India health minister says people have cancer because of their sins

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Health minister of the Indian state of Assam has created furor with his remarks related to causes of cancer.

Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that some people suffer from life-threatening diseases such as cancer because of sins committed in the past which he called “divine justice”, a news report revealed.

According to a Times of India report, the comments from the BJP leader sparked sharp reactions in the political circles and among cancer patients.

“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.

“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 is quoted to have said.

Reacting to the comments, Congress leader Debabratta Saikia 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 apologize for it publicly.”

Another leader in the state, Aminul Islam, asserted that the health minister made this remark to cover his failure to control the spread of cancer in the state.

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