In a knee jerk and without verifying facts, the Tamil Nadu Government has suspended Madurai Medical college dean Dr A Rathinavel after first-year students took the “Maharishi Charak Shapath” in place of the Greek origin Hippocratic Oath during the white coat ceremony. The action showed its strong aversion to Sanskrit.
In Tamil Nadu, the successive Dravidian governments have been complaining about the imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit. A couple of years ago, it also opposed the broadcast of Sanskrit news on the DD Podhigai channel. Officials in DD Podhigai, who have a strong root in Dravidian ideology, leaked internal communications to the opposition and created a furore over it. However, they are ready to teach Urdu in government-run schools.
Now a dean of government-run Madurai Medical College is placed under suspension, and a departmental inquiry has been initiated. His fault was allowing first-year MBBS students to take oath Charak Shapath. Students clarified that they were to blame for the change in the oath as they prepared it in a hurry without consulting the college administration. “It is as per NMC guidelines and had no underlying intentions,” they said.
“Two TN ministers were present in the oath taking function and objected to it right there. The rabidly anti-Hindu media outlets are reporting that the Sanskrit oath was taken (as if it a big crime committed on the Tamil soil) while the students have issued a clarification that the oath was taken in the English version, present in the National Medical Council (NMC) website. ‘Controversial oath taken by medical students’, screams another news item as if some illegal act was committed, while the fact remains that NMC has approved the oath, mentioning that it will be optional and not forced,” points out blogger Jataayu of Bengaluru.
NMC has condemned the action of TN health Minister Ma Subramanian in a release and said, “Charak Shapath has been practiced in Indian since ages … if such an oath is taken during the initial time of admission and practiced lifelong, it is good for a professional and for patient too, and the whole mankind is beneficial.”
NMC says it has been conducting Charak Shapath across the nation for the last 40 years. This year over 150 medical colleges spread all over Bharat took Charak Shapath. It said, “We highly condemn such an act by Ma Subramanian, minister of health, Tamil Nadu Government.”
Political commentator Bala Gauthaman explains, “This is Hippocratic Oath translated into English from Greek starts with invoking Apollo Healer….. ‘I swear by Apollo Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture…’ To promote Jesus, Christians have modified it by dropping their names.”
Prof Maruthi said, “This is not acceptable because it is written originally (now partially modified) by an ancient Indian Physician, perhaps the first Physician of the world and not by a Greek Physician invoking Greek God. Pity Tamil Nadu, a state run by people who are ignorant of our traditions, culture, and heritage. It wants only slaves who will work to fill the coffers of the top politicians of TN”.