June 11, 2011 7:24:17 PM
Previously, the Congress was able to brazen out scandalous truth through bullying, deceit, lying and political cunning. Now it hopes that by slandering Ramdev and the RSS, it will be able to put a lid on mounting allegations of corruption against the party and the Government.
The world is a battlefield. All great gurus and avatars have incarnated themselves throughout the ages to help the forces of good, which in India are called ‘dharmic’, against forces which are inimical to the Evolution of Humanity and which are called ‘adharmic’, or even asuric.
The concept of the asura in India is very different from the West. There is no such thing here as the black and white renderings of American cartoons or the Christian idea of a benevolent god and a cruel devil. Keen observers of human history may have noticed that very often asuric forces take on the face of goodness and charity, or use half truths or semi-lies to appear good. But in the end, the harm they do should make them recognisable to all.
In this light, we can discard Mr Digvijay Singh: He incarnates the world of sycophancy, which is a perversion of the Indian bhakti tradition. Or even Mr Kapil Sibal, a more intelligent man, but who got so perverted by a lawyer’s mind that lying has become a second nature to him. History will probably judge Mr Manmohan Singh as a weak man, who was ready to close his eyes on everything just to stay in power.
But what about Ms Sonia Gandhi? What are the forces which are using her, maybe even in spite of her? Let us discard all those evil avatars attributed to her, such as her being a KGB or a Vatican agent, rumours which have been floating around for a long time. We should not also look at her personality, what she projects, or what people say about her, not even at her deeds. No, it is the visible consequences of her overt and covert actions which should tell us a story. What are the consequences of her being the unelected supreme authority in India since many years, one whose one word or glance can have innocent people teargassed and beaten up?
Well the first sign is the increase in terrorist onslaughts since she came to power; the 26/11 terror attacks and the inability of the Government to respond to them — on the spot, and later — are the best symbols of her presence at the top. There has also been a tremendous increase in Christian conversions since she came to power, a radicalisation of Islam in India and a galloping Westernisation, which is fast eradicating Indian culture in cities and major towns.
But to my mind, it is the attack on Hindu gurus, which is the most representative sign of her adharmic reign. For in Ms Gandhi’s India, Hindu gurus are not only mocked at, but they can also be imprisoned, attacked, killed one day. Nobody would dare touch an imam if he preaches secession, nor even a Christian bishop, but gurus are fair game today.
Now Swami Ramdev, who incarnates an old tradition of spirituality in India, of all these gurus who throughout the ages have come to teach and preserve this ancient knowledge which takes the form of hatha-yoga, pranayama, meditation or Ayurveda. Is he perfect? How to judge a guru, who is to grade them? Sri Aurobindo, in one of his aphorisms, said something like this: “Even if god were to manifest himself in front of thy very eyes, you would not recognise him.” I am not able to judge Ramdev, but I can say with confidence that what he teaches is good, because it has benefited thousands of people.
Why then is he run down so much by the Congress whose leaders have gone as far as calling him a thug? Well it’s an old British tradition which has been taken up by the Congress and part of the media. French historian Daniélou summed it up well in his History of India: “The British-controlled Congress utilised to the hilt its English-speaking Press to present the Hindu Mahashaba, which attempted to counterbalance the Muslim League’s influence, or the even more maligned Ram Rajya Parishad, as barbaric, fanatical, ridiculous; and the British media in turn, took-up, as parrots, the cry of their Indian counterparts.” (Histoire de l’Inde)
In the case of Swami Ramdev, there are also accusations of an ‘empire’ worth hundreds of crores and even an island. Well a guru has to decide: Either he stays in a cave and looks after his own salvation, or if he has come to help humanity, he will have first a few disciples, then a few hundreds, eventually thousands. He has to feed them, organize courses, satsangs, launch sewa projects. You need money for all that. Donations come, bigger and bigger, as the good work of this particular guru comes to be known. The funds have to be managed, more and more money is needed and gurus end up being like the head of a multinational corporation, with a hundred projects, all sewa-oriented, to manage. I have seen it at close hand.
The fact that Ramdev got manhandled is nothing new. Gurus come to save humanity, but men either mock them or even crucify them. That is also in the nature of things.
So who will win this battle of Kaliyuga? Sri Aurobindo came to announce the Supramental: He said that as there was man after the animal, so would there come a superman after man. Not the superman of the Hollywood series, but a man who is closer to beauty, love, compassion. One of the main attributes of the supermind, he stated, would be truth.
This is why at the moment in India, the magnifying glass of truth is put upon men and events and falsehood comes out in the form of the stupendous scams that have happened in the last few years.
Previously, the Congress was able to brazen it out, through bullying, deceit, lying and political cunning. Will it be able to do so this time? We have seen how it hopes that by slandering Ramdev and his very nice assistant, planting rumors, using the eternal scarecrow of the RSS (those old fuddy-fuddies, who most of the time could not harm a fly), it hopes to put a lid on all the suspicions which are hanging over their head.
For the first beneficiary of the 2G or the CWG scams, is not the DMK, but the Congress. They are the ones who have institutionalised political corruption, the bribing of parliamentarians and elections which cost hundred of crores to elect a single MP.
If truth does triumph, then Ms Gandhi’s role will also come in the open, along with the truth about Italian middleman Ottavio Quattrocchi and the enormous covert funds the Congress is believed to be controlling. It may take time, but karma is inevitable. That is also an ancient Indian truth.
June 06, 2011 8:55:54 AM
Annapurna Jha | New Delhi
After a midnight crackdown on yoga guru Ramdev and his supporters, the Government on Sunday shut the door on further negotiations with him and let loose its Ministers and Congress leaders to tarnish Baba’s image by calling him a “thug and RSS agent” and questioning the source of his funds.
The move aims to check the political damage caused by the unleashing of brute force against peaceful demonstrators and its all-round condemnation. The Congress hoped that by dubbing Baba an RSS agent, the party could discredit him and at least bank on the support of the minority community.
The smear-Baba campaign had apparently been approved of by the top leadership of the Congress, which was earlier uncomfortable about the four Cabinet Ministers receiving the yoga guru at the airport.
However, with the yoga guru openly targeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi charging her of being “insensitive” to the sufferings of women and children of India due to her foreign origin, Sonia called an emergency meeting of the senior party leaders in the evening to devise a damage-control strategy. The meeting, attended by Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, decided to send the message to States to confront the challenge posed by “selfish” political forces which are trying to weaken the constitutional norms,” party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said.
The decision to go whole hog against Baba has been taken as party realises that forcibly evicting Baba from Delhi has exposed it not only to criticism from its political adversaries but even from the civil society group with social activist Anna Hazare once again deciding to go a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar on June 8 seeking an answer from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against this attack on the democracy of the country.
The Government is conscious of the fact that its flip-flop on Baba — first giving him a red carpet welcome with four Ministers going to airport to meet him and then ultimately unleashing thousands of police officials on sleeping demonstrators — has made its position vulnerable.
However, adopting a brave face, the Government tried to defend itself on the ground that Ramdev’s hunger strike was a “political campaign” which could have created law and order problem in the national Capital as a large number of people had started gathering at Ramlila Maidan and terrorists could have infiltrated into them. It also charged Baba of violating the undertaking given while taking permission for a yoga camp and tried to discredit the yoga guru for going back on the written promise made to the Government after five-hour long talks with Union Ministers Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahay that he would make an announcement on Saturday afternoon about calling off “tapa” by June 6.
“It was not a yoga platform, but a political platform. The law and order had to be enforced in Delhi. We did not want any disruptions in that,” Kapil Sibal said and charged Ramdev with not being a trustworthy person as he had “cheated” the Government and also his followers by not honouring his commitment about calling of fast on June 6 made to the Government and not revealing it to his supporters.
Realising there was little chance of compromise with Ramdev now, the Government said that no further negotiations will be held with the yoga guru.
“There is nothing left to discuss (with Ramdev). On what issue we will talk. Whatever talks had to happen have already happened,” said Sahay, who had played a crucial role in negotiations with the yoga guru.
Though terming the police action to remove Ramdev as “unfortunate”, Pranab Mukerjee, who had played a crucial role in the Government’s decision, defended it on the ground that had Baba confined his protest to three days, it would not have happened.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal also used the same plea of maintaining law and order and criticised Ramdev for sharing dais with RSS leader Sadhvi Ritambhara in a communally sensitive area of Old Delhi. He also charged the yoga guru with not being honest.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has been targeting Ramdev since beginning, intensifying his attack and termed Baba as a “thug (fraud)” who wanted to “fool the Government and people.” He justified police action against him and demanded that Baba should be probed. However, he tried to distance the party from the crackdown saying that it was the Government decision.
But his claim was refuted by Sibal, who said that the Government and the party were fully united on the police action a decision regarding which was taken on Saturday evening itself once the Baba refused to announce calling off his agitation. “Absolutely 100 per cent. No such action takes place without 100 per cent unity in the Government and the party,” he said.
June 06, 2011 8:48:17 AM
Vikram Rautela/Sunil Kumar | Haridwar/Jolly Grant
Satyagrah shifts to Haridwar
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has announced that he would continue with his fast at Patanjali Yogapeeth in Haridwar after being returned from UP-Uttarakhand border enroute to Delhi. He announced that he would visit Delhi after the 15-day externment was over. Equating the police raid with the action by the Communist Government at Tiananmen Square in China, Baba told the media here that even the British Government never handled Gandhian protests in the manner that the Manmohan Government had done. He claimed attempts were made to buy him over and he would reveal the details at opportune time.
Reaching Patanjali Yogapeeth at noon on Sunday after the midnight crackdown at his protest site in the national Capital, a visibly shaken yoga guru alleged that there was a conspiracy to kill him. Claiming that he fears for his life, Ramdev said, “If anything happens to me, Sonia and Congress will be responsible for it.”
Attacking Congress president Sonia Gandhi while narrating the Sunday morning’s incident, Ramdev said, “She is running the Government by remote-control. Though she is daughter-in-law of this country, she does not love the citizens of this country. This was proved by the barbarism and atrocities inflicted by the police on innocent people, including a large number of women and children in the early hours of Sunday.”
Ramdev rejected the Government’s charge that he misused the permission given to him for a yoga camp at the ground, saying his agitation was also part of yogic elements. Ramdev accused the Central Government of betraying him and trying to kill him. “They wanted to kidnap me and kill me or make me disappear,” a teary-eyed and sore-throated Ramdev said, while addressing a Press conference in Patanjali Yogapeeth, wearing the same white-coloured woman salwar kameez which he tried to use as a camouflage and escape from the excesses of the Delhi Police.
He also accused the Government and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal of cheating him. “Kapil Sibal is a liar. He cheated and misled us,” Ramdev said, adding that Acharya Balkrishna was forced to sign the letter about ending the fast by June 6. “They went back on their word to start a physical and technical investigation into the amount of black money stashed abroad because their hands are not clean. In the past few years of Congress rule at the Centre, at least `40 lakh crore of ill-gotten money has been laundered through the Mauritius route,” said Baba.
Calling police action inhuman, Ramdev said, “The atrocities unleashed over one lakh people were inhuman and barbaric. They did not even spare women and children, who were dragged and beaten up right in front of my eyes.”
Ramdev accused the Government of not being serious about discussing issues of corruption and said when he stood his ground a “scheming and cunning” Kapil Sibal cheated him. “He told us that if Anna Hazare shared dais with us the talks with the Government will break down,” said Baba on the pressure which was brought on him by the Government.
Telling that how he tried to escape the “brutalities” at Ramlila Maidan by wearing a white women’s attire, Ramdev at times almost broke into tears as he alleged that he was nearly strangled with his scarf by the policemen. He even showed the swelling on his neck.
Calling June 4 the worst night of his life, Ramdev said, “I get goose bumps, when I think about the incident. The police action on more than one lakh innocent people is a blot on democracy and a black day will be observed across the country on Sunday and Monday against this.” Ramdev also alleged that there was a conspiracy to arrest him and eliminate him in an encounter. “The Government was planning to do another Jallianwala Bagh on Saturday,” he said.
The yoga guru claimed that they were pressurised to give the letter about ending the fast by June 6. “We were told the otherwise we will have to face dire consequences,” he said. Asked about allegations raised against him by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, he termed them as “baseless and irresponsible”. “I am serving the people for the past 20 years. The donations given to me by people is not black money, but the fruit of their labour and hard work. I have maintained account of all these donations,” he said.
On accusations of RSS remote-controlling his agitation, he said his campaign had got support from various quarters, including TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. “What is the problem if someone supports us? They (Government) should rather answer why all these happened,” he said when persistently asked about Sangh Parivar backing.
Clad in white lady’s outfit, Ramdev was welcomed by his enthusiastic supporters at the Patanjali Yogapeeth with garlands and a shower of rose petals. Ramdev was driven to his ashram after being flown in a special flight from Delhi to the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun. Baba Ramdev was flown here on Sunday from Delhi by a special plane after police swooped down at Ramlila Maidan and tried to break his hunger strike at the Ramlila Maidan in a mid-night operation.
On his arrival at the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, Ramdev, who was alone escorted by a DCP, an ACP and a Sub Inspector of the Delhi Police, was received by Dehradun SP (Rural) GC Dhyani around 11 am. To avoid media interaction, police had brought vehicle inside the airport to receive Baba from the Delhi Police on the tarmac itself.
As they received Baba from their Delhi Police counterpart, Dhyani asked “where should I take you?” To which Baba replied, “I want to go to Patanjali Yogapeeth.” SP Dhyani again asked that the media wanted to talk to him to which Baba said, “I will speak to them in Patanjali.” While coming out of the airport he waived to mediapersons present as his cavalcade of three vehicles sped away to Haridwar.