‘Hunger for publicity is hallmark of new swamijis’

Ramachandra Guha in the Hindustan Times:

“A hunger for publicity is the hallmark of some of the best-known spiritual leaders of contemporary India. They spend as much time on making themselves known, and praised, as on seeking the truth.

“Consider a guru in my home town, Bangalore, who, like Ramana Maharishi, is a Tamil, indeed from the same Iyer sub-caste. In other ways he is emphatically different; in his careful attention to his dress and appearance, for example, or in his not-so-careful cultivation of the rich, the powerful, and the influential.

“Or consider the holy man who, these past days and weeks, has been much in the news. Those who heard, in part or in full, Baba Ramdev’s recent day-long discourse at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, would have heard the words ‘kala dhanda’ and ‘bhrashtachaar’ (black money and corruption) as well as the words ‘dharm’ and ‘imandaari’ (morality and honesty).

“I heard them too, but I also heard words that were more telling. These were ‘mein apne media ke bhaiyyon se kehna chahta hoon’, a phrase that recurred often, perhaps half-a-dozen times an hour. It was characteristic that Ramdev sought to address the media above all (and characteristic also that his social imagination excluded the possibility of women reporters)….

“Solitude and spirituality — the link between them is intimate and indissoluble. In between satyagrahas, Gandhi spent months at a stretch in Sabarmati or Sevagram, thinking, searching, spinning. Ramana and Aurobindo did not leave their ashrams for decades on end. Yet our contemporary gurus can’t be by themselves for a single day.

“When the police forced him out of Delhi, Ramdev said he would resume his ‘satyagraha’ (sic) at his ashram in Haridwar. But within 24 hours he left Haridwar, in search of closer proximity to his brothers in the media. Externed from Delhi, Ramdev knew that many television channels were headquartered in Noida. So he would go to them, since he knew that, despite their national pretensions, these channels would not send their reporters, still less their anchors, to the benighted state of Uttarakhand. He set off for Noida but was stopped en route at Muzaffarnagar on the orders of the UP chief minister.”

Read the full article: Performance artists

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18 Responses to “‘Hunger for publicity is hallmark of new swamijis’”

  1. Deepak Says:

    I would any day prefer to read publicity generated by sadhus than by Ramachandra Guha!!!!!

  2. harkol Says:

    These folks are nothing but Spiritual Entrepreneurs. Just as everything in life is a trade, spirituality too is traded by these folks. Nothing wrong with that as spirituality and peace of mind is a need, just as much as other needs of life.

    Where they go wrong is when they break the laws of land. Most of spiritual businessmen who grow very fast, own vast empire break law, and there is no reason to think Ramdev, SSR are any different.

    The tragedy of India is in every sphere of life massive success is only achieved by folks who cheat the system one way or the other. Too few examples of genuine honest financial miracles.

    All said, GoI had no business in browbeating the people who protest. The latest news is Anna Hazare has been denied permission for a protest fast! At this rate, we’ll have perpetual section 144 all over the country.

  3. twistleton Says:

    THE question is why did Ramdev flee the spot at the first hint of trouble: surely if he had taken a few lathis would have made him an overnight martyr, the thing that he’s after? Also, he used women as a shield. What a marvellous display of courage and self-sacrifice…

    We are really spoilt for choice of bad leaders, aren’t we?

  4. Murthy Says:

    “Yet our contemporary gurus can’t be by themselves for a single day”

    Very well written sentence. The yogic gurus are unable to stay away from Maaya. Ramana was one great exception to this though.

    “Consider a guru in my home town, Bangalore, who, like Ramana Maharishi, is a Tamil, indeed from the same Iyer sub-caste”

    Why didn’t you add “unlike Nityananda who is also Tamil” – that would have been more encompassing and informative .
    Are you trying to say Tamil is a caste and Iyer is its subcaste and make a temple of Tamilians in Bangalore? Please leave Bengaluru immediately.

    FYI Iyer is made of ayya – a proto word, not a sanskrit word and language in theory is not a matter for brahmins – who actually are migrant educators in real sense- to be again subdivided into.

    It’s time to change the signboard of Periyar Bhawana located in Delhi from Tamil to Kannada since he was a Kannadiga who taught self-esteem to Tamils. Can someone in Delhi look into this.

  5. shivane shambulinga Says:

    The same applies to Ramachandra Guha

  6. the colonel Says:

    and in “churumuri too”

  7. Srivathsa Says:

    ..for eg : the colonel …………..rofl

  8. Curry Hurry Says:

    Guha a cricket historian has now become an authority on the code of conduct for Swamiji.

  9. Dev D Says:

    Sri Sri Ravishankar was in Germany and planned to be there till next month where they have a finction. He never anticipated that Ramdev will get such publicity. Upon seeing all he media intrest he immediately decided that he come down to India and bask in the limelight. Rakhi Sawanth is better then these media hungry gurus.

  10. Anonymous Guy Says:

    The government should first confiscate the non-tax paying entities of this Baba Ramdev. Including his spurious drug making units, island donated by devotee, and other multi crore rupee empire.

    Who is this guy to speak about corruption when he hides behind trusts and does not pay taxes?

    What does he intend to do with the ‘black money from abroad’? Add it to another trust in his own name?

  11. Ezhil Says:

    @Murthy What are you trying to say? All Tamilians should leave bangalore? You should understand that why the swamijis setup their bases in Bangalore not in TN. This indicates that here how people are addicted to God and other stupid beliefs.

    //It’s time to change the signboard of Periyar Bhawana located in Delhi from Tamil to Kannada since he was a Kannadiga who taught self-esteem to Tamils.//

    He taught? ok agreed.But people also supported thats the main part.If he started in karnataka he would have been killed even. that much of stupid beliefs are there.So you mean to say all kannadigas are rationalists and have self esteem. Then how come always your politicians running behind delhiwallahs for small small issues? Still brahmin dominations are prevailing in karnataka can you answer this? Periyar also agreed that he is a tamilian. If we remove the sanskrit words from dravidian languages then most of the words are tamil only said by periyar

  12. tsubba Says:

    i dont know about you guys but 1.7 lakh crores – i dont even know how many zeros are there in that figure. how does the congress govt remain untouched by all these scams? and how does the party dare to pull a fast one by trying to make a distinction between party and govt? and how does the ever rational and ever preachy elite and media buy this soap and put neither the head of cong govt nor the party to scrutiny and accountability?

    the elite, the media and the parties all seem to be involved in some elaborate orgy. these guys tell us that ramdev is an obscurantist and shady. but from where i stand, it is these guys who are the bigger obscurantists.

    there is a raging fire of multiple mega scams and these guys are all doing weird dances in front of it and singing some weird hosanas. and none of these guys has a bucket or a broom or a blanket in his hands and they want others with buckets brooms and blankets to stay away so that they can all do their enlighted dance in peace. and they want gawkers like me to ignore the fire and listen to the beats of their dance.

  13. ritwam Says:

    This coming from Ramchandra Guha is a big Joke…a panderer of Nehruvian legacy and one who milks Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology by regurgitating, to justify his 5 book contract !

  14. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Ramdev is planning to raise an armed militia. Can we call them Raxalites?

    Karihaida, the baba for one has taken your call to arms seriously. Things can only get worse now.

  15. Kiran Says:

    @Ezhil, u still there?? I thot u must have infiltrated to Srilanka to take revenge after terrorists there are rounded up and killed by Rajapakshe.

  16. sbalaji1 Says:

    There was Shakespeare, there was John Milton, there was even RK Narayan and now, there is Ram Guha! Comparisons between people in any field over generations is totally inappropriate and pointless. We don’t expect Ram Guha to write another classic like Paradise Lost or Upanishads. So, why does he expect Ramdev to be like Sri Aurobindo or Sri Aurobindo to be like Gandhiji and so on?
    Just like spiritual entrepreneurs, we can call the modern day writers as literary entrepreneurs. They write to impress their audience, owners (HT is owned by Congress politician!), advertisers and so on!

  17. Ezhil Says:

    @Kiran argue with comments i have made. dont speak the un related things to this post and my comments

  18. Hindustan times Says:

    Swamijis tells good for all peoples, but They are not grouped together.


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