Delhi Court Asks Amazon To Stop Selling Rooh Afza Made In Pakistan; Know Why?

New Delhi: Rooh Afza continues to be a favourite drink in India for as long as one can remember. ‘Hamdard ka Rooh Afza’ is etched in our minds, yet when we go to buy it, we somehow don’t pay attention to whether it is a Hamdard brand or any other.

Now, Delhi High Court has directed Amazon to remove the listing of the drink manufactured by a Pakistani company under the name “Rooh Afza” from its platform in India, The Indian Express reported.

The order, passed on September 7, came on a plea filed by the Indian social welfare NGO Hamdard National Foundation saying some of the “Rooh Afza” listed on the e-commerce site in India are not manufactured by Hamdard Laboratories (India), but by Pakistani companies whose details are not mentioned on the packaging.

The Rooh Afza sherbet concentrate, a Unani formulation containing ingredients that are believed to have cooling properties, has long been popular in North India during summer. It is said to have been invented in Delhi in the first decade of the 20th century as a cure for the summer heat.

This is what the court said: “‘Rooh Afza’ is a product which has been consumed by the Indian public for more than a century now, and its quality standards have to comply with the applicable regulations prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Act and Legal Metrology Act. It is surprising that an imported product is being sold on Amazon without complete details of the manufacturer being disclosed.”


One of the manufacturers whose product was being sold on Amazon was Hamdard Laboratory (Waqf), Pakistan. The manufacturer says on its website that Hamdard Pakistan was founded in Karachi “in a two-room rented clinic of Tibb-e-Unani in 1948” by Hakim Mohammed Said, under whose leadership “Hamdard soon became a success story with its respected and well-liked products, especially Rooh Afza syrup and effective herbal medicines,” the report added.

The formula for the sherbet was invented by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed, who owned a small clinic that practised Unani, an ancient tradition of Graeco-Arabic medicine that continues to be popular in the Middle East and some South Asian countries. Unani is recognised by the Ministry of AYUSH as one of the “traditional & non-conventional systems of health care and healing which include Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy etc,” explained The Indian Express report.

In 1906, Majeed began a search for something to prevent heat strokes, fatigue, and other health problems caused by the summer heat in North India, and Rooh Afza was created the following year, more as a cooling drink than as a medicine. After Majeed died at the age of 34, his wife Rabea Begum declared Hamdard a trust largely meant to fund charitable activities and research on Unani medicines, the report added.

After Partition and the creation of East and West Pakistan, Rabea Begum’s elder son Hakim Abdul Hamid stayed in India, while the younger son, Hakim Mohammed Said, moved to West Pakistan. This is why the Hamdard National Foundation owns the rights over the drink in India, while Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) manufactures it in Pakistan, TIE further reported.


Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.