This one takes away the cake for being the most bizarre health product: a potion to give life to sons. Now, meet the man behind its conception – Baba Ramdev. The well-known yoga teacher and owner of medicinal chain Patanjali, is being accused of selling a product which promises the birth of a son.
If allegations are proved true, Ramdev is clearly cashing upon the Indian preference for the male child through his ‘Putrajeevak Beej’. Denying allegations, Ramdev called those making charges against him ‘ignorant’ about ayurveda. Defending himself further he said the medicine had nothing to do with gender. If the baba is to be believed, ‘putra’ has suddenly become a gender neutral word in the Hindi lexicon.
Ramdev clearly realizes the damage such publicity can do to the Centre which is trying hard to circumvent the declining sex-ratio (943 per 1000 males). Reluctant of undoing Modi’s Beti Padao Beti Bachao campaign, he told the media “Don’t use a fakir to malign PM Narendra Modi.”
‘Putra jeevak Beej’, offered by Divya Pharmacy (owned by Ramdev) also created uproar in the Rajya Sabha and rightly so. In a country where sex-ratio is on a decline, no instance of discrimination must be tolerated. Leaders like Jaya Bachchan, Sitaram Yechury, Ghulam Nabi Azad condemning the ‘son-guaranteeing’ medicine, demanded its removal from the market.
In a similar instance, e-commerce player Flipkart was found selling books promoting prenatal sex selection. Several activists and organizations got together and demanded the company take strict action. After several online petitions and campaigns over a period of two months, Flipkart agreed to take them of its catalogue. In a nation where over 6 lakh babies are killed per year because of their gender, it is imperative that voices continue to question discrimination, whenever it raises its ugly head.
Recently, Ramdev who has taught yoga to the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shilpa Shetty has promised to adopt 500 children from the earthquake-stricken Nepal. Given his preference for ‘putras, ’one sincerely hopes it is not only the sons of Nepal that the baba takes under his fold.