Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's pharmacy is once again in dock as the Uttarakhand government has said that 'Putrajeevak Beej', Patanjali's controversial infertility medicine violates the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act 1994 as it allegedly promises male child. The report which was prepared by the inquiry committee set by the government of Uttarakhand was sent to Union government after getting confirmation from Chief Minister Harish Rawat.
"The product is acting as a catalyst in suppressing the state's efforts to spread awareness against female foeticide," said Om Prakash, Principal Secretary of Health, who said that the health department had also taken a legal opinion in the matter as per a report by The Times Of India.
Here is everything about the controversy:
What is the Putrajeevak Beej?
As the name (in Sanskrit) suggests, 'putra' means son, 'jeevak' means birth and 'beej' means seed. The medicine is used to treat infertility among women.
What is the controversy?
The medicine has been criticised for its claim of promising a male child. Critics have termed it illegal as it encourages pre-natal sex determination and violates the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act 1994. In April 2015, the issue was raised in Rajya Sabha by JD (U) MP KC Tyagi who sought a ban on it and proposed stringent action against the manufacturer.
The government of Madhya Pradesh had banned it in May, 2015 and had said that it will only give permission to sell the product after its misleading name is changed as per a report by IndiaTV News.
What is the defence?
Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurveda has been constantly maintaining that the nomenclature of the medicine is as per ancient Ayurvedic texts and he has no role to play in it. He has also been assuring that the allegations of it promising a male child are false and misleading.
Here is a Facebook post by Baba Ramdev in defence of the product:
कुछ लोग अज्ञान और स्वार्थ के कारण हमें और आयुर्वेद को बदनाम करने के लिये सुनियोजित प्रयास कर रहे हैं, सत्यता यह है की आय...Posted by Baba Ramdev on Thursday, 30 April 2015
At a recent press conference Baba Ramdev said that the Putrajeevak Beej is a safe Ayurvedic medicine used to treat infertility among women as he was concerned about people visiting sexologists or practising superstitious customs. He also added that if any government agency of a political party has problems with the product, Patanjali will readily stop its manufacturing.
Here is a look at the interview:
What is the contradiction?
Patanjali has been accusing that there are 'vested interests' behind the campaign. According to a report by Business Standard, the government of Uttarakhand had set up a three member committee headed by Drug Controller Ayush P D Chamoli to inquire into the allegations. The Chamoli committee gave a clean chit to the product and said that it was in accordance to the ancient Ayurvedic texts. However, the report was turned down by the state government which asked the DG Health and state law department to examine the matter and submit another report.