With the mercury energetically soaring, April is always a cruel month. But even as the plains get slow roasted by the northward march of the sun, those residing in the cooler Himalayan climes remain somewhat unaffected, getting busy organising their social calendar for the coming months. The saffron-clad Baba Ramdev is one such: the summer months seem to distract him from his higher calling — imparting yogic wisdom and healing mysterious maladies — to the somewhat baser responsibility of attending to the weaknesses that afflict the nation.
This year is no exception, with Ramdev announcing in Haridwar that he plans to stage a one-day dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on June 3 to mark the first anniversary of the police crackdown on his supporters at the city’s Ramlila Maidan. Many among you, consumed as you are by the struggle for daily existence, would need to jog your memory for what it is that Ramdev is commemorating. Given that he was protesting corruption and the generation of black money within the economy, you might almost be led to think that through a combination of intense meditative focus and some of those body-contorting asanas, the guru was able to invoke divine wrath on the money-pilferers and banish some from the face of the earth and reform the rest to sainthood.
It is here that we have to step in to remind you that Ramdev is celebrating that ignominious hour when he deserted a band of protesters deep in sleep, leaving them at the mercy of baton and tear-gas wielding policemen while he made good his escape disguised in a woman’s attire. Ramdev, of course, has new plans for baiting and beating corruption up his sleeve now, and whether that involves more daring experiments in cross-dressing is something that only time will tell. But what we already know in our hard-earned wisdom is that, in moments of need, both gods and godmen have a strange way of making themselves scarce.