Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dim Wit Yogi Alarm

 If alarm bells were not already ringing all over India about Baba Ramdev, his 3rd June speech at the Ramlila Grounds in Delhi would be reason enough to sound them.

But before I get to the speech, let me remind people who the guy is.

He was born Ramkishan Yadav in a village in Haryana in 1965, attended school nearby until the 8th Standard and then went to study Yoga (and supposedly Sanskrit) at a "gurukul" in Khanpur, Haryana.

After school he set himself up in business teaching yoga and selling herbal cures and did very well. So well, in fact, as to be able to pay Aasthana Television, one of the first Indian "religious channels" to begin broadcasting (in 2000), to schedule his yoga show early in the morning. That show got him a cult following not only in India but in many places where the diaspora got used to watching him.

Despite controversies -- Brinda Karat accused him in 2007 of mixing animal products with his supposedly vegetarian potions, and every now and then someone accuses him of claiming to cure cancer, diabetes and AIDS -- Ramdev has continued to do well.

His early investment in potions has paid off handsomely, and now there is a Patanjali Ayurveda College, a Patanjali Chikitsalaya, a Yoga Gram (village), Go-Shala (cow shelter), a Patanjali Herbal Botanical Garden, and an Organic Farm, all operating under the aegis of the nonprofit Patanjali Yog Peeth. The group's publication, Yog Sandesh, is said to have a million readers in 11 languages.
In the summer of 2009 the Peeth was was given Trust status in Britain too; it took control of a small island off Scotland bought for £2 million by two of his fans, Sam and Sunita Poddar. No one seems to have been curious enough at this enormous act of generosity to look into where exactly the money came from; going by Press reports, the Poddars run nursing homes.

Less than a year later, in March 2010, after repeatedly denying for many years that he had any political ambitions, Ramdev announced his intention to set up a political party to contest every seat in the Lok Sabha. He named the party Bharat Swabhiman Andolan and its aims were set out as follows: 

100% voting
100% nationalist thought,
100% boycott of foreign companies and adoption of swadeshi,
100% unification of the people of the nation and
100% yoga-oriented nation.

That isn't  Ein folk, ein land, ein Fuhrer" but close enough, especially as the support crew for Ramdev's "fast unto death" ostentatiously includes the RSS with its bully staves and khakhi-shorts. It should also be mentioned that the ideologue who partnered wih Ramdev to launch Bharat Swabhiman Andolan, Rajiv Dixit, upped and died of an apparent heart attack a few months later. He was 43. Hindutva types seem to think he was murdered. My own conspiracy theory about the situation is that someone is trying to get an all-India fascist movement started using the dimwit Swami as tool. Who might that someone be? The Scottish island seems to point to the involvement of our old pals at MI-6. Ramdev without his ideological mentor should be easy for them to control, for he seems to grasp reality at the level of painting by numbers. The 3 June speech at the Ramlila Grounds should settle any doubts about the level of his IQ. Excerpts (from a translation posted by

"Today America is a superpower, UK, Germany and France are superpowers…but we forget that all these countries are in crores of debt. What does this mean? This is actional tax. (sic) They have gained this money by exploiting poor countries like India. All the corrupt people in India who have not been faithful to 'Bharat Mata' will not want black money to come back.  … If black money is brought back in this country, no one will go hungry, no one will be without a livelihood. Our currency will be stronger than the dollar or pound. I want to see that day soon… the currency should stand at $1=Rs 50. I want to see an India like that. When we bring back black money, this will be possible. Our country's pride will rise. … "

Okay, turn on all alarms now, also the flashing lights.

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