The Indian Medical Association on Sunday raised its objection to the National Medical Commission logo depicting the Hindu deity Dhanwantari and urged it to adopt a religion-neutral emblem.
According to Hindu mythology, Dhanwantari is the physician of the gods.
The National Medical Commission on Thursday drew ire from the Indian Medical Association's Kerala chapter, which said the recent change in the logo was not acceptable. It also drew ire for replacing "India" with "Bharat" in the logo.
The commission, however, stated that the logo has been in use for over a year.
The IMA said on Sunday, "The NMC has adopted a new logo with religious depiction contained therein. The new logo of the NMC is in contradiction with our fundamental values as doctors."
"It is not in conformity with the oath and duty of doctors, which is not towards any particular religion. Such a logo is also inconsistent with the dignity and decorum of an institution such as the NMC," it further said.
The logo of any national institution ought to capture the aspirations of all citizens in an equal manner and, by remaining neutral in all respects thereby, eliminating any possibility of any part/section of society feeling aggrieved, the IMA said.
The association also called on the NMC to take corrective steps to adopt a logo that does not contradict the oath and the duty of doctors "towards all our citizens with complete neutrality, especially in shunning any attempt to connect and/or identify the institution such as NMC with any particular religion".
"The restoration of the logo hitherto and/or an adoption of any religion-neutral logo is the need of the hour, requiring appropriate decision to be taken by the concerned authorities expeditiously," the IMA said.
Dr Yogender Malik, member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board and head of the NMC's media division, in an earlier response to the criticism, had said, "We never had the 'India' emblem as our logo. We didn't have a logo before. It was only around a year back when the NMC, after taking suggestions, came up with the logo."
"The Dhanwantri logo was black and white for over a year and we realised we needed colour it. So that is only the change that has happened. I don't understand the criticism," he had said.
Malik had further clarified that "India" being replaced with "Bharat" was the only change that was made.