Ramdev, the yoga teacher who wants to clean up the political Augean stables, has turned out to be a rotten apple in more ways than one. His undignified behaviour on Saturday night when the police went in to get him is farcical and shameful. He did not show the composure that was expected of a man who practises yoga, nor the grace of a man who pretends to fight for righteousness in public life. He jumped into the crowd, tried to escape from the clutches of the police dressed as a woman. And through his intemperate speech at the Ramlila grounds as well as at Hardwar, he showed that he was no man of yoga in the first place.
The UPA government is more than sheepish, and understandably so, because they dealt with a man who lacks stature of any kind.
Is Anna Hazare a better man than Ramdev? He appears to be so at least on the face of it. But he too shows that he has no grasp of the real problems at hand. The most disappointing man was the Karnataka Lok Ayukta, Santosh Hegde, who seems to lack a sense of judgment.
There are too many charlatans like Ramdev in the New Age and alternative medicine bazaar. There is no way of wishing them away. They will always be there. Unfortunately, ordinary people, including the educated ones, turn to them in moments of weakness and desperation, and sometimes even against their better judgment. But sooner than later, the likes of Ramdev stand exposed. Sometimes, they manage to survive. All that one can do is to be sceptical of the pretenders, who wear saffron robes and use it as a bargain counter. That is why, Adi Shankara, or someone of his name, had written in the Bhajagovindam verses, "Jatilo moondi lunchita keshah, kaashaayambara bahukrita veshah...(They with matted locks and wear saffron robes as a disguise...)And this verse was written in the 8th century of the Common Era (CE)if the official datings are to be followed. There were saffron-robed charlatans as far back as sixth century Before the Common Era (BCE), when Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, and Gautama Buddha proclaimed their tenets. These two great teachers came across many charlatans in their time.
Ramdev has come in for scrutiny because of his intervention in the political sphere.
The BJP, the main opposition party, wants to invest a lot of its political capital on Ramdev, unwilling to learn a lesson from the UPA government's bad experience with the man. It would appear that the BJP too would not learn until it burns its fingers too.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Ramdev, bad advertisement for yoga, lacked composure, lacked grace, quite a charlatan
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