People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 08, 2006
Cover Blown On Swami Ramdevís 'Herbal' Medicines
THE CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Brinda Karat, announced that the union health ministry has confirmed that there is prima facie evidence about presence of animal parts in the samples of Ayurvedic medicines produced by Divya Yog Pharmacy, Uttaranchal, which is owned by Swami Ramdev.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on January 3, 2006, Brinda Karat released copies of the letter sent by the union health ministry to her. The ministry was responding to her complaint dated July 7, 2005 enclosing certain sealed samples of medicines bought from the said pharmacy in Uttaranchal and the receipts for the sale. She had requested that the medicines should be tested for animal matter as also powder made from human skulls. In the letter sent to her, the ministry has stated that "Analysis reports of the samples given by you have since been received and prima facie reveal a violation of the licensing and labelling procedures of the Indian Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940". Karat pointed out that this Act requires that the content of any medicines shall be properly displayed. The licensing procedure for use of animal matter is also entirely different. The said pharmacy does not have the legal right to use any animal matter.
Saying that the findings of the most reputed laboratories have confirmed her apprehensions, she said that the tested samples prove the use of such matter. "This information will greatly pain and shock the following of the Swami who has gained popularity through his programmes in various television channels. Many of those who would have taken the medicine would be strict vegetarians. The Swamy owes them an explanation", she said.
Brinda Karat also released to the media her letter to the Uttaranchal chief minister, N D Tiwari, cautioning against any cover up of this latest violation by the said pharmacy. On the repeated violations of labour laws in the pharmacy, Karat had this to say in her letter: "I have learnt that you had recently inaugurated a building of the said pharmacy. It has also been reported that in spite of the recommendation of the labour minister and other labour department authorities, the management of the pharmacy has not been prosecuted for its violation of labour laws. I hope that there will be no cover-up of this criminal violation by the Swamy of the laws of this country. The government of Uttaranchal should move in the matter without any delay", she added.
Meanwhile, the CITU in a statement issued on January 4, stated "About violation of labour laws by Divya Yog Pharmacy management, Ramdev suppressed certain basic facts. Following an agitation by the pharmacy workers in April-May 2005 and vindictive termination of the services of many employees by the management, a tripartite agreement was concluded on 21-05-2005 between the management of Divya Yog Pharmacy at Hardiwar which envisaged observance all labour laws for the workers of the pharmacy and reinstatement of all the workers terminated by the management. But even before the ink of the agreement dried up, the management refused to implement the tripartite agreement. Still now those 115 workers including 42 women have been out of employment and staging dharna before the DMís office at Haridwar. But the state administration did not take any action against the management. Ramdevís complaint about alleged blackmail and gangsterism by some workers is nothing but an effort to cover-up the anti-workers and unlawful acts of the management. Only one out those 115 terminated workers was arrested on some fabricated charges and he was also released on bail. And that does not justify as to why the tripartite agreement dated 21-05-2005 has not been implemented or why all the 115 workers have not been taken back to job as per the tripartite agreement. The media-blitz by Ramdev did not venture to answer any of the above points." (INN)