We all have heard about Baba Ramdev, haven’t we? Till 2015, he was famous as a yoga guru and his continuous appearance on political issues has played quite a big role in him being popular amongst the Indians. Ramdev founded the Divya Yog Mandir Trust in 1995. In 2003, Aastha TV began featuring him in its morning yoga slot. He taught the art of yoga to renowned celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and in foreign countries including Britain, the US & Japan.
Not to forget, the spiritual leader founded the Patanjali Group, an ayurvedic brand which is now competing with leading companies like ITC. Patanjali is famous for its products which are made of natural and Ayurvedic products like tulsi, neem and whatever natural ingredient you can name of. Starting from hair products to food ingredients, Patanjali manufactures every possible products which is required by a human on a daily basis.
Patanjali has challenged many multinational companies in the past selling Ayurveda-based products such as toothpaste, face wash, hair oil, detergent, etc. Although, cannabis is a highly-controlled substance in India, Patanjali aims to tap this space taking cue from western countries, where cannabis is legal. India is yet to recognise its cannabis economy.
Balkrishna, the CEO of Patanjali, said, “In western markets, parts of the cannabis plants are being used for fibre for cloth or some kinds of oils. Similarly, we are doing some research to see that the harmful or intoxicating properties are removed and then it is used.” At a TEDx event, held recently in Panckula, Balkrishna put his weight behind legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, and for opening business and employment opportunities in India.
According to him, cannabis are said to be a healthy consumption if the toxic parts like THC is removed. He also added that the seeds of this drug can be useful as it can be used to make the fibre of clothes. In 2015, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, a Member of Parliament from Patiala, had petitioned to legalise the possession as well as consumption of marijuana in India along with that of other ‘non-synthetic’ intoxicants.
In 2017, Gandhi moved a private member’s bill to legalise the recreational use of marijuana, earning the support of late actor and BJP MP Vinod Khanna as well as Tathagata Satpathy, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP from Odisha.
In 2017, one of Modi’s ministers also voiced support to legalisation of marijuana. Women and child development minister, Maneka Gandhi suggested that legalising the drug for medicinal purposes could be beneficial in India.