Social distancing will go for a toss if the programme is held, says Harinath Goud

Hyderabad: A 175-year-old tradition snapped on Tuesday as the Bathini Goud family did not distribute the fish prophylactic touted to help people with breathing disorders. “What was started by my great grandfather Veeranna in 1845 had to be stopped this year due to the spread of COVID-19 disease. During the freedom movement, and even when there was Razakar terror in the city, the tradition didn’t stop,” said Harinath Goud of the family.

Every year on Mrigashira Karte, members of the Bathini Goud family distribute the oral prophylactic stuffed into a small murrel fish to thousands of people who reach Hyderabad. The distribution event takes place at the Exhibition Grounds in Nampally where police and State officials help with the arrangements as thousands of people partake of the prophylactic. “We have received hundreds of calls asking about the event. We want to follow the orders of the government and cannot take risk. We realised that social distancing would not be possible if we went ahead with the event,” said Mr. Goud. The event should have taken place between 10 a.m. on June 8 and 10 a.m. on June 9.

Rationalists and scientists have questioned the efficacy of the fish prophylactic over the years calling into question the scientific principle behind it. In 2004, the Indian Medical Association questioned the secrecy surrounding the ingredients of the “medicine” and invoked the provisions of the Drugs and Magical Remedies Act 1954, and filed a writ petition in the High Court in Hyderabad. The family changed the nomenclature from fish medicine to fish prasadam.

Courtesy The Hindu