Didn’t insult doctors, comments directed at WHO: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay RautUpdated: Aug 18, 2020, 00:58 IST
After the medical fraternity demanded an apology from Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut for a statement he made during an interview, the Rajya Sabha member stood his ground. Raut on Monday said that he did not disrespect doctors and that there is a difference between an “insult” and a “joke”.
Raut faced the ire of doctors after he said that compounders know more than doctors and blamed the World Health Organization (WHO) for the spread of Covid-19 during an interview to a Marathi news channel. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) wrote to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and asked if he too has a similar opinion on the knowledge that doctors have.
“They [doctors’ body] are seeking an apology, but they should first understand that I have not insulted them and had no intention to do so. Whatever I said was in reply to a question on WHO. There is a difference between an insult and a joke. I have always had respect for doctors and the medical community. The politics over the statement should stop,” Raut told reporters.
The Sena leader stated that his comments were directed at WHO, which according to him has become a “political organisation more than a health organisation”. He said that that the doctor’s body should not take statements against WHO to their heart, as similar statements, against WHO, have been made by United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin too.
“I am of the clear opinion that WHO has now become a political entity and is no longer a health organisation. Many leaders, including Trump and Putin, have said that WHO is responsible for the spread of Covid-19 across the world. Will doctors here hold protests against Trump and Putin for their statements against WHO? Will they go on a strike against it,” he questioned.
The Sena Member of Parliament (MP) added that he hailed doctors and the medical fraternity for their work during the pandemic in public statements and through articles in party mouthpiece Saamana, which he edits.
He also claimed that he has sided with MARD whenever they have come up with any issues against the government.
Directing criticism to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, Raut claimed that the PM had insulted Indian doctors at an event in London.
“Narendra Modi went to London and insulted doctors. Somebody sent me a clip. He said how doctors in India are businessmen and are not interested in the service of the patients, but are only interested in earning money and utilising medicines. [After this] doctors there [in London] had protested, but not the ones here,” he said.