Ramdev: A political force for the good?
Amidst the hustle and bustle of a town dotted with temples and brightened up by saffron-clad “sadhus” or holy men, was a pandal with a thousand people waiting for Baba Ramdev’s daily yoga preaching.
At least 30 million were waiting to start their day with his discourse, through live telecast on an Indian spiritual channel.
Holy man Ramdev, known for popularising Yoga and traditional ayurvedic treatment and also for practising the ancient technique of breathing exercises called Pranayam has been beset by controversies for the last few years.
His recent decision to enter politics and “cleanse the system” has also created quite a furore.
Many political leaders have made their disapproval public including Lalu Prasad Yadav, leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal party calling his decision to join politics “berserk”.
Even though Ramdev has made it very clear he does not want to be an office holder or a Member of Parliament, he says he still aims at a 100 percent win in the next Lok Sabha elections.
Contesting elections from 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be a part of his recent movement called ‘Bharat Swabhiman’ or Indian pride which aims to eradicate corruption and deal with other social issues like poverty and education.
The godman believes that corruption is the root cause of all problems and says if he is in power he will recall all the money in circulation which will then expose the black money and use that money for development.
Do you think Ramdev should enter politics and contest elections?
He also stresses upon the idea of nationalism and believes that there should be ‘Indianness’ in everything; in clothing, in language and in sentiment.
This ideology has led many to believe that he is no different from other right wing organisations or parties.
Claiming that he has a follower in almost every household, Ramdev says he has already earned the love and respect of people that a prime minister or president of a country gets.
Devotees at his yoga camp in Haridwar, a small but important holy city in north India, with an expression of awe admitted they will not only vote for him but also devote their entire life in his service.
After a three-hour discourse on yoga, herbal medicine, corruption and naxalism, the last I saw of Baba Ramdev was him being escorted back to his car guarded by armed security men.
Do you think Ramdev’s ideas and philosophies are a change from other political parties or groups? Should the ‘aam admi’ vote for him?