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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

IMA under fire for its President’s unethical evangelism and anti-Hindu bigotry, dubious endorsements

Advocacy organisation Legal Rights Protection Forum has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHWF) seeking to revoke the medical practitioner license granted to Indian Medical Association’s President Johnrose Austin Jayalal who openly confessed his intentions to convert non Christians in Bharat. It has also sent a complaint to the Home Ministry seeking to cancel IMA’s FCRA license as Jayalal has made it clear that he has been using the organisation to further his agenda.

Jayalal drew criticism when the contents of his interview to Christianity Today became public. He had said that it is easy to get Hindus to ‘receive Jesus’ as they have no problem accepting different gods. He also said that he ‘desires to encourage young medical students and doctors to receive Jesus as their personal saviour’ and aims to be a witness of Jesus in the secular organisation he serves. This invited severe criticism and demands that he should be removed from the position.

He also revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has given him and other proselytisers a chance to preach the gospel to those who are affected by the virus, even in secular institutions meaning hospitals and other institutions run by non-Christians and the government. ‘The confusion, fear and desperation of the pandemic gave Dr.Jayalal and his colleagues the opportunity to share the gospel in a new way to more people’, the Christianity Today interview said.

Indian Medical Association has FCRA license and has received Rs. 8.9 crore from abroad since 2006. Thus the ‘Strategies and Activities for evangelism which are explained by Mr. Jayalal have potential to disturb communal harmony and therefore are in violation of section 12(4)(f)(vi) of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act’, as pointed out by LRPF in its complaint to the Home Ministry seeking cancellation of IMA’s FCRA license.

As Jayalal has openly declared his intention to use IMA as a platform to further proselytisation activities, LRPF has also written to MoHW raising fears that the official power and position that Jayalal holds could be used to preach to and convert non-Christians. It has also requested the government to stop funding IMA till Jayalal is removed from the position as MoHW has funded it to the tune of Rs. 8.72 crore for the purpose of handling TB project in between 2018-20.

Bringing Jayalal’s rabid evangelical ideas to the attention of the ministry, LRPF has pointed out how serious he was about the same. Few of the points over which LRPF has raised concern are,

  • “Christian doctors should do physical healing as well as spiritual healing.
  • We need more Christian doctors to work more in secular institutions, mission institutions, and medical colleges.
  • I am working as a professor of surgery in a medical college, so it is also a good opportunity for me to carry on the principles of Christian healing there. I also have the privilege of mentoring graduates and the interns
  • The opportunity in front of every Christian is splendid. It is not solely the responsibility of the pastor”

The complaint also brought to notice that “Instead of treating the Covid-19 pandemic as a humanitarian catastrophe, Dr. Jayalal and his team of rabid evangelists are gleefully rubbing their hands and treating the pandemic as an opportunity to spread the Gospel in news ways to more and more people. This is nothing short of a vulture-like approach to human suffering, death and devastation. In their weakest moments of their life, instead of giving comfort and solace to the suffering millions, Dr. Jayalal and his team of rabid evangelists are making grandiose plans to exploit the sufferings of fellow humans by converting them to Christianity. It is also shocking that as a medical doctor, instead of relying on his medical skills, he has chosen to thrust the fear of God into people suffering from Covid-19 Pandemic.”

This episode has also brought out other dubious activities of IMA one of them being endorsing commercial products for money. IMA has endorsed artificial fruit drinks, soaps, water purifiers, anti-bacterial paints and LEDs, etc. When it signed a deal with Pepsi Co to endorse Tropicana juices and Quaker breakfast cereal, it was allegedly paid Rs. 50,00,000 and was offered sponsorship of their conferences and meetings for which the member doctors are also said to have paid hefty prices. It has raised alarms about the kind of activities IMA could have indulged in using government, FCRA and endorsement money.

A social activist called up Dr.Jayesh Lele, the honorary secretary-general at IMA HQ, to understand why IMA was endorsing products like LED bulbs, and wall paints that claimed they destroy bacteria and other germs. Lele kept insisting that the endorsement was given after ‘testing’ and results of these so-called tests were lying in the organization’s Delhi HQ. In the same breath, he also tried to evade responsibility saying the endorsement was given 4 years back when he was not the secretary. But one look at the IMA website shows that Lele might have come into the national role recently, but has been associated at different senior levels with the body since atleast 2015.

While IMA President Johnrose Jayalal’s interview has sent skeletons tumbling out of the IMA’s closet, he appears to have gotten Christianity Today to ‘update’ his interview which is now devoid of all the bigoted communal things he said. Funnily he has been asking those who question him on his agenda to read up the interview content, perhaps unaware of the fact that the original interview has already been archived. But the truth is on the wall for everyone to see and the government to act on.

(Featured Image Source: Facebook)

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