All Swamis are not saints. Swami Ramdev is no exception. He is in fighting mood. He fought with fatigue. He loves fighting with obesity. He made people rise early morning, watch him on TV, on his own channel rather and imitate him the way he likes. His Yoga skills make him guru for many. His gurudom gets him gutsy. He can muster big crowds mainly on sponsored events. He has attained the expertise on certain ‘not so far curable diseases’, they say.
He has his own brands of medicines. He has a huge network of his stores despite Brinda Karat’s objections to his formulations. He has huge assets to Digvijay Singh’s dismay. He thinks he has cure for each and every ailment in body or the system. He finds himself good enough to take on any MNC, can stop the flow of colas and motivate people against wearing videshi clothes. He, no doubt, has done good to create Yoga awareness. This must have made some cut on medicines bill too. Fellows do become followers easily. Feet-touching crowd often make Swamis smell some sort of spiritual power within. Few incarnate themselves as Bhagwan (god) too. Deviation from their real strength gets deviated here from.
There was nothing wrong about him till he was doing and preaching Yoga. People were touching his feet and so were the politicians. He was getting common grounds, common men and women, all civic and security facilities at will. Politicians and bureaucrats would provide him more than that required for the success of his events. Swami might have some inclination somewhere in mind wearing the white khadi at some point of time. He had started talking of swadeshi long ago. He was preparing, though slowly but steadily, to get to bigger national canvass. But Anna Hazare’s initiative stole the show. He felt left out. He was not to be let down but. He aspired for the bigger stage and stature. He did some research work. But not good enough. He thought if corruption was the big issue, black money could be the better one.
Somebody must have advised him that if a big conclave is to be had one has to have small crowds crawling towards it. Advised rightly he began roaming from one town to other. He started instigating people against the black money menace. In the process he forgot what he was best at, the yoga. He would ask people, even those involved in the trade themselves, to stand up against the black money without telling them where to go next from the venue. His listeners would never know where to go and gather to do what and shout against whom? He would not speak about the legislation for he had not done his home work as Anna did on his subject. He wouldn’t even know about the relevant legislations, laws and more importantly that the Supreme Court of India is already seized off the matter.
Intention alright but one’s action has to be right too for the right reactions and responses. Swami Ramdev not only erred in strategic calculations but made him vulnerable to failures too. He must have known that no sane man would join his campaign on a matter that is already under scrutiny at the Apex court. Where he would lead them all too? Where he would get the black money from and how? How can he or his followers get them access to swiss bank accounts? Who will get account holders’ logs entered into and the details? How you can get released and carry the ‘black money’ back to India? Where you keep it and distribute amongst whom, swami ji?
He says he would hold a country wide satyagriha on the issue surprisingly he knows nothing about. This will bring about a confrontation and not the solution. He, in a way, is threatening the country. He is putting pressure on the system and agencies already involved in the process. What he desires to drag out of it? Why he needs people confront with the mechanism already in place? Why should he force the organs of the state do the job in haste under his pressure and not in the prescribed manner? Who’s he to dictate terms to the agencies working under the direct control of the Supreme Court ?
He would fight elections to cleanse the system he has been propagating for long now. We wish he does so. For two reasons. One-he would abide by his commitment if he wins and two-he would know doing left, right, straight and governance are two different skills. I’m admirer of his work on yoga. I do respect his sentiments also but not the actions on purely administrative or legal matters. He too must have faith in the system that has put Rajas behind bars and is adamant to nail the last one in list too.
Better he does what he is best at. He can start from where he is, the Haridwar. He can take up cleansing the Ganges instead. He may motivate the females following him against female feticide. He may take a leaf from Satya Sai. He can use his trust build hospitals and research institutes. Environment could be another issue. He, but, must stay out of the Apex Court’s way.
Author P.K.Palli is retired Judge of Rajasthan and Delhi High Courts.