Following the Supreme Court’s warning, Baba Ramdev held a press conference in which he slammed doctors. He stated that propaganda was being carried out against Ayurveda and that he and his associates were willing to “face the death penalty” in order to expose the “propaganda by a group of doctors” against Ayurveda.
Ramdev successfully diverted attention away from the topic by playing sympathy cards. His remarks came a day after the Supreme Court slammed Patanjali Ayurveda for false advertising.
Speaking to the press, Ramdev said that though allopathy might be powerful and have more hospitals and resources as well as a vocal lobby, he added that Ayurveda had a rich legacy and vowed to keep on fighting those spreading lies against Ayurveda. Ramdev further said that he and his company respect the Supreme Court, but added that action should be taken against those indulging in spreading lies about Ayurveda.
“If we are liars, fine us Rs 1,000 crore, and we also don’t mind facing the death penalty. But if we are not liars, then punish the ones who are spreading false propaganda. “Ramdev and Patanjali have been targeted for the past 5 years,” said Baba Ramdev in his comments in the PC, alleging that he is being targeted by “multinational companies” who are afraid that Patanjali will eat into their profits.
The Apex Court issued a warning to Patanjali, stating that the Ayurvedic company should refrain from claiming to have a cure for diseases for which there is no treatment. The court also stated that if the practice continues, a penalty of Rs 1 crore will be imposed for each claim. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) initiated the petition.
“All such false and misleading advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved have to stop immediately. The court will take any such infraction very seriously…,” a bench comprising justices Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Prashant Kumar Mishra orally observed while hearing a plea of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
On August 23, 2022, the top court issued notices to the Union health ministry and the Ministry of Ayush and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. on the plea of the IMA alleging a smear campaign by Ramdev against the vaccination drive and modern medicines. During the brief hearing, the bench asked Patanjali Ayurved not to publish misleading claims and advertisements against modern systems of medicine. The top court, while issuing notices on the plea, had come down heavily on Ramdev for criticizing allopathy and allopathic practitioners, saying he needed to be restrained from abusing the doctors and other systems of treatment.
IMA had referred to several advertisements that allegedly projected the allopath and the doctors in a poor light, saying that “disparaging” statements have also been made by firms engaged in the production of ayurvedic medicines to mislead the general public. These commercials say that the medical practitioners themselves are dying despite taking modern medicines, the counsel for the IMA said. The IMA had said that a concerted effort was being made to discourage vaccinations, including the COVID-19 jab drive and the use of allopathic medicines in the country.