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Monday, June 06, 2011

Spiritual Guru or "Oppotunistic Politics"

Subhash Ghai presents NOUKADUBI, the most awaited film of the year. Watch it on Databazaar Media !!

Creepers! Jeepers! What a Sunday to be in India. Television channels played, replayed, played and then yet again replayed footage of "Baba" Ramdev's unceremonious eviction from the Ramlila Grounds in Delhi. Police swooped in the wee hours of the morning with a clear "order from the top" to clear the entire grounds of Ramdev's supporters.

I knew that this was coming. I remember interviewing the Baba at the National Harbor near Washington DC where he was invited to a convention organized by  The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin,

I began by asking him that he was  a regular visitor to the US and what was it that he had to say, this time around. He looked  at the crowd around us as if to hint that what he was going to state on record should be greeted with  thunderous applause. 

Devasish ji, he began "Mera yahi sangursh rahega ki main Bharat ka jo kala dhan hai bidesho main, main uske ke liye aandolan shuru karoonga" (I will start a movement to ensure that all the money stashed away abroad should be brought back to India.)

I paused for a moment and then blurted out. "Baba , you are sounding more like a politician than a spiritual Guru." I sensed a brief spurt of anger, quickly replaced by a wry smile as he said, "if politicians fail then I will have to step in." The chairman of my television station who is an avid Baba follower looked away reminding me of Richard Burton who looked away, grimacing with a cup and saucer on his head when Audrey Hepburn shouts "Move your bloomin arse" at the races. For the record my Chairman never interfered in editorial matters and the interview was broadcast without edits.

So when the Baba announced his fast unto death, I was not surprised, only amused. Like a news junkie, I was glued to the television set occasionally flipping channels to watch the unprecedented Satygraha unfold live.

I must admit that I am no fan of the Baba. He has his own private jet, an island in Scotland, a helicopter, a fleet of cars, owns a television channel and tickets his Yoga classes. The Baba has a following in lakhs and according to him all these goodies have been donated by them.

The early morning crackdown on Sunday was unjustified and unwarranted. Before resorting to firing tear gas shells and lathi charging the sleeping devotees, an announcement should have been over the PA system that Sec 144 had been enforced and that all present would have to leave within 30 minutes. Instead, the Delhi police chose confrontation. Not acceptable in a democratic country.

But again, the government's claim is that they had "credible intelligence" that there was a threat to Ramdev's life, hence the action.
This is being taken with a pinch of salt by the opposition which asserts that Ramdev's movement was a threat to a government which is going soft on corruption.

So now, we have the likes of Shusma Swaraj, Advani , Joshi and all BJP bigwigs going on a token one day fast at Raajghat and the fallout of the government action is that now India has an united opposition.

In another bizarre development Ramdev's right hand man Acharya Balkrishna who had earlier signed a deal with the government on the Baba's behalf has suddenly gone missing. Reports say that he is a criminal from Nepal and had obtained an Indian passport by dubious means.

Now the political bickering starts in a country seeped in corruption..but with a growing economy. India, now can ill afford to get distracted by a Baba and the government should pull up it socks and govern...and govern well.

Subhash Ghai presents NOUKADUBI, the most awaited film of the year. Watch it on Databazaar Media !!

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