Baba Ramdev is sitting on fast unto death at the Ram Leela Ground of Delhi. Thousands of his devotees have already arrived in the city. Baba want to change India and bring the illicit Indian money in the foreign banks and asking the government to declare that a national asset. Baba also want Hindi and regional languages be promoted at our educational institutions.He is also calling for a ‘direct’ election of the prime minister. He talks of Lokpal but also want to exclude the prime minister and Judiciary.
Well, the intent of Baba are not exactly known as India’s parallel economy of illicit or illegal money does not confine to abroad only. Huge sum exists in India in the form of tax theft by the big business, film stars, the cricketers as well as the political class. Most importantly, India’s biggest money minting machine and tax heaven happen in the name of ‘religion’ and ‘public sentiments’. All the religious places use charity work to grab big land and huge tax exemption. Baba’s devotees have collected huge sum. Given the nature of facilities provided for the ‘satyagrahis’ in Delhi, Gandhi would cry if he had seen such luxurious babas preaching morality and austerity to others while enjoying smooth ride in Land rover.
It is also important for us to understand that Baba and likes of him use the middle class frustration to set their own agenda. It is nothing but politics of blackmail. Can we change our political system by a fast by a baba and his devotees. Just because you have a mass following does not allow you to hijack the political system we inherited after lot of debates. Our constitutional forefathers were not unknown to the threat to India and provided us opportunities of amending the constitution if something is not up to our modern day need.
Baba’s platform is dominated by religious people, most of them have deep rooted prejudices in their minds. Already songs like Bharat Mata Kee Jai are in the air, which means that Baba and his followers feel those who disagree with them are not the children of Bharat Mata. Why do they want to communalise the entire thing.
And finally, corruption is a serious issue. Baba should also inform us how he became such a big person. He is a brand and has huge ashrams in different places. Why do your babas need such huge space to live ? If he want to do politics, he must come and openly say that he want to join the politics. People come to learn Yoga from him and not politics. It is important for our people to understand that Baba should focus on his work on Yoga and leave the political space for secular forward looking people. We should look forward. While none can stop any body to form a political party, entry of religious people into politics is a threat to our pluralistic secular society. They come in the garb of preaching moral and spiritual values and end up in violating that very principle. Moreover, they harp on the past and glorify every action of the past. We need to learn from the past which may not be golden all the time. If we as Indian start honoring dissent and differences, it will strengthen our society and at the end make us a stronger nation.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
A human rights activist, writer and film maker, VB is widely traveled in India and abroad and have spoken at the various national and international conferences.