Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
[I had a blog Aagan Says previously. But in a moment of emotional foolery i deleted the blog without taking backup, and posts between May-August were lost. I am going to REPOST those again. Today i post an article i had written about the Team Anna and Baba Ramdev and their farce of fasts in July].
A trend started by Kareena Kapoor in India has caught the fancy of old men. Fast. Yes you heard it right. Fast. No, not driven by figure consciousness but spurred into action by their conscience to rid the nation of corruption, people are now taking turns to fast.
No one in India is unaware of the huge sums of money stashed away in bunkers in the lush greeneries of the Swiss Alps. If some sections of the society are to be believed, the first family of Indian politics is also owner of some of those accounts (although the claims have never been made to courts and are still unfounded). And recently, the Guru who redeems Indians of their physiological ailments with his daily sessions of “Annulom Vilom” and “Kapalbhati” has taken it upon himself to bring public’s hard earned money back to the nation. By fasting, of course.
With trivializing the issue of corruption or the attention it needs from the people or the government, I wish to register my voice of dissent to the arm twisting adopted by non elected leaders who have imposed their leadership on the people of India without any distinction which sets them apart.
Yogi Maharaj Ramdev is a much celebrated teacher of the ancient Indian art of yog. While no one ever doubts his capacity as a teacher, the wealth that he has amassed thanks to his marketing yoga, has surely become an eye sore for many in India. A campus for his “Patanjali” centre for yoga where he “cures” cancer, AIDS and homosexuality “patients”, at Haridwar would put even campuses of Oxford or Cambridge to shame. The ascetic Baba owns islands off Mauritius, is the possessor of acres of land in the US of A and his assets amount to almost thousands of crores (although there is no OFFICIAL word on it). However, his claim that all the money he owns is showered on him by his million disciples, is difficult to digest.
If anyone has watched the film “Sivaji” starring Rajnikanth, (s)he has surely learnt a way to legalise black money. The finesse with which Sivaji collected all black money, transferred all that to different people across the globe and then made them “donate” it to his “organization”, does give the method a degree of credibility. And we surely cannot ignore the fact that “donations” could be black too.
But his dubious financial status is not why I am against his war on corruption. Ramdev is a symbol of the ideas that repel me. An opponent of economic liberalization, anti modern scientific progress, proud of centuries old culture to an extent of resisting any change to the archaic thoughts, a self confessed proud homophobe, a misogynist and a “proud Hindu Indian”, Ramdev poses threat to the liberalization of the idea of India. Hence, empowering him in a battle as crucial as fight on corruption would mean entrusting India’s future to his hands, which would be suicidal to say the least. Moreover, the Baba who claims he has no political ambitions, had plans to launch an all India party on June 4th itself (although the plan was postponed due to some reasons). On top of that, this unopinionated sage also donated money for a national party’s poll campaigns in 2009 parliamentary elections.
With such dubious political and ideological achievements under his belt, I fathom, Ramdev is not the right candidate to lead India in this battle. Moreover, the publicity campaign that he has taken up, starting with the fasting drama, that too on a weekend, with lavish grand preparations akin to an impending marriage in a business tycoon’s family, hardly provide him with any credibility. The FASTer India did away with such farcical attempts at vote banks, the steeper would India’s growth curve be.
We all can be a part of the battle against corruption. We just need the resolve to fight it in our own lives. Pinning all blames on government, we cannot escape the loop of justice. If the system were to be overhauled, we would need a shake up too. A known enemy is better than a unknown friend. Hope we choose the imperfect diamond and not the perfect rock.