Tag Archives: black money

Ramdev ends nine-day-old fast: Sri Sri Ravishankar

12 Jun

Yoga guru Ramdev today broke his nine-day-old fast even as doctors said he will be discharged from hospital in two-three days though his condition is “stable”.

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, who met the 46-year-old yoga exponent for the third day at a Dehradun hospital, said, “Ramdev has broken his fast by taking juice. He ended the fast in the presence of various religious and spiritual leaders”.

Ramdev, who went on his hunger strike to protest against corruption and black money issues, was admitted to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences here on Friday after his condition deteriorated at his Patanjali Yogapeeth ashram in Haridwar.

Vijay Dhasmana, the hospital director, said, “I am thankful to everyone who came here and helped Ramdev to break his fast. His health is not such that he can be discharged today.

“It will take two-three days for him to be out of this hospital. By evening he will be shifted to a deluxe general ward. His condition is stable and he has broken his fast,” he said.

The yoga exponent”s close associate Balakrishna, who also ended his fast at the hospital, said, “Ramdev has considered the request of hundreds of his followers and people from the saints” fraternity”.

He said, “He (Ramdev) will take this satyagraha forward till his last breath.

“The protest will continue till our last breath. Ramdev wants black money to be declared as national wealth constitutionally. We appeal to all our followers and other people to break their fast as well,” Balakrishna said, adding “I also thank the media for helping us in spreading the message against corruption to the masses”.

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Baba Ramdev not mature enough to lead: Anna Hazare

11 Jun

A day after he declared his campaign would have no truck with Ramdev’s call to arms, social crusader Anna Hazare on Friday said the yoga guru was “not mature enough to lead a social movement as he does not have expertise other than yoga”. 

In an interview, Hazare said: “To get involved in social work, one needs to be alert about many things and Baba is yet to learn it. Baba has the habit of taking decisions unilaterally.”

After news came in that Ramdev, who has been on an indefinite fast at Haridwar, was shifted to hospital, Hazare urged the government to open a dialogue with him on “humanitarian grounds”. Hazare said Ramdev had a right to protest against the government as it was a legitimate right of an individual in a democracy. 

Hazare who is pressing the union government for enacting the Jan Lokpal Bill before August 15, explained why he distancing himself from Ramdev. “In our agitation, we discuss the developments with other activists, share ideas, welcome suggestions before taking a decision. This is the way to run any campaign or agitation. Baba’s thought process is not like us, hence there are some shortcomings in his way of protest which has benefited the government.” But he acknowledged their target was the same.

Meanwhile, a group of Ramdev’s followers from Pune visited Ralegan Siddhi on Friday morning to extend their support to Hazare’s campaign. The followers said that though Baba was their spiritual guru, they did not agree with his call to arms in the fight against corruption and they would join Hazare’s protest.

Tender Hearts International School kids join Anna Hazare’s campaign

8 Jun

Tender Hearts School students joined the nation-wide campaign launched by social activists Anna Hazare for a strong Lokpal Bill, in Patna.


Baba Ramdev Effect: Govt tells Team Anna we can draft Lokpal Bill without you

7 Jun

 After evicting Baba Ramdev from Delhi, the government today asserted itself against Anna Hazare and his colleagues, sternly telling them that it would go ahead with the drafting of the Lokpal Bill “even in their absence” if civil society representatives continued with their boycott of the joint committee meetings.

It also underlined to the Hazare camp that its involvement in the drafting exercise was being seen as undermining of the “supremacy of the Constitution” by other political parties. The government, however, invited them for the next meeting of the joint committee on June 15.

The government’s curt message was delivered shortly after the Congress bracketed both Anna Hazare and yoga guru Ramdev together calling them “mukhautas (masks)” of the BJP and asserting that there was “no bigger sanyasi” in contemporary politics than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

This sudden assertion of authority was a clear attempt by the UPA government, and the ruling party, to regain some of the significant ground it had yielded ever since it notified the joint drafting committee in April under pressure from Hazare who had launched an indefinite fast against corruption at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The committee has met thrice.

Yesterday, the Hazare camp expressed its solidarity with Ramdev — who was forced out of Delhi on Saturday night — and announced that it would not attend today’s scheduled meeting in protest. The co-chair of the joint committee, Shanti Bhushan, even demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet over the police action on Ramdev, who had organised a fast on the issue of black money.

The five ministers in the joint committee went ahead with today’s meeting in the absence of civil society representatives. One of them, a combative Kapil Sibal, told reporters that Hazare and his colleagues were not “serious” about drafting the Lokpal Bill and criticised the language he said they used against the government.

“I reject in the strongest possible terms the language used by Anna Hazare and others which I must say was not the language of civil society. They have called the government cheats, liars, conspirators. I can only hope such kind of language will not be used in the future,” he said. “Letter writing, asking us to participate in public debates or raising the issue of Ramdev or televised discussions at the meeting are all extraneous to the proceedings of the joint drafting committee. Its mandate is to draft a Lokpal Bill. The government has always cooperated with the demands raised by the civil society.

Sibal made it clear that the government would go ahead with the drafting of the Lokpal Bill even if the civil society representatives refused to participate in future meetings. He read out the responses sent by some of the political parties on the questionnaire circulated by the government inviting suggestions on the Lokpal Bill.

Sibal said the BJP’s view was that law-making was the prerogative of the Parliament and cannot be done by a select group of civil society. Similarly, BSP had said that procedure adopted for drafting of Lokpal bill “was not consistent with Parliament processes”. The CPM and the CPI have also echoed this.

Addressing a press conference earlier, Congress media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi, in a clear reference to Ramdev, said, “A satyagrahi does not run away stealthily wearing women’s dresses. Satyagrahi is always ready to sacrifice his life. Such a person is being compared to Mahatma Gandhi and Vivekananda. Gandhiji never said he feared for his life from the state.”

He also took a dig at the BJP which had organised a day long fast at Rajghat in protest against police action on Ramdev. “Who are these people – those whose ideology led to the creation of Rajghat before time? Gandhiji wanted to live for 125 years. How serious is their fast that the Leader of the Opposition is dancing with her friends at Gandhi’s Samadhi? What is it that they are celebrating – by putting forward the mukhautas of Anna Hazare and Ramdev?” said Dwivedi.

Hazare’s group had also decided to boycott today’s meeting because they wanted the government to make its stand public on certain contentious provisions in the proposed legislation, like whether the Prime Minister and the higher judiciary needed to be brought under the purview of the Lokpal.

Reacting to the government’s remarks, Hazare’s colleague Arvind Kejriwal, one of the members of the committee, denied the use of “unparliamentary” language. “We have always been very proper and correct in our communication with the government. After what the government has said today, we have decided to call a meeting tomorrow to discuss what our future course of action should be,” he said.

Fast hasn’t ended, they wanted to kill me: Baba Ramdev

6 Jun

Hours after being bundled out ofDelhi, Baba Ramdev targeted Congress presidentSonia Gandhi and government, alleging that his peaceful agitation was treated with unprecedented ‘barbarism’ and vowed to continue his ‘satyagraha’ against corruption

Reaching his ashram here after the midnight crackdown at his protest site in Ramlila ground in the national capital, a visibly shaken yoga guru alleged that there was a conspiracy to kill him and a “threat” was given to him during a meeting with senior ministers. 

Wearing a white ladies suit instead of his trademark saffron robes , Ramdev accused the government of not being serious about discussing issues of corruption and black money stashed abroad and alleged that government negotiator Kapil Sibal had cheated him through “scheming and cunning” attitude. 

“The barbarism and atrocities inflicted by police on one lakh people crossed all limits and even women and children were not spared…They dragged and beat them up,” he said. 

Attacking Sonia while talking about last night’s developments, Ramdev said “She is running the government by remote-control. She is daughter-in-law of this country… she does not love the mothers and sisters of this country.” 

“If anything happens to me, Sonia and Congress government will be responsible…The government, especially the Congress, do not want to see me alive as my movement can expose their black deeds,” he said. 

However, asked if he feels Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was responsible for the incident, he merely said “the ministers said they are coming on behalf of the PM”. 

Ramdev rejected the government’s charge that he misused the permission given to him for a yoga camp at the ground, saying his agitation was also part of yogic elements. 
Narrating to his followers how he tried to escape the “brutalities” at Ramlila by wearing a women’s attire after the midnight swoop by police, Ramdev at times seemed nearing tears as he alleged that he was nearly strangulated with his scarf by the policemen. “I asked them, do you want to kill me?”

He claimed there was firing during the crackdown and several workers are in ICU. Ramdev said he has not called off his agitation but did not specify where he would continue it. 

Ramdev said “black day” will be observed peacefully across the country today and tomorrow against the police action which he termed as a “blot on democracy”. 

He also alleged that there was a conspiracy to arrest him and “eliminate” him in an encounter. 

“They were ready to unleash another Jallianwala Bagh. We were pressurised to give the letter (about ending the fast by June 6). We were told the otherwise we will have to suffer the consequences,” the yoga guru claimed. 

Asked about allegations raised against him by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, he termed them as “baseless and irresponsible”. 

“I am serving the people for 20 years. If people give donation to me that is the fruit of their labour, not black money,” he said. 

On accusations of RSS remote-controlling his agitation, he said his campaign had got support from various quarters including TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. 

“What is the problem if someone supports us? They (government) should rather answer why all these happened,” he said when persistently asked about Sangh Parivar backing.

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