Vardhan’s discourse was peppered with references to traditional medicine in spite of scientists’ opposition. [...] The government of India endorsed many other pseudo-remedies.
Several Hindu nationalist leaders of the ruling party also claimed that sacred rituals like bathing in the Ganges ensured immunity - at least, those who performed these rituals could not be infected. On the basis of this assumption, the Indian government agreed to prepone the Kumbh Mela after astrologists pointed out that March 2021 would be more auspicious than the original timing in 2022. As a result, millions of pilgrims gathered inHaridwar in April, while the second wave was gaining momentum. The BJP extended its blessings to one of the most sacred functions of the majority community that it was supposed to represent and protect.