In Ramlila 2.0, yoga guru displays 'people's strength'
It was a day of high drama at the Ramlila Maidan. Around 10am, when yoga guru Ramdev got up to speak, his supporters were more or less in tune with his thoughts.delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2012 23:49 IST
It was a day of high drama at the Ramlila Maidan. Around 10am, when yoga guru Ramdev got up to speak, his supporters were more or less in tune with his thoughts.
Having kept them guessing about further course of action on Sunday, Ramdev announced on Monday: "The time to sit has gone. Now we take the agitation outside Parliament. We will march in a while in a peaceful manner."
Addressing in his trademark style, Ramdev said: "Do not vote for the corrupt during the next Lok Sabha polls. You will be clearly told whom to vote for. We, however, have no political agenda."
Earlier in the day, political leaders, including BJP's Nitin Gadkari and JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav, shared the stage with the yoga guru and expressed solidarity with his cause of getting back black money stashed abroad. Janta Party president Subramaniam Swamy addressed the gathering. Gadkari, flaunting a black band, and Yadav expressed full support for Ramdev's cause.
Little before 1pm, Ramdev had asked everybody to declare their intentions of observing the terahanvi (13th day of the last rites) of the government on the 13th day of the month at 1300 hours. "We will now start our march in an orderly manner from the VVIP gate," he said.
Soon the volley of volunteers took charge and started directing the people to get in line. Climbing atop a vehicle, Ramdev started moving towards Parliament amid a sea of humanity.
Due to the slow pace of the crowd, which was walking alongside policemen deployed in huge numbers, it took them over half an hour to cross a distance of 400 metres till the Mata Sundari Road junction before Ranjit Singh flyover, where he courted arrest around 1.50pm.
It was at the Ramlila Maidan that Ramdev had held his fast unto death agitation in June last year. The agitation had ended in a midnight crackdown by Delhi Police, prompting him to flee. The current episode is being seen as an attempt to redeem that image and to showcase what he called 'people's strength'.
First Published: Aug 13, 2012 23:46 IST