Two government hospitals in Rajasthan have taken patient care to the next level by playing Gayatri Mantra in labour rooms and delivery wards since women reportedly cannot feel pain when they hear the music. However, this was taken lightly by the state health department who said that this was a secular country and playing the Gayatri Mantra was against the ideals.
According to The Times of India, the incident came to light when Muslim protesters took the issue to the Health Minister.
Special Secretary (Health) Dr Samit Sharma, from the Rajasthan Health Department, said that he doesn't remember giving permission to play Gayatri Mantra in delivery rooms. He said that officials only gave permission for hospitals to play healing music and religious songs are not part of it.
He told TOI, "We are a secular country and such things can't be recommended. We have not issued any order asking authorities to play Gayatri mantra in labour rooms. We have sent our own audio, which has healing and meditation sounds. It's possible that some officials are not using the audio we have sent. We will look into the matter."
In places like Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, Gayatri Mantra is being played in labour rooms for more than a year.
Dr Tejram Meena, the chief medical and health officer at Sawai Madhopur, said, "We are playing Gayatri mantra in the labour room of our district hospital. We will soon expand it to all the 20 labour rooms at other health centres in the district. If a woman listens to the Gayatri Mantra, she does not feel the pain of labour."
Muslim groups are against this and they said that the first noise a newborn hears should be the Azaan. "According to Islam, the first voice to go in the ears of a newborn should be of Azaan," Ashfaque Kayamkhani, one of the protesters, was quoted as saying in the report.