NEW DELHI (TIP): Rajya Sabha plunged into chaos during Zero Hour on April 30 over an Ayurvedic medicine, manufactured by Baba Ramdev’s Divya Pharmacy and purportedly promising birth of male child, with the opposition seeking a ban on the drug and stringent action against its manufacturers.
The entire opposition joined K C Tyagi (JD-U) when he raised the issue showing a packet of the medicine called ‘putrajeevak beej’, calling it ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’.
Health minister JP Nadda said the issue relates to the department of Ayush, but assured the government would look into it. “It is a serious matter. Government is serious about gender ratio. All departments are working towards it. PM is himself monitoring ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme. I will come back to the House,” he said. “The Government will look into it and proper action will be taken.”
Displaying the packet of the medicine to the members, Tyagi said despite the Constiutional guarantee of no discrimination on the basis of caste and gender, the medicine will only perpetuate the gender divide. He said he bought the medicine himself. Without taking Ramdev’s name, Tyagi said, “The man has been made brand ambassador of Haryana. It is violation of PM’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. How can a state appoint him as brand ambassador?”
At this point Sitaram Yechury (CPM) walked up to Tyagi and looked at the medicine. Jaya Bachchan (SP) ook the medicine to Nadda.
Deputy chairperson PJ Kurien also joined the discussion and said, “If there is an attempt for selection or option of sex, it is against the spirit of the Constitution.” Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “The issue should not become a topic of discussion. There are many drug-related laws in the country. We will find out if it violates any law.”
Jaya Bachchan demanded that the licence of the company be cancelled and the product removed from market. Yechury said the medicine also spreads obscurantism and is against the spirit of scientific temper. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad feared the medicine could be spurious and demanded strict punishment.
In a statement, Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust) and Divya Yog Mandir (Trust) said the medicine had nothing to do with sex determination. “Some people, due to their ignorance and selfish reasons, are trying to give a bad name to us and to Ayurveda as part of a well-planned campaign. The truth is that ‘putrajeevak aushadhi’ has been used to treat infertility for thousands of years,” it said.
“Its Hindi name is ‘putrajeevak’ and its botanical name is ‘putranjiva roxburghii’. From Chjarak to Sushruta, all experts of Ayurveda have mentioned in the Ayurveda texts that this medicine treats infertility and has no role in sex determination … The ancient texts use the word ‘putrajeevak’ for child,” it said.
Patanjali’s medicine is only for treating infertility and not for sex determination, the statement said.