It is time for spiritual gurus to enjoy the spotlight, following reports of contamination of herbal and other ayurvedic medicines with animal and human body parts. Miracle cures may now become possible through medical products prepared from human skulls and bones and even animal testicles. The source of raw materials for such preparations- graveyards of course!
Swami Ramdev, much known for his inclination to yoga and spirituality, has been blamed for selling products prepared from animal and human remains. Brinda Karat, CPM leader and Rajya Sabha MP, has lodged the complaint. These wonder drugs are believed to cure anything from common cold and fever to even erectile dysfunction.
The health ministry laboratory has confirmed that ayurvedic medicines produced in Swami Ramdev's ashram are indeed made from human and animal products, after two samples tested up positive during the analysis. Swami has however something different to say against his charges: "If there is a real communist, it's me as I am also fighting the multinationals. The accusations being made against my ashram and its associated ayurvedic manufacturing unit are absolutely baseless, false and unfounded." He further added that some vested interests were trying to malign him.
Turing on to the other side, Mrs. Karat confronted him with charges of using dried and powdered testicles of certain animals as a treatment for impotence. She had come to know about this illegal manufacture at Divya Yog Pharmacy, Rishikesh, Uttranchal, in June-July last year.
To confirm her suspicion, she collected two medicine samples from the pharmacy, which she handed over to the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani Siddha and Homeopathy for analysis. Following this, she even produced a letter, from the health ministry, highlighting the presence of animal products in the samples tested.
The letter No.2999/05-JS (Ayush), dated December from Shiv Basant, joint secretary, Ministry of Health, read: "Analysis reports of the samples given by you have since been received and prima facie examination reveal a violation of licensing and labelling provisions of the Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. We, are, therefore, bringing them to the notice of Principal Secretary, Health, Government of Uttranchal, for further investigation and appropriate action under the licensing and labelling provisions of Chapter 4A of the Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, by the State licensing authorities."
ND Tiwari, Congress chief minister has also been accused for supporting the manufacture. Infact, he even inaugurated a second pharmacy building (owned by Ramdev), this December. "I have no problem with his (ND Tiwari's) personal belief...but by using the popularity of television channels, he (Ramdev) is selling drugs which are adulterated. This is a huge breach of trust to his followers," said Karat.
Apart from manufacture of unethical ayurvedic and herbal medicines, there has been a breach of the labour laws as well in Ramdev's pharmacy.