By Dr Arun Mitra
As per some reports, Arogya Bharti, an organization established in November 2002, is holding workshops to prepare women to deliver ‘Uttam Santati’ — a perfect, ‘customised child’ with the purpose of making ‘a strong India’. This needs to be viewed from various angles. The medical angle for its scientific correctness; the social angle for its social impact; and the political angle. Arogya Bharti claims that through giving good food and advise about the time of sexual intercourse based on planetary configurations they do shuddikaran (purification) which leads to transformation of genes and production of healthier superior babies. According to them, recitation of religious hymns helps in the birth of healthier babies. By doing this, they claim that generations to come will improve.
But the whole concept of producing uttam santati through gene transformation via changes in food habits and selection of time for sexual intercourse based on planetary configurations is without any evidence. Commenting on the issue, Dr Balbir Singh Shah, Vice President of Society of Andrology, India, said “that genes are known to undergo mutation from time to time. But that this can be done in a few weeks time through shuddhikaran does not hold true on evidence. The claim that the male’s sperm and the female’s egg will become free of genetic defects through shuddhikaran needs to be verified scientifically. That the time of sexual intercourse based on planetary configurations and horoscope will lead to gene transformation and the birth of tall, fair healthy baby is totally unscientific. That chanting of shlokas and mantras by the mother helps in the mental growth of the baby and eliminates labour pain and the baby will gain up to 300g more weight is only a myth”.