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Project July 5, 2023

India's Fake-Medicine Empire


India guru
A man who calls himself a guru says Patanjali products can cure genetic diseases with a sacred fire. Image by Côme Bastin. 2023.

It is a medicine and a way of life known to all Indians. Ayurveda has been taught, practiced, and prescribed in the subcontinent for centuries.

In recent years, the traditional medicine, glorified by the Hindu nationalists in power, has multiplied in its birth country. A huge company called Patanjali, the name of the "father of yoga," dominates the Ayurveda market in India.

However, without any scientific basis, the company claims the medicine can cure many illnesses, including COVID, liver cirrhosis, and cancer.

Medical associations are trying to fight against the mass misinformation practiced by Patanjali, whose immensely popular founders seem untouchable.

This project investigates the scientific, financial, and judicial controversies around Patanjali. The reporting will be published in audio and written formats for Radio France Internationale, Ouest-France, and other outlets.


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