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Yogi & the commissars

india Updated: Jun 02, 2011 00:00 IST

Hindustan Times
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Is Baba Ramdev, with his rage against all things corrupt, the latest in a long line of union-busters?

The much vaunted largest democracy in the world has important lessons to offer when it comes to dealing with complicated and somewhat emotive issues.

If, as in the present instance, it is beset with a succession of allegations of corruption, with the malodorous, festering rot in the system infecting members of the government of the day, it would be interesting to know how it addresses such systemic inadequacies, or what it does to set its house in order.

What are the chances that you guessed that the said government (of this land of ancient spirituality, of course) sends its emissaries to a saffron-clad guru, perhaps in its bid to partake of the omniscience denied to other mortals?

Saffron is, however, not the only robe donned by Baba Ramdev. A self-styled yoddha sanyasi, he has taken on the mantle of the crusader against corruption, with a meticulous bill of demands that call for a special ordinance to bring back black money that has been stashed abroad, ratifying the United Nations Convention against Corruption, abolishing high denomination currency notes and drafting of a strong Lokpal Bill.

On the last mentioned issue, his stance has been typical of near-divine figureheads, ambiguous and equivocating, as he goes back and forth on whether the Bill should include within its ambit the offices of the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and acts of MPs inside the Parliament, closing ranks only to move apart from his fellow-crusader Anna Hazare’s stance on the scope of the Bill.

That the government sent four of its ministers to the airport, waiting for the guru to arrive from Ujjain to New Delhi, may suggest motives more down to the wretched earth than other-worldly.

As of now, Ramdev has refused to withdraw his protest fast against black money and corruption. It doesn’t need much divine wisdom to figure out that a wavering stool pigeon, when set among the more common variety, could be more likely a liability than an asset.

But what do we, professional conspiracy theorists, know?