A demand to ban a purported ayurveda product by yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Divya Pharmacy that promises a male child was made in Rajya Sabha today, with Opposition members terming it as illegal and unconstitutional and seeking stringent action against the manufacturers.
When the House met for the day, K C Tyagi (JD-U) showed a a packet called ‘Putrajeevak Beej’ (literally, son breeding seed), which he claimed to have bought from Divya Pharmacy that promised the delivery of a male child.
He also displayed a copy of the purchase receipt dated April 14 and said sale of such products by “the Brand Ambassador of Haryana” was illegal and unconstitutional.
Without naming the yoga guru, he asked “Does the Government of India under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approves of this.”
Amid protests from treasury benches, Jaya Bachchan (SP) took the packet and gave it to Health Minister J P Nadda.
Several opposition members joined in condemning sale of such products and demanded action.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said sex selection by a medicine or even pre-natal sex determination was against the law and the Constitution, but the Chair cannot do anything about it.
With Opposition members pressing for stringent action, Nadda said the issue is related to the Department of Aayush. “The Government will look into it and proper action will be taken.”
Nadda said the issue was very serious and he has just been given a packet of the product.
“Government is very serious on sex-ratio,” he said, adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by PM Narendra Modi was personally monitoring the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ campaign.
This did not satisfy the members with Tyagi pulling out more packets, which inquisitive members took turns to look at.
Javed Akhtar asked sarcastically will the government enquire whether it is illegal to determine sex.
As the packets got into circulation, Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked Tyagi, “how many packets do you have”.
Bachchan demanded that the product be taken out of the market and license of the pharmacy cancelled.
“Why can’t an assurance be given that they will remove the product from the market and cancel the license of the pharmacy,” she said.
The issue at hand “needs to be discussed. All aspects will be inquired and action taken,” he said.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Cong) said sex ratio in North India, particularly in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, was a matter of concern and such products must be banned and people behind it punished.
When Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) displayed the product brought by Tyagi, Naqvi asked if any member can show such products. Kurien said it cannot be shown.
Roy demanded that the government must suspend sale of the product pending inquiry.
Kurien said the government can look into the feasibility of this suggestion also.