A Delhi court has directed Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Dr J A Jayalal to not use the organisation’s platform for propagating any religion while dismissing a suit against him for allegedly starting a defamatory campaign against Hindu religion.
Quoting from poet Mohamad Iqbal’s couplet, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Goel in his order dated June 3 dismissed the suit filed by one Rohit Jha.
ASJ Goel wrote, “Majhab nahi sikhata apas mein bair rakhna; Hindi hai hum watan hai Hindustan humara; saare jahan se acha Hindustan humara…. The word Hindi in this couplet, written by a Muslim poet, does not refer to Hindus but is referred to all Hindustanis, irrespective of caste, colour and religion, which is the beauty of secularism.”
The court stated that “no injunction is required to be passed on the assurance given during arguments by defendant (Jayalal) to the court that he shall not indulge in such kind of activity.”
Dr Johnrose Austin Jayalal was nominated as president of the IMA, the largest council of health professionals in India, in December 2020.
Jha alleged that under the shield of IMA, Jayalal is misusing his position and misleading the nation and people to convert Hindus to Christianity. Citing articles and interviews of Jayalal, he sought a direction from the court to restrain the IMA chief from writing, speaking in the media, or publishing any content that is defamatory to Hindu religion or Ayurveda.
The court observed, “Secularism is fundamental aspect of our Constitution and the duty to keep aspect of secularism alive in India does not rest on any one community but is cumulative efforts of all Indians.” It said that freedom to profess one’s own religion is an integral part of Constitution with respect to other religions as well.
“Exclusivism or preference of one religion over others by State or public functionaries or private bodies, while discharging public functions, strikes at the very root of the fundamental values of our Constitution, namely, secularism,” ASJ Goel said. “It negates neutrality promotes discrimination and denies equal treatment. The exclusive promotion of a particular religion by an institution defies the secular character of the Constitution and denies the constitutional value and morality.”
The court said that “it becomes bounden duty of every Indian to honour the religion of each other.” It said, “Nobody should overreach by allowing, by forcing, by creating such circumstances which imply forced consent or in a way attempt to lure. Saying Christianity and Allopathy are the same and is the gift by western world would be the most inaccurate assertion. Sushrata who was an Indian is considered God of Surgery and surgery is integral aspect of Allopathy.”
Dr Jayalal’s lawyers had argued in court that he is “not against ayurveda but is against mixopathy.”
“Though the controversy regarding ayurveda and allopathy has been raised, this court is not inclined to further comment upon the same,” the ASJ said. “Every form of treatment is important, having its own benefits and drawbacks depending upon circumstances…Albeit, any kind of unguarded or loose comment cannot be expected from anybody chairing the responsible post. IMA is prestigious institution whose aims and objectives are meant for the welfare of doctor and other related aspects. Such a platform cannot be used to propagate any individual’s views on any religion.