Saturday, June 11, 2011


There comes a moment in every man's life, however big strategists he may be, when LOGIC is taken over by PANIC. And Baba Ramdev is not an exception to this rule. Lets see how the Baba Blackout unfolded.

It was all going great. Baba had announced a pan-India "Bhrastachar mitao satyagrah" ( Corruption Eradication Movement) on 4 June and the government was tottering under that threat. Even the president of USA never received the kind of red carpet welcome that Baba got at the Delhi Airport. 4 Cabinet ministers came down kneeling to dissuade him from going ahead with the Satyagrah. Government budged to almost all his demands even before the fast began. Such was the bonhomie that the govt and Baba mutually signed a document declaring that we have come to a common ground on most demands and govt will act on them within 2 days and what will begin on 4 June will be a 'tap' (meditation) and not an Anshan (Protest).

Unfortunately, Baba never made this understanding with the government public. It was only during Kapil Sibbal's press conference that people came to know that such a thing has already taken place and aspersions of the fast being "fixed" started surfacing.

If Baba Ramdev had made that news Public before Kapil Sibbal, the credibility of Baba and his entire Anti-corruption campaign would have only increased. But he preferred to conceal the deal in order to keep the crowd engaged! He could have said - "although govt has agreed to most of our demands but we better sit here and see if they actually deliver on that considering their abysmal track record". I doubt anyone would have left after this honest address.

Now lets fast forward to 5th June, 1:30 AM when the brutal crackdown of the satyagrah happened at Ramlila Grounds. Delhi Police, whose slogan is - For you, with you, Always! (although they never clarified who the "you" is!),  stormed into the Pandal and mercilessly beat the people, including women, elderly and children, posing no threat whatsoever to anybody. It's a clear case of breach of 'Right to peaceful protest' given to us by the Constitution.

But what doesn't go down my gullet is - why did Baba run? and that too in woman's clothes. He shouldn't have. He should have stayed there like the Captain of the sinking Titanic irrespective of the consequences. And honestly speaking, the police wasn't there to kill him, they simply couldn't have done that; that's too big a risk to take by the state. At max, they could have arrested him and that would have only given a renewed vigour to his movement. A "Jail-bharo Aandolan" (Jail filling movement) could have spurred on his call and it's even beyond my imagination what form this movement would have taken then. BUTT...... and this one's bigger than J' comes the ultimate BLACKOUT and instead of doing what everyone (including himself) expected from Ramdev, all he could do was flee only to be caught again.

One woman has lost her life in the process, several got seriously injured, while Baba is fighting against personal attacks and deteriorating health. The larger issue of corruption has been lost somewhere. However for BJP, this blackout has come with a silver lining, for it revived her political existence out of the blue! In one snap, the entire fight against corruption, hitherto a people's movement, has turned into a Political Mudslinging Festival.

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