Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is fighting a double battle. The first, the much-announced Satyagrah Against Corruption, will begin from June 4, when he and his supporters will begin a fast in Delhi to press their demands for measures against corruption.
The second is a battle for an identity distinct from Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption (IAC).
In an interview with HT, Ramdev spoke about his campaign.
Why a separate 'Satyagrah against corruption' when IAC is also running a campaign?
IAC has been fighting for the jan lokpal bill, which is only a partial solution. Our movement concentrates more on corruption and black money.
If Hazare asks you to place your demands under the banner of IAC, will you join it?
IAC, based in Delhi, is a small NGO that has emerged recently and we have made huge contributions towards it. We support IAC but supporting it doesn't mean we lose our own identity.
What are your demands?
Recover the money illegally invested in foreign countries and declare it national property, ban high-denomination notes, and death penalty for the corrupt. To recover black money, the government needs to pass the UN Convention against corruption. We feel the government works only under pressure.
You said earlier you had not invited Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan to the movement. Why so?
We are inviting members of IAC and civil society. I don't want to create any controversy talking about the Bhushans.
Do you still want the Bhushans to resign from the committee?
I had once said that, but then I have always said that we should focus more on the Jan Lokpal bill than any other issue.
Is it a step towards politics?
I have no ambition to join politics.