Bhopal, 23rd October 2022: On the occasion of Dhanteras, special worship of Lord Dhanvantari, known as the God of Ayurveda, was performed in all 10 medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. Madhya Pradesh’s Medical Education Minister Vishwas Kailash Sarang offered prayers at Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, and wished good health to the people of the state. However, the program was criticized by a section of doctors and opposition parties.

In fact, on the call of Vishwas Kailash Sarang, for the first time in Madhya Pradesh, Lord Dhanvantari was worshipped on Dhanteras in medical colleges. During this, Sarang said that during the churning of the ocean, on the day of Dhanteras, Lord Dhanvantari had appeared with the nectar urn and herbs. According to the scriptures, only by his blessings, one gets the boon of a healthy body and health. “Our medical colleges are also the project where we create doctors and give healthy bodies and health benefits to the public. With this intention, Lord Dhanvantari has been worshipped in all the medical colleges of the state on Dhanteras for the creation of a healthy Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Sarang said that on the occasion of Dhanteras, Dhanvantari Dev was worshipped in medical colleges all over Madhya Pradesh. Its sole purpose is that the doctors who live with the resolve to serve the suffering humanity may get the blessings of Lord Dhanvantari, and the patients taking health benefits in the hospitals affiliated with the medical colleges should get the boon of a healthy body. Sarang said that this initiative of the Medical Education Department will continue uninterruptedly. Now every year on Dhanteras, the God of health, Lord Dhanvantari, will be duly worshipped in all the medical colleges of the state.

On the other hand, the program was strongly criticized by doctors and the opposition – Congress. Anurag Gupta, former president of the Indian Medical Association’s network of junior doctors, said, “On many occasions, prayer and meditation help the patient recover from ill health, but this kind of worship (of Dhanwantri) is a kind of agenda to be furthered. It’s an effort. Nothing will be gained by performing such mass worship in all medical colleges. This overlapping of spiritualism, religion and medical science will only create confusion and increase superstition.”

Dr Shyam Agrawal, a renowned oncologist from Bhopal also gave similar views. He said, “Everyone worships the God they believe in at home. But what is the need of performing such puja in medical colleges where doctors, paramedical staff and junior doctors have every minute important to see the patients? If they want to do something, they should improve health facilities,” he said. “This will keep people healthy and God will also be pleased.”

The Congress accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government of carrying forward the ‘Hindutva agenda’. MP Congress Committee spokesperson Jitendra Mishra said, “Lord Dhanvantari is the God of Ayurveda. Had the BJP-led state government started worshiping him before Covid-19 and had improved health facilities in the last 18 years, 2.5 lakh people who died due to lack of health facilities during Corona would have been saved.”

On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Hitesh Bajpai said that they give importance to Indian tradition and respect Lord Dhanvantari. “It is a matter of faith, and no one was forced to perform the puja,” he said.