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Outrage after Indian health minister says: ‘People have cancer because of their sins’

GUWAHATI: Indian state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has sparked outrage on the social after his bizarre statement linking human sins to cancer and calling it ‘divine justice’.

Assam health minister Sarma said:

“God makes us suffer when we sin. Sometimes we come across young men getting inflicted with cancer or young men meeting with accidents. If you observe the background you will come to know that it’s divine justice. Nothing else. We have to suffer that divine justice,” Sarma said at a function organised for distribution of appointment letters to teachers here on Tuesday.

“In this lifetime or in our previous life, or perhaps my father or mother… perhaps that young man did not do but his father has done something wrong. It is mentioned even in Gita, Bible about the outcome of one’s actions. No point in being sad… all will get the outcome of this life’s actions in this life only. That divine justice always will be there. Nobody can escape the divine justice that will happen,” he said.

Reacting to the comments, Congress leader Debabratta Saikia on Wednesday said, “It is unfortunate that the health minister has made such a remark on cancer patients hurting their feelings. As he has made the remark publicly, the minister should also apologise for it publicly.”

Other opposition leaders were of the view that the health minister made those remark to cover his failure to control the spread of cancer in the state.

“I don’t think the minister made the remark on scientific basis but in a social context as I understand. I don’t think it is a matter to be made into a controversy. It is not a matter to be given so much importance,” said a senior health official working at an Indian cancer institute.

Reactions with anger and humour


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