The National Medical Commission’s new logo has sparked controversy, with Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen arguing that it violates the Constitution by featuring an image of Hindu deity Dhanvantari. The Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, defended the logo, urging citizens to take pride in it rather than questioning it. He emphasized that the only recent change was the transition of Dhanvantari’s image from black and white to color.
During a session in the Rajya Sabha, Sen contended that the altered logo goes against the Commission’s role, asserting that it should not promote any specific religion. He highlighted the symbolic importance of the medical oath, emphasizing the commitment to treating patients irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. Sen called for the restoration of the old logo.
The National Medical Commission countered the controversy by stating that the logo had been in use for over a year, with recent modifications being the colorization of Dhanvantari’s image and the replacement of “India” with “Bharat.” Mandaviya defended the incorporation of Dhanvantari, citing the deity as a symbol of Indian medical science.
In response, Sen argued that the modified logo contradicts the fundamental oaths taken by doctors, such as the Charak oath or Hippocratic oath, which emphasize unbiased treatment for all patients.
The core disagreement revolves around the perceived religious association of the logo and its compatibility with the principles of medical ethics. While Mandaviya encourages pride in the logo as a symbol of tradition and inspiration, Sen contends that the National Medical Commission should remain impartial and avoid endorsing any particular faith.
The debate raises broader questions about the intersection of symbolism, tradition, and secular principles within national institutions. As the controversy unfolds, it underscores the need for a nuanced dialogue to balance cultural heritage with the principles of inclusivity and impartiality in a diverse society.