Dr Johnrose Austin Jayalal, President of the Indian Medical Association, has decided to play victim over the reports that he wanted to use hospitals as a ground for conversion to Christianity. In his response, in the form of an official reply from IMA, he threatened to take “necessary action” against those who tried to “run a false propaganda” against him.
Reply from IMA
In the official reply, IMA said that some news is being circulated with notorious comments against Dr Jayalal. His response was shared, which was supposed to be self-explanatory and appropriate. Further, in a subtle threatening tone, it was mentioned that IMA HQ takes such “false propaganda” and “wrong interpretation” very seriously, and it will take necessary action in due course of time.
Reply from Dr Jayalal
Jayalal claimed that his answers, interviews and profile are being taken out of context and in “distorted form” to create “false allegations” against him. He claimed that the reports that suggest he wants to use hospitals as conversion ground are related to the “struggle against mixopathy”. He further alleged that it is an attempt to give their struggle a religious colour.
Notably, he was the one who had said in an interview that he wanted to “encourage young medical students and doctors to receive Jesus as their personal saviour.” But now he is claiming that those who spoke against him are giving the struggle against mixopathy a religious colour.
Guess what, he’s actually claiming he’s being taken out of context and in distorted form. 😂😂— Amit Thadhani (@amitsurg) March 30, 2021
The only distortion, dear President, is the one in your brain that makes you view physically ill people, colleagues and juniors as potential recruits to your religion. pic.twitter.com/xAaWHKITzW
Playing the victim card, Dr Jayalal further alleged that he had been getting hate and threatening messages. He also said he had been called a traitor. Towards the end of the message, he said, “One falsehood spoils a thousand truths. Truth will rise above falsehood” and assured the fraternity that IMA would serve hard as apolitical, secular organisation at all levels to “upkeep the nobility of our profession and safety of humanity”.
Allegations against Dr Jayalal
Dr Jayalal is serving as President of the Indian Medical Association, which is a non-government group of doctors. Notably, only doctors that practice modern medicine are part of these organisations, and they have locked horns with the central government over several issues, including integration of alternate medicinal practices in modern medicine.
In several interviews, especially with Christian organisations, Dr Jayalal has made several statements that show how he wants to use the hospitals to bring junior doctors and patients “closer to Jesus”. In a now-deleted article on Haggai International, he said, “I deeply desire to be a living witness to God and encourage young medical students and doctors to receive Jesus as their personal saviour. I aim to be a witness for God in the secular organisation I serve.”
Interestingly, there is nothing “out of context”, as alleged by Dr Jayalal. An archived version of the now-deleted article is available here, and one can notice how he fondly talks about integrating Christianity in medicine. He had said, “When leprosy, cholera, and other pandemics devastated the world, it was Christian doctors and churches who stood against it, showing Christian compassion.” In one stroke, Dr Jayalal has completely ignored the role of doctors belonging to any other faith. Haggai International also deleted the post from social media platforms that were linked to the article. The Archived tweet can be seen here.
Even in his Presidential address, which is still available on IMA’s website, he did not flinch from expressing his Christian evangelism and hailing controversial characters such as Mother Teresa, regarded by many as a predatory Christian proselytiser responsible for industrial-scale conversions of the indigenous people to Christianity.
In an interview for Christianity Today, Dr Jayalal saw a silver lining in an otherwise dreary and bleak coronavirus outbreak. According to him, despite the hardships, difficulties and restrictions that came in the wake of the pandemic, Christianity was growing.
While talking about mixopathy, doctors who practice modern medicine, sometimes subtly and sometimes openly, criticise ancient Hindu practices, including Ayurveda. Dr Jayalal has been one of the frontrunners in such campaigns. While opposing Ayurveda, he had said, “The government of India, because of their cultural value and traditional belief in the Hindutva, believes in a system called Ayurveda. For the last three or four years, they have tried to replace modern medicine with this. Now, starting in 2030, you will have to study this alongside Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, homoeopathy, yoga, and naturopathy.”