• No Lust Please, We Are Pregnant Indian Women!

    Although AYUSH claims abstention from lust, not sex.

    Natasha Singh

    June 21, 2017

    NEW DELHI: AYUSH Ministry’s advice for pregnant women:

    1.Detach yourselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust;

    2.Hang good and beautiful pictures on your walls;

    3.Do not eat meat, eggs;

    4,Have spiritual thoughts;

    5. Read life histories of great personalities;

    This comes in a booklet issued by the Ministry titled Mother and Child Care that was released by Minister Shripad Naik as part of the preparations for the fortchoming International Yog Day on June 21.

    Caught in a contoversy as soon as a news agency released snippets from the booklet the Ministry rushed to defend itself saying it had not advised ‘no sex’ as was being reported, but had only referred to lust!

    It is not clear how this advice is part of the responsibilities of a Ministry under the Government of India, that ostensibly came into existence on “ 9th November 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care. Earlier it was known as the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) which was created in March 1995 and renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003, with focused attention for development of Education and Research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.”

    AYUSH has generated controversy in the past as well with Opposition leaders insisting that it has gone beyond its brief. A common yoga protocol issued by the Ministry last year started with the recital of Om and set prayers from the Vedas, but was made voluntary following criticism by several political leaders who said these went against the spirit of the Indian Constitution.

    AYUSH also tried to diversify from its over-preoccupation with Yoga, by venturing into diabetes. This landed it into further trouble as it published a misleading advertisement of an ayurvedic medicine, AYUSH-82, for diabetes that gave the impression that diabetics could avoid taking insulin. This was in contravention of Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisements Act-1954 which disallows advertisements of the cure for chronic illnesses like diabetes. The advertisement was subsequently pulled off air, but not before serious questions were raised about the research and clinical tests for this medicine to justify the tall claims. Minister Naik again made it to the headlines when he said that allopathic doctors were anti nationals. The reference was clear in his statement that was quoted in the media as, “, “Some ayurveda practitioners have told me that doctors prescribing allopathy medicines often advise patients not to opt for ayurveda. Such doctors are anti-nationals.” He was inaugurating an Ayurvedic centre at Kolhapur.

    Journalist Pushp Sharma was arrested for a report and sent to Tihar jail for RTI reply from the government that AYUSH Ministry did not recruit Muslim yoga practitioners and although 711 had applied, “no Muslim candidate was invited, selected or sent abroad as per government policy.” This report was published in the Milli Gazette with the purported RTI documents and followed in some other sections of the media. A case of forgery and promoting enmity between communities was filed against Sharma, and he was arrested for the same a couple of months later.

    But meanwhile pregnant women can be assured that someone is looking over their welfare, and good music, good thoughts, vegetarian fare, and of course no lust is the new advisory!


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