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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Modi to share dais with Baba Ramdev

Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 24, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(24/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:22 IST(24/4/2013)

Having talked "development" to industrialists across the country, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is now ready with a dash of soft Hindutva.

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He is slated to share the dais with yoga guru Baba Ramdev and an array of Hindu religious leaders to inaugurate an air-conditioned gurukul called 'Acharyakulam' "combining Vedic wisdom and modern knowledge" at Haridwar on Friday.

Set up by Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth, the institution - for students from classes 5 to 12 - will specialise in Vedic literature, modern science, and impart basic training in Sanskrit, Hindi and English.

Through this event, Modi, who is trying to wear many hats in order to appeal to various constituencies, is pitching himself for a wider national role by appealing to traditional sentiments. The event with its emphasis on 'Indian values' seems like a particularly promising platform for Modi to hold forth on his "vision" for India's future greatness.

"The syllabus will be such that till Class 10th, it'll be 55% Vedic and 45 % modern. After Class 10th, it'll be 90 % modern… We want that wherever in the world these students go and settle, they remain Indian in values," Ramdev's aide SK Tijarawala told HT.

A Gujarat official confirmed that unofficially Modi's visit has been discussed already, though a formal word is awaited. 

The official invite for the event naming Modi as the chief guest, depicts a multi-storey building, and boasts facilities like "world-class, air-cooled residential and academic blocks, state-of-the-art classrooms, sports stadium, swimming pool, archery, horse-riding, and separate hostels for boys and girls."


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