By Ashna Mishra:
Baba Ramdev — a man who grasped the nation’s attention as the one possessing miraculous yoga powers , as the one who came to be known as Aastha channel’s wake-up call – has gradually transformed into an anti-corruption activist. Not only has the low-income man risen economically and popularity-wise but has also shifted his core activity from yog to social activism. This shift in the core activity raises questions in the inquisitive part of my brains.
Coming straight to the point, I, like many others, am strongly against Baba’s involvement in the Indian politics. India Today’s headlines on 17 July 2012 read — “Baba Ramdev might enter active politics” — further announcing that the final decision would be based upon the success of the agitation scheduled in August. On the contrary, four days later, the news flashes that the saffron-clad warrior would never contest elections. However, this is not the first time that questions have risen on his future involvement in active politics. Rather, this is actually a question on various minds for more than a year now.
Moreover, where on one hand we cannot tend to be oblivious to Ramdev’s Hindutva culturalism, on the other hand his support for the “reservation for the Christian and Muslim Dalits” shows the communal angle attached to his policy. He just seems to win the favour of the weaker sections of the society so as to broaden his area of popularity. The sudden rise of Swami Ramdev on the contemporary public life and the subsequent rise in popularity coupled with the involvement in political issues (yes, you have read it right! The problem of corruption and the crusade against black money is not just a social issue but a deep-rooted political issue) have raised even more questions.
There is never an answer to ‘whom does Baba Ramdev represent?’ and thus the problem of representation continues further making it appear more like an on-stage political drama. Apart from this, I feel he is taking an unfair advantage of the sentiments of the people (basically his followers) attached to him. For instance, take Amitabh Bachchan or Shahrukh Khan contesting and winning election. It would be more due to the people’s interest in them as against their actual credibility on the political scene.
In the end, all I would say is, ‘when you’re not sincere to the cause, stick to what you’re actually meant to do’.