Doctors from the Indian Medical Association haven’t taken too kindly to the remarks of President Dr. Johnrose Jayalal which had gone viral yesterday.
IMA’s doctors have taken to social media to demand the resignation Dr. Johnrose Jayalal, after his comments had surfaced yesterday in which he’d said that he was using the organization’s platform to convert young medical students and doctors to Christianity. ““I deeply desire to be a living witness to God and encourage young medical students and doctors to receive Jesus as their personal savior. I aim to be a witness for God in the secular organization I serve,” he’d said in an interview with Haggai International, an organization whose aim is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition, he’d said that the silver lining of the Covid pandemic was that it made it easier for people to be converted to Christianity. ““The urgent need of the proclamation of the Gospel to people who are suffering from the virus has allowed us to share the Gospel even in secular institutions,” he said.
Dr Jayalal’s abhorrent comments drew a sharp reaction from IMA’s member doctors. “As a life member of IMA and Past President of my IMA chapter, I am appalled at the blatant misuse of office of IMA President to propagate religious views and agendas,” wrote Dr. Amit Thadani. “Dr Jayalal must step down at once. His continuation in office is a blot on the reputation of the organization,” he added.
“Hello Dr. Jayalal, I am a Life member of IMA. I request you to stop this proselytisation drives. Have you discussed or circulated your grand ideas among us members? With whose permission are you peddling your own agenda in IMA?” wrote another doctor.
Hello Dr. Jayalal, I am a Life member of IMA. I request you to stop this proselytisation drives. Have you discussed or circulated your grand ideas among us members? With whose permission are you peddling your own agenda in IMA?
— 🇮🇳 Dr D Datta 🇮🇳; MBBS*, MD* Anatomy (@ddatta16) March 30, 2021
Other doctors questioned how Dr Jayalal, who has been stridently opposed to Ayurveda, was going to apply principles of Christian healing in his medical practice.
Other onlookers said that the comments were cringe-worthy. “The President of IMA preaching Christian Healing. Cringe-worthy,” wrote a Twitter user, in response to Dr Jayalal’s comments around ‘spiritual healing’ from the God Almighty.
The IMA had been forced to issue a statement after the outrage, but had appeared to defend the President, calling the coverage of his comments ‘false propaganda’ and ‘wrong interpretations’. Dr Jayalal himself had released a short note too. “Dear Colleagues, I came to know some messages are being circulated out of context and in distorted form to create a false allegation against me. It is also related to our struggle against mixopathy and creating a religious color to it. Fight against mixopathy is a struggle of IMA and not an individual,” he’d said. He’d added that his comments had been taken out of context.
Curiously, Dr Jayalal’s interview with Haggai International had been deleted soon after his comments went viral. An archive version with the controversial comments can be found here.