Amid the rhetoric surrounding the International Yoga Day celebrations, a Haryana power department executive engineer became the unlikely casualty after the sound system failed twice at Ramdev’s yoga camp in Panchkula on Sunday.
When the yoga session was going on under Ramdev’s supervision, sound and display on giant screens got disrupted twice. Though it was restored soon, the display took time to resume. Angered over it, Haryana health minister Anil Vij announced suspension of executive engineer of the power department BS Ranga. “I have arranged for the power supply at the venue through a generator. The fans were working, but there was a problem at the end of the man managing the sound system. Mujhe bali ka bakra banaya gaya hai (I have been made a scapegoat),” said Ranga. On being asked, Vij said, “When the sound system got disrupted, I inquired from the DC. She said this XEN does not follow orders and should be suspended. I told her to give that to me in writing and the XEN would be suspended.” DC Garima Mittal couldn’t be contacted for comments. During the session, when power went off, Ramdev quipped, “Now, journalists will file stories on power outage, but I or the government does not have a power house. Bijli to aati jaati hai (electricity comes and goes).”
As the officials are told to ensure that the second edition of the International Yoga Day is a grander event than the first observed last year on the same date, all officials from deputy commissioner (DC) to peon of the Panchkula administration, were present on the first day of the three-day camp at Sector-5 parade ground on Sunday.
Clear instructions have been issued to all heads of departments regarding attendance during the camp, which is mandatory and will be recorded on the spot every day. Confirming the same, city magistrate Mamta Sharma said, “The HoDs are instructed to ensure presence of all employees and take attendance as well.”
All employees remained on toes at the camp that started at 5am on Sunday. The reporting time for some of the employees is as early as 3:30am for all the three days of the camp.
“It is quite taxing. They have made us to attend the camp, gather people and do yoga,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
“All top officials of the education department of the district, including principals, headmasters, block education officers and all physical education teachers, have been instructed to be present at the camp. Earlier, they told us to be present at 4am for attendance. Since it is still dark at that time, I requested them to change the time to 4:30am,” said an education department official. It was also conveyed that action would be taken if someone fails to turn up, he added.
Even Haryana Urban Development Authority officials were also present.
Later speaking to mediapersons, Ramdev said, “It is a big honour that the PM has brought yoga to Chandigarh. I urge people to get benefits from this three-day camp. There is nothing wrong if glamour is connected with yoga. It is a spiritual programme.”
Throughout the programme, Ramdev kept holding people’s interest with his humorous quips. He evoked instant cheers and applause from the audience for his witty expressions, laced with pun. He asked senior citizens to do it slow. “Aise na ho ki ludak jao (take care you might fall),” he said. While guiding various exercises, he passed comments on obese people as well. “The whole life is yoga. Sirf laat upar neeche karna yoga nahin hota (yoga is not just moving your legs up and down).”