The National Medical Commission (NMC) updated its official logo by replacing the term "India" with "Bharat”. The photo of Dhanvantri—an avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu known as the god of Ayurveda in the Puranas which was earlier in black and white was changed into a colour picture. The word "Bharatiya" was changed to "Bharat" These changes have sparked controversy on social media, with many expressing opposition to the move.
Several netizens emphasized that the field of medicine transcends religious affiliations, while others suggested that the BJP government might be attempting to promote Hindutva. The modified logo is now visible on the NMC's website, further fueling discussions about the implications and motives behind the changes.
The NMC said the Dhanvantri logo was in use for almost a year. An official said, "earlier, it was in black and white and, therefore, not visible in printouts. We have simply used a colour photo in the centre of the logo."
According to an unnamed official, parallels were drawn to the World Health Organization's emblem, which incorporates the United Nations' symbol along with a staff entwined by a snake—a historical symbol associated with medicine and the medical profession. This staff and snake symbol is linked to the story of Asclepius, an ancient Greek god of healing whose cult involved the use of snakes.
It is noteworthy that the National Medical Commission (NMC) logo has omitted the term 'India,' opting for 'Bharat' instead. Strikingly, there was no official announcement regarding this alteration to the logo.
The alteration in the NMC logo has faced criticism from the Indian Medical Association's Kerala chapter. 'The recent change in the NMC logo is not acceptable to the modern medical fraternity. The new logo gives a wrong message and will harm the scientific and secular nature of the commission,'
Dr. Sharad Kumar Aggarwal, the national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), stated that the matter would be deliberated in a meeting scheduled for Sunday, following which an official statement would be issued.
Earlier, the health ministry issued directives, announcing that Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres would now be referred to as Ayushman Arogya Mandir. The ministry indicated that it had dispatched letters to states and Union Territories, instructing them to implement the rebranding exercise.
States have received directives to upload photographs of renovated primary health facilities on the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) portal. The ministry has specified that the rebranded AB-HWCs will feature a new tagline, 'Arogyam Parmam Dhanam.'
Image source: OpIndia