Even as the country is fighting a deadly pandemic, the left-wing propagandists in the media are busy propagating misleading news reports to target the Modi government. In one such incident on Thursday, Rohan Venkat, who claims to be a ‘journalist’ for the far-left news website ‘Scroll’, resorted to peddling misinformation by sharing old and misleading reports to attack the Modi government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Rohan Venkat took to Twitter to post a report published by another far-left news house ‘The Hindu’ to claim that the Union Science Ministry has funded a trial at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh to determine the effect of ‘Gayatri Mantra’ in treating Covid-19.
Sharing a news article titled, “Science Ministry funds trial on effect of Gayatri Mantra in treating COVID-19“, Venkat insinuated that the Modi government was funding research on the effects of Gayatri Mantra to find a possible cure for the Covid-19.
The Hindu report shared by Venkat is, in fact, is extremely misleading. The headline of the report suggests that the government is funding research on the effects of Gayatri Mantra on Covid-19. However, if one reads the full report published by the Hindu, the details of the report contradict their own headline.
In the body of the article, it is categorically mentioned that the institute would be researching the effect of chanting Gayatri Mantra and performing Pranayama on Covid-19 patients in addition to usual treatment. However, the Hindu misled its readers by attaching a misleading headline to make its readers believe that the central government is considering using Gayatri Mantra as a stand-alone option to ‘treat’ Covid-19.
Interestingly, the report shared by far-left ‘journalist’ is not even a recent one. The original report, with a misleading headline, was published by the Hindu on March 19. However, Rohan Venkat decided to share the misleading report on his timeline on Thursday to create a wave of propaganda against the Modi government.
Within minutes of Rohan Venkat sharing the misleading post, the usual left-wing propagandists, trolls, alleged fact-checkers descended on Twitter to not only target the centre over its handling of the pandemic but also to discredit the Indian system of medicine such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Pranayama.
Maya Mirchandani, a former anchor at NDTV, sharing the misleading article claimed that she was speechless and said that the government had no scientific temper at all.
Raja Sen, who claims to be a film critic, also shared the misleading news report to ask whether Gayatri Mantra would help falling governments.
Ashok Swain, who has a history of a spreading fake news to abuse Hindus and its customs, took to Twitter to suggest that Science Ministry should be renamed as ‘Pseudoscience Ministry’.
At a time when the country is suffering from one of the greatest crisis in the recent history, the left-wing propagandists and trolls shamelessly used the opportunity to propagate misleading information against the government.
Outlook shares the misleading article
This is not the first time that the mainstream media outlets are resorting to such false propaganda against the Modi government to insinuate that they are considering using Gayatri Mantra to treat the pandemic.
Earlier in March, Outlook had published a news article titled ‘Can Chanting Gayatri Mantra Treat Covid-19? Govt Collaborates With AIIMS Rishikesh To Find Out’.
Though in the body of the article it is mentioned that the AIIMS Rishikesh would be researching the effect of chanting Gayatri Mantra and performing Pranayama on Covid-19 patients in addition to usual treatment, the misleading headline suggested that the central government is considering using Gayatri Mantra as an independent treatment for the Covid-19.
Has government funded trial on effect of Gayatri Mantra in treating COVID-19?
Contrary to the claims of Rohan Venkat, the Science Ministry is not funding AIIMS Rishikesh to start any experiment to determine if the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra or performing the Yoga practice of Pranayama would be a cure for Covid-19.
In reality, it is not a stand-alone trial, but this will be done along with the regular medical treatment which is otherwise given to the patients suffering from the infection. In fact, the Hindu report, quoted by Rohan Venkat itself clarifies that the 20 Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms have been divided into two groups and one will get the standard treatment, and the other group will be subject to a regimen of chanting and breathing exercises for 14 days, supervised by a certified yoga instructor, “along with the standard treatment”.
“Then the groups will be compared on whether those who have received the additional treatment show measurably improved markers for inflammation or cell-injury. Among the causes for severe COVID-19 is an exaggerated reaction by the body’s immune systems to the presence of the virus, which leads to severe cellular inflammation and damage that can prove fatal. While several experimental therapies exist, there is yet no specific drug proven to improve health outcomes,” reads the Hindu report shared by Rohan Venkat.
Further, the body of the Hindu report states, “The latest study, however, will not test the effect of the intervention on severely ill patients. It will evaluate whether there are differences in the groups on the time taken to test negative, and the length of their hospital stay.”
Even though it is clearly mentioned in the report that the trials are not a stand-alone experiment to determine whether Gayatri Mantra and Yoga could be a possible cure for Covid-19, the far-left journalist indulged in the mischievous act of spreading fake news. In his attempt to target the Modi government, Rohan Venkat successfully created myths around traditional practices such as Yoga and Pranayama that have been proved extremely beneficial for strengthening human respiratory illnesses.
Yoga and Pranayama – a time tested practise to strengthen human health
It is a well-known fact that controlled breathing or Pranayama is a specific set of respiratory exercises within yoga that has been proved extremely beneficial for strengthening the lungs and fighting respiratory illnesses. Since Covid-19 infection directly impacts a person’s lungs, damaging the walls and linings of the air sacs in the lungs, it is only common sense that these deep breathing exercises will surely be beneficial for the patients fighting the COVID-19 infection.
Moreover, it has been specifically found that chanting of the Gayatri mantra elevates a person’s mind and soul to a higher level. The vibrations created by the chanting of The Mantra stimulate the penial gland, which helps in release Endorphins and other relaxing hormones in the body that helps keep depression at bay.
This again will prove effective to treat the various traumatic stressors, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other trauma- and stress-related disorders that the Covid-19 patient might suffer. Isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones in coronavirus patients.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke. People with pre-existing mental, neurological or substance use disorders are also more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection ̶ they may stand a higher risk of severe outcomes and even death. In such a situation, reciting Gayatri Mantra would only help these patients to fight stress and strain, making them more resilient.
Basically, the central government is not trying to replace the medical treatment of Covid-19 patients with Gayatri Mantra or Pranayama, as the likes of Rohan Venkat suggests, but is only trying to introduce it as an additional treatment, which might accelerate the recovery of the patients.