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Mangaluru: Exclusive - Dr B M Hegde on life, Ayurveda, alcohol, and politics

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (SB)

Mangaluru, Aug 29: Dr Belle Monappa Hegde, fondly known as B M Hegde, is a renowned cardiologist, medical scientist, educationist and author. He has served as the vice-chancellor of Manipal University, co-chairman of the TAG-VHS Diabetes Research Centre, Chennai and chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mangaluru. He has authored several books on medical practice and ethics. Dr Hegde was also honoured Dr B C Roy Award in 1999 and India's highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2010.

Dr B M Hegde spoke in an exclusive interview to editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike on Daijiworld 24x7 channel's 'Public Face' programme.


Q: How was your childhood? What inspired you to choose your profession?

A: I was born in the village of Pangala in Udupi. My childhood was very simple. Dr B C Hegde was our family doctor who was a good and kind-hearted person. His discipline and love towards others inspired me a lot. I never planned to be doctor and it happened accidentally. I feel that nothing happens in one’s life according to plans. Two months ago, I was supposed to visit Australia for lectures at fourteen places including the Australian parliament. I fell sick and had to cancel all the plans. This is one of the reasons I do not plan anything. I focus only on the present and not past and future.

During my childhood, the school in our village was very far from our house. The teachers had to come to our house to teach the students. There was one headmaster Rangappa who was a very good person. He passed away recently at the age of 92. He would take care of our family and was very special to us. During vaccination, he had advised us to take only three vaccines and then apply basil (tulasi) leaves to prevent allergic reaction. This was in 1940. It is a surprise that he knew such things. I studied at home for five years and got the habit of ‘questioning’. I still follow the same.

Q: Did anyone force you to go for MBBS or was it on the basis of your good performance in academics that you joined the course?

A: There was no pressure from my family. Frankly speaking, I was interested in mathematics. My headmaster advised me to pick biology. I did as per his advice and ended up securing a rank. He further advised me to do MBBS.

There were not many colleges offering medical courses those days. We had only Stanley Medical College at Madras. I had applied quite late and thus had to send my application form through my father’s younger brother Narayan Rai who was a public prosecutor in Mangaluru those days. He went to Madras (present Chennai) himself and submitted my form to the college. He is one of the main reasons that I am a doctor today.

Q: You later pursued MD. Even merit seats cost a lot these days. How was the situation in your time?

A: Students who joined Stanley Medical College those days were the citizens of Madras. But when the states got divided on the basis of language, we became non-Tamilians in Madras. We were allowed to complete MBBS, but then had to work without salary. People from Tamil Nadu got salaries. We were denied seats for pursuing MD as well. Prof Rajgopal advised me to write DGHS scholarship examination. Following his suggestion, I completed my MD from King George Medical College at Lucknow.

As I was the only student from South India, I had to face many problems in Lucknow. I had good professors there especially Prof S S Mishra. They advised me to complete MRCB as well, which I did in England. Everything happened in my life smoothly with God’s grace.

Q: You studied allopathic medicine, but you are more interested in Ayurveda. Why do you stress more on Ayurvedic medicine?

A: In Western medicine, human body is treated as a ‘machine’. Hence, doctors try to cure the part of the body which is sick. In my point of view, diseases affect the entire human body. Therefore, we need to practice 'Whole Person Healing'.

Along with other medical scientists, I invented a new medical science called 'WPH' based on this 'Whole Person Healing'. In olden days, our science depended on neutrons. Everything was evaluated in terms of 'matter'. But now we all know that there is no 'matter', but 'energy.' For example 'mind' is energy. The whole body runs on this energy. Thus, I came to a conclusion that we can use this energy concept in Ayurveda only. In science, it is called as 'quanta physics'.

The only drawback of Ayurveda is that nobody is interested in research and the people studying Ayurveda themselves do not know what Ayurveda is. Earlier, there was no medicine in Ayurveda. To be clear, Ayurveda is a treatment that prevents diseases. It keeps the human body healthy.

Q: Being a straightforward man, did you face any situations of threat?

A: By God’s grace, I have not faced such situations. I believe in being straightforward and say what is right. I do not have any hidden agenda and thus no one dares to threaten me.

Fifty years ago, I said that coconut oil is good for health. Westerners opposed me and said that coconut oil contains saturated fat and leads to heart problems. But today they say that it is good. I have always welcomed criticism as it improves our knowledge.

Q: As far as I remember, Americans say that there is nothing called cholesterol. What are your thought on this?

A: I am saying that from the past 45 years. Many must have died due to medicines taken to control cholesterol. It is out in the public that, the three individuals who invented cholesterol earned good money from the medicine mafia. There never was such a disease. Everything is being commercialised today.

Q: You suffered a mild stroke three months ago and were admitted to hospital. Some criticized you.

A: I have been clear on this matter. If we change our lifestyle, we can reduce diseases. I never told that one can never fall ill. It is like even if we follow all rules while driving, there are all chances that we might meet with an accident. But we can reduce the chances. The same rule applies to human life too. We should live happy and healthy while we live in this world.

I suffered a mild stroke when I was in Dharmasthala. My children rushed me to hospital. That was the need of the hour. Western medicine is essential in emergency. Depending on Ayurveda at a critical time is not wise.

Q: You follow a systematic lifestyle which is not possible for all. What advise will you give our readers on lifestyle?

A: All should lead a healthy lifestyle. We should wish for good things in life, but should not be greedy. I would suggest everyone to avoid smoking and drinking and not overeat. There are different varieties of food available today. But we should go for Indian food which our ancestors had and stayed healthy. I would also advise people to follow good ethics as that will help one to live in peace.

Q: You say alcohol is not good for health. But a few doctors advise that alcohol within limit is good. What is your say on this?

A: It is false and part of commercialization. In the 60th century, Portman Group in Portugal planned to publish fake report on alcohol to help them increase their sale. They called in eight scientists and offered them money and a lavish life. All except one accepted the offer. Fake study reports were prepared and sent to journals for publication. A heart journal in Britain published the report, which was later exposed by the scientist who had refused the offer from the alcohol company.

Alcohol is very dangerous to the human body. Consumption of alcohol leads to cardiomyopathy. There is no medicine for this disease. But doctors still follow the fake study report and advise that a small amount of alcohol does not cause any harm. This is totally wrong.

Q: People nowadays look up to Google to prescribe and get medicines themselves.

A: It is a very dangerous practice. We cannot judge about a disease unless we get ourselves checked thoroughly. For instance, if we have fever, we might think it is flu. But it can be dengue or malaria. How can one cure it with ordinary flu medicine? Hence, looking in Google is not right. Always visit a doctor and get yourself checked.

Q: What is the minimum time one should exercise? Any types of exercises you can advise our readers?

A: Overeating is bad for health. Too much of exercise is also bad. Daily work itself is a good exercise. A farmer does not need any exercise. Doctors can ask a farmer to take rest of an hour, not walk. Ayurveda advises one to do daily work with complete dedication and commitment. There are no set of rules for daily work.

Q: What is your opinion on midday nap?

A: An hour of sleep in the afternoon is not bad. But 10 hours of sleep a day is definitely bad.

Q: As a famous doctor and a popular personality, you have thousands of followers statewide. Did you receive any offer from political parties?

A: Former chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde and former defence minister Raja Ramanna had nominated me as MP. Raja Ramanna who was a physicist-turned-politician gave his own example and requested me to join politics. I was grateful to them, but declined the post. I would have to lower my dignity and forget speaking truth after becoming a politician.

In 2009, BJP contacted me to become their candidate from Mangaluru. But I rejected.

Q: Yours is a great story. Without any specific goals in life, you became famous. Has any filmmaker contacted you to make a biopic on your life?

A: No, nothing till now. But many did contact me to write my biography. I never responded positively as I always feel that I have not achieved something really great. M V Kamath planned to write my biography, but could not do so due to ill health.

Q: Dr Khader, the food and nutrient expert from Mysuru, has inspired thousands with his speeches and suggestions on millet. What is your opinion about millet for a disease-free lifestyle?

A: Khader is not a doctor, but an agricultural scientist. May be he does not know the relationship between millet and medicine. Every food is good for health. While boiled rice is good, the same cannot be said about white rice. But Khader opposes rice completely. I have advised him many times about this. There are side effects from millet too. As per my opinion, we should follow the basic principles of nutrition which our elders used to follow.

Q: You always speak and think positively. Do you feel depressed anytime?

A: Yes. I feel depressed when I see our politicians. They are greedy for money and power. We need money, but it has led to problems. Every problem begins with money. I feel depressed when I think about things like that.

Q: Any particular incident which left a positive or negative impact on your life?

A: There are many. But everything happens for good. People do misunderstand me which makes me sad. I read a story in Panchatantra and realized that doing positive things is my job and causing harm to me is others' job. People whom you help will definitely stab your back some day. I have always helped people who have harmed me.

Q: What is your message to aspiring medical students?

A: I had written an article for medical aspirants. My advice to students is not to plan to become doctors or engineers. There are many other ways to make a career. One should love the work they do. You will never be tired when you do the work you love. You should stand on your own feet. One should not think about dignity of work. One should be ready to do any kind of job. If a person thinks, ‘I am a doctor and cannot do any other work’, he is not fit to be doctor.

I remember, when I was the VC, the registrar ordered the dismissal of the peon. The peon came to me in tears. I asked the registrar the reason for the peon’s dismissal and I got a response that there were complaints against the peon. I sought a time of two days to investigate after which I came to know the fact that the peon was one of the best employees in the department. Other staff had given false complaints to shove him out.

I ordered the registrar to cancel the peon’s termination. Till his retirement, he was the best employee of that department. We should respect every employee as they are also humans.

Q: You earned a very good name to our district. But due to communal violence, the reputation of our district has been maligned. What is your say on this?

A: Everyone should love and respect one another. All of us are humans. Religions were made by humans. ‘Dharma' does not mean Hindu, Christian and Muslim. It is a human being’s obligation towards the society. If everyone follows this rule, there will be no violence.

Politicians divide the society for their profit. British started the 'divide and rule' policy. Our politicians are following the same. They are divided the society in the name of language and religion. In my childhood, I never felt that there were many different religions in Dakshina Kannada. We had close relationship with Muslims and Christians. But today, politicians have divided us.

It is my humble request to all politicians to keep your politics to yourselves. Do not poison the society. Leave us to ourselves. We are humans, not haters. Let us live together.

Watch full interview

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Comment on this article

  • Manjunath M B, Davanagere, Karnataka

    Wed, May 23 2018

    Sir my friend is suffering from neurological problem, since last 2 year she visited so many doctors but none of them could give me a proper advise.
    I have heard lot of good things about Dr. B.M. Hegde. During my vacation, she would like to visit him and seek his advice. In view of this, can anyone let me know where she can meet him and his contact number. or your clinic / hospital address in Karnataka.

    Please help me.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aslam M, Davanagere, Karnataka

    Tue, May 22 2018


    My friend suffering neurological problem since last 2 years please give me yours clinic / hospital address in Karnataka or contact number

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    I am indeed extremely happy to go through the dialogue between Professor B.M. Hegde and the Managing Director of Daijiwolrd Mr. Walter Nandalike. Indeed Professor Hegde does not mince his words and his comments are very valid. I have known Professor Hegde for several decades as a sincere and straightforward individual. I had the honour of his presence at The Mangalore Club when he proposed the toast for the our diamond wedding. With regard to Mr. Walter Nandalike, I have known him too for a number of years and indeed he gave an excellent account of the proceedings of the event at The Mangalore Club as well as the service at The Milagris Church.

    Every statement made by Professor Hegde is true and valid and for this reason he has earned the respect and admiration of the people he has come in contact with. He is right in his statement that medications to a great extent should be avoided - giving the nature a chance to play its role.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abhi, Mangalore /Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    @all the Readers, please see the video of Dr Bm Hegde on benefits of coconut oil, we are made to believe that coconut oil is dangerous and cause cholesterol but his video tells the actual benefits of it.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr Victor Machado, Mangalore/Tanzania

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    Glad to know such great people like Dr B.M. Hegde are there in Mangalore. God bless him with good health and peace of mind

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gregory Castelino, Udupi/NewZealand

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    I used to visit you as a medical representative during 1990 at Balmata.You are down to earth person.I still remember you dialogue "I am writing your products in tonnes man"run run.May God bless you sir.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Helen, Mangalure/Mumbai

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    Thanks editor chief Walter for exclusive Interview of Dr.B.M.Hegde on Ayurveda. He is truely blessed person on earth. We like to hear from him more and more details and the use of Ayurveda in Daijiworld.
    We come to know such genuine persons through the interview. please forward the contact details to enable the people to get in touch with him for Ayurveda and as honest person.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh, Udupi

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    I have seen several Ayurveda doctors who have NO conviction in their own teaching , end up prescribing allopathic English medicine.. Never met any English doctor who has any good word about Ayurveda.. rather they simply abuse Ayurveda.

    Here is a learned man being English doctor, he advocates Ayurveda.. it is a bitter truth for those Enlgh doctors as well as half cooked ayuvedic docs who give english medicine or use Ayurveda for the sake of degree then ditch.. Hope it also wakes up those ignorant public who have all kinds of myths about Ayurveda..

    I salute to you sir!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mahesh S Kotian, Mangalore/Shimoga

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    If there is no cholesterol,then why drugs are prescribed?.Shall we stop the drug and see the consequences. Is there any research/trial done by stopping the drugs.Can we take the risk..Is there any alternative to cholesterol drugs ? .Of-course there is yoga,pranayama,meditation.But the gurus say don't stop the drugs you are taking. while doing yoga,pranayama,meditation....Please guide us doctor.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna Dasa, Udupi

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    Drugs are prescribed for the removal of excessive cholesterol in the body created by over eating, unhealthy diet and not puting the body & mind to work.

    Some naturaly occuring cholesterol in the body is requrired for the proper functioning of the body.

    We should eat less, have balanced organic food and avoid vehicles, walk & put body and mind to hard labor to prevent cholesterol.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • J.F.D SOUZA, Attavar, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Dr.B.M Hegde participates in Sarala Jeevan program at 10 pm. almost daily. I watch his progrmas which are quite interesting pertaining to health matters. His narration is so impressive.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Name Withheld, Dubai

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Dear Readers,

    I had cancer some 10 years back. Due to treatment like radiation and chemotherapy I lost my saliva as well as taste buds and suffering from lot of side effects. I visited so many doctors but none of them could give me a proper advise or diagnosis.

    I have heard lot of good things about Dr. B.M. Hegde. During my vacation, I would like to visit him and seek his advice. In view of this, can anyone let me know where I can meet him and his contact number.

    Please help me.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • bs, Belman

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    You can send email to hegdebm@gmail.com or send message from http://bmhegde.com/hegde/contact.php

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • FRANCIS, Dubai

    Wed, Aug 30 2017

    Dear BS, Belman,

    Thank you very much for your favourable response. Actually, yesterday, I had googled for Dr. B.M. Hegde's contact and found out his same email address, which you have given to me.

    I shall write an email message and seek his advise.

    Thank you once again.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    nice article.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Dr B.M.Hegde is a down to Earth person who is at home with the Common Man.

    Inspite of earning great respect from society he continues to be humble and keeps steadfast to his principles.

    Yes, it's dangerous to Google and medicate one self, but I suggest you google Dr. B.M. Hegde and see the amount of data that will emerge and help and guide you in your heath issues. His You Tubes are most educative and informative.

    May the great creator bless him in every possible way .

    DisAgree [2] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    I started having more coconut oil and advising friends too to have coconut oil ever since i watched his video two years ago about importance of Coconut oil..

    Note: Coastal People are blessed with two "Hegdes" who help society in their own style.. 1. Dr.Veerendra Hegde 2. Dr.B.M.Hegde...

    DisAgree [16] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdusamad, saudi arabia

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Great going Sir, truly living legend! May almighty bestow you with good health aamin!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ruchir Agarwal, mangalore

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Doctor.... we refer google to get additional information on the medicines prescribed to us by our family doctor.Unfortunatly our docs are too busy seeing several patients per day.,and we get only 10 mns with him.So we are forced to refer google

    DisAgree [5] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nithin Shetty, Manchester/UK

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    Very nice, One of the genuine Person from Coastal.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • ricky, mangalore

    Tue, Aug 29 2017

    very informative....thanks to daiji.....hope many people will read or hear the article....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Mangaluru: Exclusive - Dr B M Hegde on life, Ayurveda, alcohol, and politics


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