Op-Ed

Another Saint in My town – Yoga Practitioner or Misguided Patriot?

Piyush Manush

Baba Ramdev, aspires to be the raj-guru not satisfied being a yoga guru. In a speech heard in Salem, Tamil Nadu he gave a clarion call to a crowd of 4000 to work in making India a powerful nation or rather the most powerful nation in the earth.

How does he go about the task of making his country a super power? Answers, he says, lie in capital punishment for those who indulge in corruption, cow slaughter etc. and to supports ‘clean candidates’ in elections through his party. He sought support for a signature campaign against corruption in which he hopes at least a 1000 million would sign.

Protest aganst Baba Ramdev in salem (Photo: Piyush Manush)

Capital punishment appears to be his main agenda. According to him, it should be awarded by courts in three month’s time for crimes ranging from corruption to cow slaughter. Those who attend his yoga camp everyday not only workout along with the guru, but also hears his political sermon. Good for the physique and equally poisonous for a religion driven society.

In Salem his campaign is headed by people who are known for dealings with the most notorious and suspicious characters in town amongst them being Veerapandi Armugam, Agriculture Minister of Tamil Nadu known for his ill gotten wealth all over the state.  The two hour yoga session is a daily affair for the baba, held in different cities across the country and each day almost two million is spent on the arrangements that include advertisement for the event using flex boards, sticker’s and hand bills.

A 100 plus team lands up prior to the Baba’s arrival to monitor arrangements & the baba stays in the best of accommodation in the city in midst of the claim that he is rooted in the ground realities of the people. The entire exercise of branding, creating ambience by music and meticulous technology used in his meetings creates a feeling of vibration for many. One is ready to buy the hate that he has up his sleeve.

Calls for law’s to enforce one’s belief however misguided they may be, where commercializing a commodity is called sacred here being the cow, is nothing but making people take on unconditionally ritual’s and  belief’s which has been a bane in fostering & building a society on just terms for all.

Taking up the issue Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam Activists (PDK), took on to protest outside the meeting grounds in Chennai and Salem. Earlier efforts to engage in a dialogue with Baba Ramdev’s group failed. Any form of dissent is met with scorn filled with contempt of others.

Either Ramdev’s group is not serious about its own demands or too arrogant.

 

Piyush Manush is an activist based in Salem, Tamil Nadu and can be reached at jungleclub@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BH’s editorial policy.

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