World celebrates Yoga Day but fervour eludes Ramdev’s native village in Haryana
During a visit to Ramdev’s native village in Mahendragarh to take stock of preparations for the grand event, Hindustan Times found that villagers were not even aware of the day commemorated for yoga in 2014india Updated: Jun 21, 2017 11:46 IST
As residents across the world set early morning alarms and prepare for the third International Yoga Day on Wednesday, the fervour completely eludes Saidalipur village in Haryana—the native village of yoga guru Ramdev.
During a visit to Ramdev’s native village in Mahendragarh to take stock of preparations for the grand event, Hindustan Times found that villagers were not even aware of the day commemorated for yoga in 2014. “Yahan koi yog nai karta…shayad 20-30 log karte honge…apne apne ghar par… (Here, no one practices yoga. May be 20-30 people are doing it at their home). The internal politics of this village is so complicated that people have managed to sabotage all initiatives of Ramdev,” says Ramdev’s classmate and Saidalipur village sarpanch Deshpal Nambardar.
Ramdev, born as Ramkrishna Yadav in 1965, did his education from the village school before proceeding for a gurukul in Khanpur, Deshpal recalls. While most of his family shifted to Haridwar, his elder brother Devdutt continues to live in the village with his wife Dhanmaya, who are presently constructing a new house near their 15-acre agriculture land.
Haryana is set to observe International Yoga Day in all districts on Wednesday in association with Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth. In Mahendragarh, the main event will be marked in Narnaul, while smaller events will be organised at block levels at three places, including Nangal Chaudhary block, where Saidalipur falls. However, sarpanch Deshpal says no one from the village is willing to attend.
Even Ramdev’s sister-in-law says she will not attend the event. “I practice yoga only when I am unwell. Otherwise, I don’t have time to do it in my daily schedule,” she says. She adds that she has high respect for Ramdev and claims that the villagers do not support him because they envy his success. “Ghar ka jogi jogna, bahar ka jogi sidh (They (villagers) did not value what was available to them). Now, he has stopped trying,” she says.
“He had offered to set up his trust’s initiative Acharyakulam — residential schools on patterns of gurukuls — on panchayat land at his native village to promote yoga, but villagers refused to give him land,” she adds.
Speaking to HT, however, villagers deny her claim. “He insisted that 10-acre panchayat land be given to his trust for free for Acharyakulam. Why couldn’t he set up the project without demanding transfer of property?” says Saroj, a resident of village.
Another lady, claiming to be an extended family member of Ramdev and requesting anonymity, says, “We don’t trust him since he doesn’t even visit his village despite being in the district. Many people from the village had approached him for help to seek employment. But he didn’t help anyone.”