting focus from violations of labour laws. It was actually she who started the controversy in the first place and in the process led many people to believe that she and her party were somehow acting to bring Ayurved into disrepute at the behest of vested interets. Her subsequent protestations that it was because of her party that Ayurved was sustained in Kerala, that she was herself practising Yoga and that she wanted Yoga to be taught in schools were just glib and lame excuses which did not fool anyone. In the same breath she continued to level charges against Baba Ramdev's pharmacy which were not related to labour issues.

She should be aware that the Indian people, howsoever gullible they may be, will not be taken in by double-faced politicians for long and that her actions have generated tremendous resentment for her party.

But while Brinda Karat may have had her own reasons, it is really the role of the Health Minister that needs scrutiny.

It is bizzare that he jumped to the help of Brinda Karat in what was essentially a labour issue (by Karat's own admission).

In various statements from his side, he has consistently implied that all was not well with the products manufactured by Baba Ramdev's pharmacy. He also mentioned in this context that proper testing was not done by various manufacturers, leading people to infer that he was talking of Baba Ramdev's pharmacy. He is also reported to have said that the Government was thinking of changing the laws to prevent false claims of cure, once again, the inference being that it was somehow related to Baba Ramdev's activities. His very first action of getting involved in an issue within the domain of the States was enough to raise eyebrows.

There is something really amiss about his actions which are either out of ignorance or deliberate intent.

In either case, the Prime Minister should call him to explain his actions. The country cannot afford to have as Health Minister a person whose actions knowingly or unknowingly are harming the reputation of Indian Traditional systems to the obvious benefit of vested interests.