Baba Ramdev also known as Swami Ramdev is a famous yoga guru from the holy city of Haridwar in India. He is a well known religious guru famous for his basic yoga techniques. There is no doubt the people in Indian have forgotten yoga but the Baba has totally transformed the way Indians think of yoga. Today yoga has almost become synonymous with the guru. It is said that if Patanjali was the person who discovered yoga techniques, it was Guru Ramdev who took it to the homes of the people. Basically today he has popularised basic yoga techniques to such as extent that when we think of yoga we think of him.
However in recent times, Baba Ramdev has taken up politics. It was on the 4th of June 2011 that he decided to set up a camp for his followers in Delhi. The aims of the camp were unknown but most was guessing it was some sort of demonstration. He started a fast. His demands were to bring in laws that would give strict punishment to those who were involved corruption, preventing tax payments, hording black money in foreign banks. He also demanded that the black money stashed in foreign banks be brought home and distributed among the people. In simple terms his demands were to stop corruption in India.
However this did not go very well with the ruling Congress Party headed by Sonia Gandhi with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. During the day of the fast on the 4th of June 2011, ministers from the government went to see the Baba and ask him to back down and scrap his idea of the fast. There is no doubt that the government was scared as he had mass following amongst the people of India. However the government was unable to dissuade the Baba from undergoing the fast and he went to the Ram Leela Maidan in Delhi where the camp was set up.
Throughout the day, he fasted and gave speeches and asked for this demands. Unfortunately the government ministers in a quick turnaround started hurling false claims against the guru. Some ministers even went to the extent of calling him names and a fake holy man. Obviously this did not go down very well amongst his followers. As this was telecasted live in most news channels, many from all over India starting pouring in Delhi. It is not known how many people were present at the camp. Baba’s supporters claim it was 1.5 million people while government claims not more 10,000 people.
Nonetheless, as the day went by, more and more eminent people from all walks of life from journalists, ex-police persons, movie stars all gave their support for Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption movement. However, after 1.30am in the morning of 5th June 2011, the Delhi police came and started tear-gassing the people, started throwing stones, using batons to drive the sleeping men, women and children. The Baba too had to run for cover but was arrested and taken to a secret location and released in the morning. There was a dramatic set of events that will go down in Indian history similar to the emergency days of Indira Gandhi. Many have described this crack down as a barbaric and unnecessary.
Nonetheless, Baba Ramdev has started a revolution on corruption in India and the movement is taking momentum.