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Truth and dare

india Updated: Feb 20, 2011 21:20 IST

While we incessantly argue that all is not right with our political system, we barely expect holy men in robes, walking the earth with their bags of benediction, to come to the rescue. A grave malaise, however, might need an unusual remedy and when the country is as wracked by corruption as it is now, who should step in from the wings but Baba Ramdev, yoga guru and healer of maladies?

Having already announced his intention of launching a political party last year, he has now announced that the party will take a concrete shape in June. The express aim of this earthly mission is to create a political structure within the country.

Ramdev, currently on a Bharat Swabhiman Yatra across the country to impart political, social and spiritual education to people, has also spelt out that honesty will be the sole criterion of joining his party, an ambitious aim in a country that is forever sliding down the oily pole erected by global watchdogs like Transparency International. It would be interesting to observe how the guru, whose prescriptions of wellness combine traits from yoga, spiritualism and ayurveda to mitigate problems of the human body, locate and solve the problem of the larger body politic.

In the past, Ramdev had ranted against fast foods, soft drinks and Western pharmaceutical products (the last understandably, given his own ayurvedic product empire) that appa-rently pollute the Indian spirit and thereby weaken it. But now that he has positioned himself on a wider public platform, he should exercise greater caution, especially when condemning parallel religions. For example, his strictures against cricket, which he had described as a British import that encourages ogling and drinking, might not go down well this season, when the wind is in the willows. Unless he learns that politics is more than pontificating from a pulpit, his hope of eradicating corruption will disappear like his claims of curing cancers and Aids, in a wisp of smoke.