Trends to ‘boycott Maneka Gandhi’ sparked a firestorm on Twitter Wednesday, after an alleged audio of the Lok Sabha MP abusing a veterinary doctor went viral. The Indian Veterinary Association (IVA) has taken a strong stand in the matter, protesting Gandhi’s actions in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister.
As per reports, Gandhi in the purported leaked audio is heard reprimanding a vet – one Vikas – for amputating an injured dog’s leg. She allegedly threatens to suspend his license, accusing him of not treating the animal in a proper manner.
Social media users have flared up in outrage against Gandhi, who is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and former Minister of Women and Child Development in Narendra Modi’s government.
The IVA has called vets across India to observe a Black Day on June 23 and don black bands while discharging duty.
The letter from the IVA to Modi doing rounds on social media says, “It is a matter of grave concern that Smt Maneka Gandhi, Honourable MP, Lok Sabha, habitually and repeatedly threatens veterinarians claiming settlements (audio clip attached). In earlier instance, we, at Indian Veterinary Association, had requested her to refrain from using disgraceful and derogatory comments…”
President of the Vet Council of India and IVA Dr Umesh Sharma shared a copy of the association’s letter. See below:
Let us be united for the honour of our prfosession. Come together to show solidarity by wearing black badge condemning abusive language against vets. pic.twitter.com/JkaEjpfe1x
— Dr. Umesh C Sharma (@presidentVCI) June 22, 2021
Boycott Maneka Gandhi: Here’s What India’s Vet Association Is Demanding
In the audio clip, the voice allegedly attributed to Gandhi uses Hindi expletives against the vet and demands for him to treat the dog again at his own expenses.
Condemning her actions as nothing less than “vandalism,” IVA’s notification calling for Black Day notes they will “further intensify the agitations if she doesn’t reverse her attitude and refrain from her obnoxious comments on veterinarians of the country.” Visuals from protests at several veterinary institutions across the country are circulating online.
IVA mentions that the Indian Veterinary Council Act 1984 looks into misconduct by vets and that Gandhi in blaming a vet has passed the law. Dr Sharma, in a video on social media further reiterates that parties with grievances must take the route of law in case they have complaints against vets.
— Dr. Umesh C Sharma (@presidentVCI) June 23, 2021
Gandhi is the founder of People for Animals, India’s largest organisation for animal welfare, and is a self-described environmental leader. Earlier this year in January, another audio attributed to her had reportedly gone viral in which she threatened to file a sexual harassment suit against a businessman who hit a dog with a cricket bat.