Is Baba Ramdev’s Movement Politically Motivated? Is It Good For The Masses?

Posted on June 3, 2011 in Editor's Picks, The Opinionated, YKA Editorials

By Anshul Tewari:

If only fasts could root out corruption, we would have been an honest nation.

After Anna Hazare it is Baba Ramdev’s turn to come to the limelight with his fasting strategy against the black money stored in Swiss bank accounts. Beginning June 4th, Ramdev will fast to act against the Government and put pressure on them to bring back the black money stored in swiss bank accounts.

The board displayed outside the Ram Leela maidan, which talks only about a Yog Shivir.

While he will fast only for 14 hours on June 4, Ramdev has already been circled with allegations that his move is politically motivated and is nothing but creating a ruckus for the UPA Government. Moreover, this fast does not seem be all that apolitical, and his supporters seem to be confused. Ramdev has been a known supporter of Hindutva ideologies and this time too, support from RSS has raised many questions. A report in NDTV shows how the people who have come to attend the Satyagraha are confused whether it is a Yog shivir or a campaign against corruption. Ram Leela maidan has been booked for one month and all that the board outside of it says is that a Yoga camp is being organized by Baba, free for all. Best strategy to gather support and mobilize people.

We even asked a few people standing inside the Ram Leela maidan about the fast. One of them said, “Baba iss baar free ka Yog shivir laga rahe hain, main to wahi dekhne aya hu”. (I have to come to attend Baba’s free Yog shivir). When asked about the satyagraha, he said, “Haan, baba TV pe bol to rahe the, lekin iss baar free ka Yoga bhi sikhayenge” (Yes, baba was talking about it in the Television, but he will also teach free Yoga this time).

Moreover, this fast should not be seen as a movement for change, but rather as a part of competitive politics to challenge similar groups of the civil society and to showcase the Babas’ power to mobilize more people than anyone else could.

Do these campaigners have any clue of how the corruption works in India? Get real! Do you think that a downtrodden labourer living in a far flung village of Balgudia, troubled by the local police master would be able to make use of the Jan Lokpal Bill (for instance)? Do you think that the real Indian, the aam admi would care about fighting against a strong politician and possibly jeopardize his job, his meals, his house, his life? It is time to get real!

Baba Ramdev is a rich man worth millions of dollars (check this report) and still claims that all he owns is a Saffron dhoti. His property is in thousands of crores. Had he been so self-sacrificing, he would have made sure that the poor benefits from his Yoga for free. He would have donated a small amount, if not a heavy one, to the education of the poor children all over India, establish first class schools with the best teachers, worked to eradicate child labour and stop the huge sex racket going on in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Does he have any clue about the deep rooted problems of India? If they really want to change the face of the country and establish honesty in the bloods of the people here, they must pull in their resources (which they are spending on organizing lavish fasts) and put it to better use. A visit to his home-village would show you the condition his own family lives in.

The people of his village and Shankaracharya himself have stated that all this is a political move.

Baba Ramdev’s fast to protest against graft stands in contrast to the one of activist Anna Hazare not just in terms of the lavishness of arrangements but also the fast itself. (source)

CNN IBN had exposed how Babas’ board was openly collecting donations in Lakhs to fund his Satyagraha. An open support by the RSS and BJP has raised even more questions as to whether all this has been formulated and politically motivated.

Had Ramdev put the same power behind fighting for the rights of the real India, he would have been a bigger Hero. For me too! How can a man, who makes derogatory comments about peoples’ sexuality and psychology, understand the need of the hour? If only 14 hour fasts could help.

Irom Sharmila Chanu has been on a hunger strike since 2000, protesting against AFSPA in Manipur. True fighter, this lady has left no stone unturned to prove that she is the Iron lady of Manipur. She is force fed by using nasogastric intubation.

On May 20, 2011, National Alliance of People’s Movements leader Medha Patkar, seeking amendment to the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act, sat on an indefinite hunger strike in Mumbai. She ended it on the eighth day on May 27 after the Maharashtra government declared setting up of two joint committees comprising members of the civil society to look into irregularities in slum development projects. (source)

Gandhi ji, who was a leader of the masses, a supporter of non-violence, also used to fast to put pressure on the British Government. His longest fast unto death agitation lasted for 21 days once in 1933 and on another occasion in 1943.

These are the people who set examples by fighting for the real causes. They do not preach, do not demand media attention and do not make use of derogatory language to prove their point. They are not motivated by political parties or power.

Will Baba enter politics? No one knows. May be he will. But is his charm strong enough to garner votes? A question we will ponder upon in 2014.

As of  now, the reality is that this fast, like any other, looks like just another move to display the strength and mobilization power the Baba has. If he really wants to eradicate corruption, he must first start by working for the betterment of his people by engaging in social activities beyond Yoga.

We would like to know your views on the issue. Please vote below and do comment in the section below.

[poll id=”3″]

Youth Ki Awaaz

India's largest platform for young people to express themselves on critical issues - making best use of new media and online journalism.

Submit Your Story

Comments

You must be logged in to comment.

If you sign up with Google, Twitter or Facebook, we’ll automatically import your bio which you will be able to edit/change after logging in. Also, we’ll never post to Twitter or Facebook without your permission. We take privacy very seriously. For more info, please see Terms.

Ankit Dwivedi

Talking about the multi crore business trusts

1. These trusts are earning money by sale of their products in our country. What is wrong with that? They are not taking away money from the indians or depositing it in overseas.

2.Infact, they are using Indian knowledge of Ayuredic treatment( which is one of the best in the world) for preparing medicines and cosmetc items that are purely herbal and environment friendly.

3. They are giving employment to thousands of indivisuals in their firms and are paying off them well.

4. They are promoting use of Swadeshi products, that was once the dream of Gandhiji (But today, WE ARE USING ‘GANDHI’ AS A TAG OF POLITICAL MOTIVES AND ARE GIVING HIS TEACHINGS AND MOTIVES A BACKSEAT). It is not all, we are ready to RAISE VOICE AGAINST THOSE FEW, WHO ARE WORKING FOR THE CAUSE, CREATING ROADBLOCKS IN THEIR WAY,WITHOUT DISCOVERING THEIR ROLE IN NATION BUILDING.

5. We readily question motives of these trust by having a look at their financial accounts, but why don’t we present our views at the same time about multinationals selling alcohols and cosmetics in our country.

6. These trusts are involved in work of research and development in field of medical science.

So before we question their motives, we must make sure, we know enough about them….

Ankit Dwivedi

A humble request to all the youth… through this platform… Playing the role of watchdog is important and necessary, but relying on oral or written words of individuals is not enough… When we are presenting our views… We must make sure that we have done a first hand research on the issue.
Reading following words was not a good experience
” Had he been so self-sacrificing, he would have made sure that the poor benefits from his Yoga for free. He would have donated a small amount, if not a heavy one, to the education of the poor children all over India, establish first class schools with the best teachers, worked to eradicate child labour and stop the huge sex racket going on in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Does he have any clue about the deep rooted problems of India? If they really want to change the face of the country and establish honesty in the bloods of the people here, they must pull in their resources (which they are spending on organizing lavish fasts) and put it to better use.”

Donating money to NGO’s or performing fund raising programs or wearing a ‘Being human’ is all that we call social service?
1. Baba ramdev along with his thousands of supporters are involved in a variety of social activities. They are not only giving free medical service to the poors, but also organising free medical camps in most of the district in country.
2. Patanjali yogpith has a team of volenteers in every district that provide free yoga education at regional levels. Regular yoga sessions are conducted in which anyone can take part for free.
3. Baba Ramdev has opened many educational institutes as well where they are enrolling students and giving them world class education on yoga, ayurvedic practises, pranayam and physcal exercises. Also, his trust are working upon research works on our ancient epics, which are full of extraordinary techniques of living a healthy life.
4. Wherever paid yoga camps are organised, one day is kept free for the local natives who are not in state of paying even nominal charges.
5. Bharat swabhimaan is working for democratic decentralisation and 14 wings of it, which comprises of doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, teachers etc. are working as volunteer for making people politically aware at grassroots of democracy.
6. The research and development team is keen on using present day machines and techniques for utilizing our oral traditional ways. They are preserving thousands of herbs that are rare and are on edge on extinction.

Its not right to judge everybody under same umbrella… Our focus should be being good and not proving our goodness, else they would’ve promoted their activities rather than still keep on working…
Financial figures and criticism does not depict real picture of the scenario, so we must go on ground level where these works are being done.
If we have the power of pen, we should promote work of those people who are working for the welfare of human being (I am not advocating promotion of Baba ramdev or any of his trusts, but people who are doing selfless service within or outside his organisation), but most of the times we fail to do that, because people love to read criticism rather than appreciation.

Geet Purwar

What is wrong if Baba’s movement is politically motivated. Every citizen of the country has the right to enter politics. Over that his demands made are good for country that we need to focus at the moment. This article reflects negative and poor thinking ability of the writer.

Look at the good works done by his trust and himself. Over the years he has made persons aware of various social issues like Black money, corruptions, etc. His followers consists of various personalities like lawyers, doctors etc and even Dr. Subramanian Swamy himelf (writer, please google if you don’t know him. I suggest to visit http://rajivdixit.in to listen some thoughts).

Finally mr. writer don’t act like another frog leg puller. Instead if you have such guts, bring out your own movement and lets see how much change you can bring. Think positive.

Ankit Dwivedi

If fasts could not root out anything, we would have been a British owned nation…!!

Definitely, these fasts have a mass appeal…It’s not that the people leading these are getting limelight, Its the people, who readily face hurdles and yet coming and taking part in thousands.. who are going to change the destiny of this nation…as it happened nearly a century ago.

1 2 3 4

#StartTheChange

Submit your story