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Swami Nigamanand’s death shines light on destruction of our Heritage

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Swami Nigamanandji’s death due to fasting is a big shock. While politicians play one upmanship and try to find advantage even in death, what is disturbing is that practically no one knew about Swami Nigamanandji’s fast. Why the media did not pick up on this story for four long months is a question we need to ask. Why VHP did not highlight it?  I do not know if they did but I have not seen any reports on it.

What is happening with our religious places which are also our cultural heritage sites is very troublesome. Whether it is the quarrying in the Ganga basin in Haridwar, building of a dam on Gangaji in earthquake prone area or illegal mining of Vrajbhumi, what is happening is the permanent loss of history and cultural heritage.  This is no less than the menace of corruption and black money. The fight against corruption and black money would be won some day but by the time our nation wakes up to the disaster of ruins visited on our historical and cultural places, if it ever does, it would be too late. We can blame the Muslims invaders for vandalizing our shrines and centers of learning and rightly so, but who do we have to blame but our own Hindu people and politicians for the naked aggression on our heritage because of their insatiable greed?

I am grieved by the death of Swami Nigamanandji but I have come to a conclusion (and Dr. Subramanian Swamy said the same thing when Baba Ramdev broke his fast) that you can use fast as a weapon only against those who have a heart. In today’s aasuric and adharmic world, one has to use the appropriate weapons as were used by Shree Krishna and Pandavas.  I am glad that Shree Krishna did not advice Yudhisthir to go on fast against Kauravas.  Come to think of it, how many instances you can find in our scriptures where people went on fast to right a wrong?

Gandhiji made fasting fashionable but someone rightly said that Gandhiji was successful because his adversary were Britishers; had he tried to fast against Hitler, he would have been dead long time ago.

I do not care for what Digvijay Singh says because he is no better than a puppy dog of Madam Sonia. He has no credibility to pass judgment on what Hindus are doing after calling Ramdevji a thug and referring to bin Laden as  Osamaji. The Uttarakhand government did move Swami Nigamanandji  to a hospital, just as they did with Baba Ramdev. They should have paid serious attention to Swami Nigamanandji’s demands.  It is a matter of great shame and pain that in free(?) and democratic (?), saints die because of total indifference of people in power to genuine grievances of people.

So far as the state government not stopping the quarrying is concerned, I would not pass a judgment without having all the information. When the central government is dragging its feet nay, putting all kind of road blocks in the path of having an effective Lokpal bill and bringing back the black money stashed abroad, why should we expect something different from any state government? They take their clue from their counterparts in New Delhi.

May Swamiji’s soul rest in peace and may his sacrifice not go in vain.

Swami Nigamananda, fasting to save Ganga, dies

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 14, 2011 14:50 IST

Dehradun:  As the Government and social activist Anna Hazare continue their war of words, Swami Nigmananda, who had been fasting for almost four months to protest illegal mining and stone crushing along the Ganga near Haridwar died at the Himalayan hospital in Jollygrant in Dehradun on Monday.The 34-year-old swami died at the same hospital where Ramdev was being treated until his discharge on Tuesday.Swami Nigamananda had been on a fast since February 19 this year and was forcibly taken to a local hospital in Haridwar on April 27 when his condition worsened after days of fasting. He was later transferred to the Himalayan hospital in Jollygrant earlier this month after he went into a coma and subsequently died on Monday.

“The saint was fasting for the Ganga since the last many days. He laid down his life for the Ganga. I pay my tribute to Swami Nigamananda,” Ramdev told reporters after he was discharged from the hospital.

Swami Nigamananda’s followers have asked for a CBI probe into his death alleging that he was poisoned.

A repression the rulers will rue

June 6, 2011:
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad, says an ancient proverb. This is what comes to mind in the context of the Government’s unprovoked resort to Operation No-Holds-Barred in the early hours of June 5 against Baba Ramdev and his followers at the Ramlila maidan.

While creating an impression of responding to the call of the Baba against corruption and black money, the Government had already drawn up a full-fledged Orbat for neutralising the Baba. For the meticulous planning, stealthy preparations and thorough-going execution, even the colonial, Imperial British can learn a lesson or two from Independent, democratic India’s present-day powers-that-be.

Coming to think of it, there are many uncanny similarities between the crushing of the Quit Corruption movement by the Manmohan Singh Government and two other defining moments of modern Indian history: The Quit India movement of 1942 and the infamous Internal Emergency of 1975.

The Quit India gathering at Bombay on the fateful night of August 9 was also peaceful. Mahatma Gandhi had, no doubt, called upon the British to Quit India, warning them of a ‘mass struggle on non violent lines on the widest possible scale’. But, at the same time, he had expressed his intention to first meet the Viceroy to explore a decent way out of the impasse.

As in the case of the Quit Corruption movement of Baba Ramdev, well past midnight a huge contingent of Imperial police force swooped on the Congress leaders and dragged them post-haste to railway trains standing at the ready on the platform and spirited them away to unknown destinations. One white Inspector of Police had the barbarity to bodily pull and shake the 73-year old Gandhiji so as to wake him up, and directed the blinding blaze of a five-cell torch on his face from close quarters.

REVOLTING CASES

The Internal Emergency too was similarly sprung on an unsuspecting Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Kripalini and other noble heroes who fought the British, putting up with unbearable privations, suffering and sacrifice.

A thousand leaders — outstanding patriots all who had served the country with distinction for far longer periods than Indira Gandhi — were ruthlessly rounded up well past midnight and lodged in jails at places far away from their home States, keeping their kith and kin in the dark about their fate. Even after the names of their prisons were made public, their close relations were made to undergo the mental, physical and financial torture of having to travel long distances at heavy expense to unfamiliar places if they wanted to exercise their right of meeting the detenus at prescribed intervals.

Thus, in all the three revolting cases, the fact that saintly figures (Gandhiji, Jayaprakash Narayan and Baba Ramdev) were leading the movements was of no consequence to the cruel rulers.

In all the three cases, the common ruse employed was to strike well past midnight so that the media did not get wind of the loathsome repression, and the rulers had a respite from public outrage for at least 30 hours.

In all the three cases, the rulers tried to stamp out movements demanding purity in public life and protesting peacefully against monstrous evils (slavery, authoritarian suppression of civil rights, and corruption-cum-black money) which were making a farce of the Constitution and democratic institutions.

In all the three cases, the rulers justified their indefensible excesses by resorting to calumny and vilifications against those speaking for the people.

In the case of Quit India, the British painted it as a ‘deliberate fifth columnist conspiracy’, for strengthening the Axis powers; in the case of Quit Murdering Democracy, Jayaprakash Narain was almost physically eliminated; and a sustained character-assassination of the Baba followed his launch of the Quit Corruption campaign.

What an atrocious irony that those fighting corruption are sought to be traduced and evicted from their legitimate spaces, whereas those who should have been stripped of all their unmerited positions and ill-gotten possessions and thrown into prison for good are indulging in loot and plunder with impunity, right under the noses of the UPA Government!

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/b-s-raghavan/article2079373.ece

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