His bushy beard is as black as that of his friend Narendra Modi is white. But his hairline, which is tied back into a ponytail, reveals he now resorts to hair dye to hide his age, 55. Baba Ramdev is the all-round champion of imposture in India.
While his country was plunged into despair at the beginning of spring, ravaged by the epidemic tsunami of Covid-19, this guru, who refers to himself as Swami Ramdev (Ram Krishna Yadav in civil status), sang of the blessings Coronil, herbal tablets supposedly capable of treating the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. This treatment, a simple immune booster, was brought to the market a year ago by the Ayurvedic treatment company he co-founded in 2006, Patanjali – the name referring to the alleged editor of the precepts of yoga, who is said to have lived about two thousand years ago.
Support from the Minister of Health
Baba Ramdev does not hide his connections with the Hindu nationalists in power and has made the fight against foreign multinationals his business. In February, the Minister of Health, Harsh Vardhan, gave him his support by certifying that Coronil, an indigenous product developed in the holy city of Haridwar, in the foothills of the Himalayas, was “The first proven treatment” against Covid-19.
The minister also let Baba Ramdev publicly claim that Coronil had been approved by the WHO, which the organization was quick to deny, recalling that it had “Neither examined nor certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine against Covid-19”. Nobody knows besides the composition of Coronil. Baba Ramdev did not see fit to print the list of ingredients on the packaging, as required by regulations.
All that was needed was to wake up the war between followers of alternative medicine and supporters of conventional medicine, a centuries-old quarrel in the subcontinent. Outraged to see the Modi government pour into such nonsense, the Federation of Medical Associations of India (FAIMA), which represents practitioners who have graduated from conventional medical schools, decided to take Baba Ramdev to court and demanded that the minister “A clarification”, which she hasn’t gotten so far.
Social media star
In May, the guru, draped in his saffron tunic (the color of Hinduism), took up arms again to denounce “Stupidity and scientific bankruptcy” from “Allopathy”, term used by supporters of homeopathy to designate conventional medicine. As proof, he keeps repeating, “10,000 doctors died from the coronavirus while they were vaccinated”. A big lie. According to the medical order, 646 practitioners succumbed to it during the second wave, in the spring of 2021, and 753 during the first wave, in the summer of 2020, when no vaccine was yet available.
You have 41.87% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.