Monday, June 06, 2011

Of a Yogi and a Prime minister

What possibly could Baba Ramdev have in mind when he decided to stage a fast at Ram Lila ground to express his displeasure against corruption and black money that is stashed away in tax haven countries?

Was he scared of the present government which forced him to take this noble initiative and attack the government before it victimised him? Does he have anything to gain monetarily and financially? Does he crave followers, attention and reach at places where it matters? Did the RSS/VHP/BJP combine take him to a hideout and brain-washed his mind to open a front against the UPA which has been crowned the most corrupt government India has seen since independence.
Or was it a simple desire to speak against corruption, which all of us might have felt at one point or the other. The only difference between him and us being that he decided to convert his thoughts into visible actions.
We need to look at all these possibilities and let our mind decide on how right or wrong Baba Ramdev has been, but do not view them through the eyes of a Congress guy or a BJP worker or a pseudo-liberal-intellectual-Leftist but as a common Indian. And as for those who are chronically cynical; do not waste your priceless time here.

He has been speaking against corruption for the past many years and if the present UPA government was scared of him and saw him as a serious issue they would already have let loose the various government agencies against him long time back. But presumably they were under the impression that he is among the many empty vessels that are making noises about corruption and shouldn't be given much weight-age. Also before the 5th June incident, Baba Ramdev never said that he was being hounded by the government watchdogs. So the possibility that the 'terror' factor on either side was an issue can be safely discarded.
What about financial possibilities? Did Baba Ramdev wanted to use his reach among the mass to join the bandwagons of the species called the politicians so he could mint money politically. No, that’s perhaps the most wishful reasoning.
Baba Ramdev is a multi-millionaire and he has more money than he will ever need if he wants to build a career in politics which he has earned through the functioning of his various trusts and donation. And do not forget that if he had money in mind he wouldn't have organised a protest on such a large scale against the state establishment thereby earning the wrath of the government, No sane businessman would do it.
His reach and accessibility among the highs and the mighty is well documented and reported, and for all money, he is one guy who doesn’t need to do a protest of any sort to seek attention, he easily is the most popular yoga teacher of India. Before starting his fast he had many present Union ministers as his disciple. His reach is spread amongst the mass and the mighty. And he sure knew that he would be rubbing the wrong feathers when he would drum-up the issue of corruption. So we can safely keep out that possibility too.
As for the 'communal colour' that has been painted on this canvass by the Congress, nothing can be written to deny it. And why should it be denied? If the various other political parties are supporting his protest then are they committing any crime? If BJP says that they are with him then how does it takes off the color of credibility of Baba Ramdev or his campaign? Was not BJP with Anna Hazare and IAC when they launched their movement against corruption?
When a mass movement is launched the opposition parties invariably have to become a part of it, for the simple reason that the members of the party are from the very society that has launched the movement. But the mere fact that a political party is supporting the movement cannot take away the true essence of any movement.
When the JP movement was launched against Indira Gandhi, it was the general mass that was at the foreground ably supported by the political entities’, but did it take away the legibility of the movement? At that time the protestors were branded with all kinds of name and treated as criminals and thrown away to prison but the fact was their protest, similar to now, was a genuine protest against an incompetent and corrupt government. India was not Indira then and India is not Indira or Sonia now.
Diplomats who have worked abroad will tell names of national and regional leaders who have invested in real estates in those countries. And the names of these politicians cut across all the political parties. A senior Congress leader has a multi storey hotel in Hong Kong, while two national leaders from my native state of Bihar have huge investment in and around London. The same goes true for the politician who is seen as the lights of the millions of oppressed dalits and who is from UP. The list is long and the names are well known. And when you are working on bringing back the corrupt money of these individuals who are powerful and rich, then surely the troubles that you will face is unimaginable. I am sure Baba Ramdev has realised this by now.
Baba Ramdev's stand against corruption comes from the fact that he like many us realizes that corruption needs to be exterminated from our society and it needs to be done away quickly. We have been suffering from the ills of corruption from the time before we got independence.
If a yoga teacher says that he will fight against corruption then what wrong is he doing? Does the mere fact that he is a yoga teacher prohibit him from being a crusader against corruption?
The events that took place at RamLila ground in Delhi will not and should not be forgotten. It was one of the saddest day for the Indian democracy. The brutal attack on unarmed, sleeping protestors which had children and women members shows the extent to which the present bunch of ministers at the Centre can go to stave off any serious efforts to speak out against corruption.
They defended their move on the ground that Delhi was being held to ransom by the protestors. I have many friends and relatives in Delhi and not even one of them told me that they faced any inconvenience whatsoever because of the protestors.
Right to dissent peacefully is not something that the BJP or the Congress party made up and pasted it into the constitution. It has been one of the most cherished and most delicate parts of the constitution which was included by our constitutional forefathers at the time of Independence so as to give the mass an opportunity, a space, and a realm where they can express their voice of dissent.
The lack of compassion on the part of Manmohan Singh who chose to remain mum on the atrocities committed at RamLila, speaks volumes of the hypocrisy that has engulfed our learned Prime Minister, who recently admitted to losing his sleep when a man was jailed in Australia. Does he needs to be reminded that he is heading a government that has been elected by the democracy and is not running an Arab autocracy that can be governed by the wishes and desires of few of  his party leader. 

When the time comes His tenure as a Prime Minister will go down in history as one of the lowest and the darkest time for the chair of Prime minister-ship that India had to go through.
Our Prime Minister will perhaps never realize as how gross wrong he has committed by allowing the police action at Ram Lila ground. And by the time his conscience wakes up; he will have very few takers.
Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare are not two individuals but the faces of the Indians who have experienced corruption first hand and are now tired of it. The government at the Centre will realise this sooner or later.
The fight against Corruption is not a wildfire that has started with a spark, one which will die away soon. This is a consequence of the many years of discontent and maybe its fierceness may decrease temporarily because of the ruthless and brutal force used by the government yet it will emerge stronger when the time to burn down the corrupt and their institution comes. 
For all of us.

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