Decoding Baba Ramdev’s Retreat

Baba Ramdev has publicly forgiven the government for its crackdown at Ramila Maidan because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the event as “unfortunate”. Ramdev has not exonerated the police action which he claims will be condemned by history. However the PM is forgiven. The Baba is ready to resume negotiations with the government. To what might be attributed this extraordinary act of magnanimity?

Two possibilities suggest themselves. The first and obvious possibility is that the heat generated by official probes into the Baba’s wealth is having its effect. The government’s long experience of using official agencies to blackmail and browbeat opponents into submission is by now legendary. However there might well also be another possibility.

As had been repeatedly pointed out in these columns there are clear signs of divisions within the Congress as well as the opposition. The cross party alignments contending with one another are causing much confusion. Circumstantial evidence indicates that broadly speaking Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the Advani setup within BJP and Anna Hazare’s group were ranged on one side. On the other side were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, RSS and Baba Ramdev. Might not this alignment explain the mixed signals that emanated from the government in addressing the Ramlila Maidan rally?

Not only did Congress general secretaries Mr. Digvijay Singh and Mr. Abhishekh Singhvi issue statements to grievously damage the parleys between Baba Ramdev and the government. The pressure on Mr. Kapil Sibal, apparently a PM loyalist, by the Baba’s waywardness led him in desperation to release the secret letter by Ramdev’s aide in order to justify himself. If the PM has to bend before 10 Janpath, surely his loyalists must have to crawl! The draconian midnight police action at Ramlila Maidan without giving any time to the peacefully sleeping protestors to respond to the revocation notice issued might also be explained by inner party conflict of the Congress. 

The Home Ministry falls under Mr. P. Chidambaram. Mr. Chidambaram, who in his own words has merely to close his eyes when Mr. Rahul Gandhi speaks to conjure the vision of the late Rajiv Gandhi, is a fierce 10 Janpath loyalist. He appears to be in fact Mr. Digvijay Singh’s most serious rival in the sycophancy stakes of the Congress Party. Mr. Chidambaram’s tension with the PM became apparent during the 2G Spectrum scam. Readers might recall that on February 19, 2011, I wrote: “During his recent press conference the PM said that the Finance Minister was informed and had cleared the decisions related to the 2G Spectrum licenses taken by the former Telecom Minister Mr. A Raja. Home Minister Chidambaram was the Finance Minister when those decisions were taken. He had denied having approved Mr. Raja’s mode of issuing licenses for the spectrum deal. So who is speaking the truth, Dr Manmohan Singh or Mr. Chidambaram?” 

Baba Ramdev’s desire to resume dialogue with the government might well be impelled by the aim of concluding an unfinished agenda. The Congress party is comparatively isolated. Could the conclusion of the unfinished agenda deliver the knockout blow to the Congress? The endgame of the soap opera being enacted to bring back black money from abroad would be of course the dramatic exposure of the Congress party VIPs. That explains the hysteria displayed by Congress leaders responding to Baba Ramdev. Would not leaders accused of receiving money from foreign governments by official foreign sources, and of holding illegal Swiss bank accounts by reputed foreign media, be in the natural course nervous at the prospect of the truth coming out about Indian black money abroad?    


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3389      Comments: 2

Comment The fear factor in kangress circle may be as follows:

- Baba Ramdev travveled across India for months tirelessly to conduct rally and awake masses against corruption & black money. Worht noticing that the masses he addressed belong to middle, lower middle and poor class. Even those not having place to live came to listen to him.

- This mass generally does not come to know about current affairs, and media has not much influence on them (as they do not watch TV channels) and mostly have no idea about black money abroad. But they are affected by corruption.

- Huge mass having opinion against corruption and current govt in office and not influenced by media is certainly a topic to wory for kangress. Because there is a large vote bank getting against it and can't be influenced by biased media.

- And lastly (as the article mentions), there is no answer availble with govt on why nothing is happening on the issue of black money abroad.

The iron got hot and now came the time to hit it, kangress does not know how to turn the iron cold neither know how to stop getting the iron hit.

I learned (through some channel) that in the whole episode, each action by kangress men, including actions and speaches by ministers, was planned and directed. Therefore, there is another theory that the command center was clueless on how to trick the movement to derail it. They took a chance that came out to be a huge miscalculation.


Next, aren't likely to turn the game dirtier and immoral to save themselves ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
07-Jun-2011 09:16 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

A lot has been written only in a few paragraphs !

1. Wealth of Baba Ramdev: (Or ealth of the trust ?)

Yoga & Ayurved are not only heritage of India but also great strength. If these did not exist today, imagine how many more centuries or millenea it would take mankind to discover them - because western approach toward medicine and spirituality take one away from the basic principles of Yoga & Ayurved.

Like me, thoudans of Indians who understand this, worry about ways to promote them, so that they can be put at par with other methods. (Yoga has no parallel but still not there at place it should be).

Government, mostly lead by kangress in last 64 years, has ignored and even discouraged promotion of Yoga & Ayurved. Private sector invests money where returns are assured, quick and huge. Putting money in promotion of Yoga & Ayurved is not attractive to them.

Even ayurved drug manufacturers started changing proportions of drug components in order to reduce costs and increase profits, causing erosion of public faith on Ayurved.

In such a scenario, one who feels duty to save and promote Indian heritage has to take huge task on his head.

To perform research and establish scientific authenticity, large investment is needed. Imagin, Patanjali yogpeeth has data to prove scientifically the outcome of certain Yogasana, Pranayam & meditation. Using these data, now Yoga can be claimed to be a scientifically proved which otherwise would be claimed a belief system by people having their own interests (including almost all west).

Ramdev started yoga promotion through TV channel and started conducting Yog Shivir across India in order to generate funds to establish research center (which normally government would have taken after independence).

Does someone find something wrong in this approach to generate funds ? I don't think so. If I am at Ramdev's place, I would also like to charge rich to generate funds to help all - rich and poor. Because there is no other way to generate such amount of money. If someone can spend Rs. 200 to watch 3 hr movie, he can certainly spend Rs. 1000 for 5 day, 3 hrs each Yoga shivir.

Donations and tax exeptions are other ways to generate funds and nothing wrong with that as well.

The research and treatment center in Haridwar not only performs research but also provides free consultations at premises as well as on call.
Their medicins are priced less than known brands in market, and those medicins are interestingly effective than other brands (mainly because other brands alter proportion of components to increase profit).

There are a few medicins I personally took and have compared with other brands, there is difference. The faith is coming back to Ayurvedic medicins because of the purity they provide in medicins !

That the research and medication center in Haridwar was planned and opened is not a new information. That Rs. 750 crore were invested to open such a center is not a new thing - it was openly aired in TV channel for a long time continuously.

Is this the way wealth hiders behave ?

Ramdev had been talking about black money abroad since long, I heard him talking about black swiss money first time in year 2005 - long before things unfold in year 2008 in Europe.
There is consistency in his talks since I have heard him.

Why should one assume that there is something wrong about the wealth created by his trust in last few years ?

And why elites in this country do not talk about the great work he has done to preserve heritage and wealth of India - Yog and Ayurved ?

ED enquiry is OK - and they need to come clean, but assuming that there is something wrong at first place is erroneous - given the backgraound described above.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
07-Jun-2011 08:52 AM

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