Baba Ramdev: A punching bag for communists, seculars & media?
It is unfortunate that Nehru & Indira Gandhi, in spite of practicing & benefiting from Yoga, never thought of promoting it to the masses. Probably due to pressure from leftists, they had to suppress any form of cultural movement/revolution which could bring Yoga to the masses.
Although we had some of the greatest Yoga Gurus (like BKS Iyengar, Yogananda Paramahansa, Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, Pattabhi Jois), most of them either went to the US where Americans were welcoming them with open arms or limited themselves to the Indian urban elite who could afford hefty monthly “coaching” fees.
However, by the early 2000s, thanks to a baba who chose to go mainstream, India began to witness a subtle Yoga revolution. He was Baba Ramdev. With the proliferation of cable TV which had become affordable to majority of the Indians, Baba Ramdev used every possible opportunity to bring awareness of Yoga. His association with Aastha channel helped him bring Yoga & Pranayam directly into the drawing room of millions of Indians and there was no stopping.
This apparently had not gone down well with “secular” Congress & Communists and pressure was building up to suppress this revolution. As Baba Ramdev’s popularity grew leaps & bounds, the communists could not stand it any longer, and in 2006, Brinda Karat (communist leader) accused Baba Ramdev of using “human bones” in his ayurvedic products.
Within 2 months, the communists had to eat crow, as the investigations revealed that the accusations were baseless.
Since then, the media, seculars & communists have been been hand in glove, not sparing any opportunity to launch scathing attacks against Baba Ramdev, mostly at the cost of manipulating information to exploit popular sentiment (especially among leftists) to further their agenda and had given him a new title: “Controversial guru”.
In 2009, an island gifted to the baba by his devotees snowballed into a major controversy.
An investigation was called to look into the “controversial island” 6 years ago which has still not been able to legally prove any charges against him.
Meanwhile, talking about media, it has always been on the offensive against Ramdev, misreporting his statements, attributing wrong websites to him, to portray him as a dumb, insensitive maniac. For example, in 2006, media planted a story of Ramdev’s comments on AIDS and attributed it to a website which does not belong to him.
As we can see from the above news screenshot, the newspaper quotes it from a website which is not officially associated with Ramdev. Moreover, while quoting from the monthly magazine, it be noted that the statement clearly says experiments are still being conducted, but the newspaper sensationalized it with a misleading headline to peddle lies against him.
Finally, Ramdev had to hold a press conference to point out this misreporting.
Whether Yoga (& Pranayama/Meditation) can cure cancer or not is certainly debatable, but extensive research in western world over the last few years have been gradually accepting that Yoga can actually heal cancer survivors. Doctors who wanted to take on Ramdev legally had to later drop the idea when scientific community also started talking in the same tone as that of Ramdev.
Following are some updates from National Geographic & Science Alert publication:
(Please note that I am not trying to claim related to health sciences or cure of diseases, nor am I supporting any claim which is not backed by evidences, but only pointing out that there has been extensive ongoing research on this subject and that is exactly what even Ramdev has been saying, but has been notoriously misreported by media most of the times)
There have been attempts to defame Baba Ramdev by hiring a look-alike and circulate images of the look-alike dancing with glamorous girls.
In Oct 2014, several Indian newspapers carried out false reports of Ramdev claiming cure for ebola, and even eminent journalists started making a mockery of the baba on social media, without verification. Apparently, it was a claim made by website which was not associated with Ramdev, but the media has no problem in using an irrelevant site’s claim to use the baba as their punching bag. Finally, Ramdev himself had to participate in social media to debunk their propaganda.
Recently, there was an outrage over Ramdev’s ayurvedic offering called “Putrajeevak Seed” which was misinterpreted as “Son bearing pill”, thereby labeling him a sexist. It was a naive controversy because the term Putrajeevak is the ayurvedic & botanical name in which putra just means offspring and does not refer to any particular gender. Also, that herb was always called “putrajeevak”, has been recommended by ayurvedic specialists for thousands of years and today several MNCs are selling it across the world under the same name (Putrajeevak). Hence, creating a controversy out of it now by interpreting putra as son (hence sexist), as needless as creating a controversy over something like “Aam Aadmi Party” because Aadmi is interpreted as male (hence sexist).
I had explained it in detail in a recent post as follows:
The list of attacks against Ramdev is endless. The Congress party whose president whose educational qualification has always been a matter of controversy leaves no stone unturned in attacking Ramdev over his qualification. There have been abuses in the past due to instigation by Congress Govt against him. Despite all the clarification over the Putrajeevak herb ayurvedic naming convention, the communists still want him to be prosecuted.
However, in spite of all the attacks & humiliations meted out at him, he has always come out unscathed, stronger & larger. From an unknown baba in 1990s to a popular Yoga guru in 2000s to a Yoga (and ayurveda) empire moghul, he has certainly come a long way, despite being the favorite punching bag for communists, seculars & media.
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