Once upon a time, when Baba could thumb a nose

Even as Baba Ramdev does some heavylifting in a hospital in faraway Haridwar to salvage his reputation, credibility and indeed his health, a lensman takes a close look at the prize-winning entry for the 2010 Maya Kamath memorial awards, named after the late cartoonist, in Bangalore on Saturday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

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13 Responses to “Once upon a time, when Baba could thumb a nose”

  1. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    I am no fan of these hunger fast activists, as I have stated time and again. Some of the theories propounded by these hunger activists are completely ludicurous.

    If we had a powerful and upright government at the centre, the silly ideas of these activists would have been rejected with contempt. Unfortunately, a bunch of corrupt weaklings are ruling us, so these so called activits are getting pampered as if they were the reincarnation of the Mahatma….

    However, I am also getting the feeling that our so-called “free and impartial media” is biased against the Ram Leela brigade.

    They went out of thier way in supporting the Jantar Mantar brigade, but the Ram Leela brigade is most attracting negative reportage.


    Is it because the Ram Leela Brigade is loosely inspired by Gandhianism and is left leaning and hence they can elicit automatic sympathy from the powerful group of left leaning intellectuals in the media?

    Is it is because the Ram Leela brigade has the support of lower middle class and the poor class, which the elite in the media dislikes?

    There are wheels inside wheels….. reading between the lines is necessary….

  2. Kamal Gopinath Says:


  3. SS Says:

    OM sir, you have a point. But I think the media is less hostile to Anna (viz Baba R) because A’s views and suggestions are less ludicrous and more tangible as compared to Baba R’s.

    The moment some one has great penchant in adding up random zeroes on the RHS of a non zero digit (as in Rs 400 lakh crores OMFG what’s that?!), one fast loses credibility, fast or no fast.

  4. tsubba Says:

    SS saar,

    its actually about the dog that did not bark.

    look at the amount of ink and bile that is being spilled by the country’s intelligentsia on the ram leela gang. amazing how much mud is being raked about how stupid ramdev and his ideas are. intense analytical acumen and critical analysis is being brought to bear to demolish a person who is supposed to be ‘guggu’.

    however stupid this ‘guggu’ may be, atleast he has some ideas and has pointed out to the problem and demanded some action. he has exercised his constitutional rights and his duties as a citizen of india.

    what about the intelligensia? all these people who criticise ramdev? what their ideas on the matter? what does their analytical acumen and critical analysis say about the issue at hand?

    its amazing how little the intelligensia has contributed to this struggle. ramdev’s ideas might be crude. but the intelligensia has no ideas at all.

    ok, the intelligencia has no ideas. but is it atleast aware of the problem or concerned about it? no signs that either. when it comes to the actual issue of corruption by the high and mighty, how come they remain remain silent on the issue of corruption and bringing the law and accountability for those responsible but crawl out of woodwork when a country bumpkin of a baba makes noise about it?

    ramdev might be crude in his demands, but he atleast has a stand on this issue. what is the stand of sonia and rahul on this? do you know? how come they are vacationing when the country is gripped in this tension? how the fuck can these people continue to hold positions of power when they have presided over such rot?

  5. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    Dear SS, What about the banning of sale of cigarettes and liquor in a certain village. Publicly flogging youngsters who fall in love. Insisting on swadeshi. Supporting Raj Thackeray’s tirade against North Indians. Flogging anyone who is found to be drunk. etc. etc. etc.

    Does all this fall in the category of being less ludicrous than adding random zeros? Best of luck in the teetotaller paradise. Both the camps are as ludicrous as the other. Only the media is keen on focussing on the idiosyncrasies and hypocrisies of the Ram Leela brigade.

    They are giving the Jantar Mantar brigade a fairly long rope. The Jantar Mantar Brigade’s hypocrisies and idiosyncrasies are not being highlighted to the same extent. This is a fact that we are seeing unfold in our newspapers and TV everyday.

  6. Curry Hurry Says:

    >what is the stand of sonia and rahul on this? do you know?
    > how come they are vacationing when the country is gripped in this tension?

    Hmm. Are they vacationing or bank shopping ?

  7. Faldo Says:

    Ramdev’s demands were specific though they might not be straightforward to implement as they require the involvement of international and many other national agencies. These demands included bringing back black money, implementing the UN Convention against Corruption agreement and bringing down circulation of higher denomination value currencies. There were also other demands related to agriculture and technical education. Such a wide ranging set of demands may not find resonance across a large set of our intelligentsia who would rather like to keep the issues ambiguous. Moreover some of these demands would hit these sections directly. therefore the Ram Lila brigade is inconvenient for many of these sections.

    Unlike these demands, asking for a drafting of a Lokpal bill to cover corruption sounds romantic to many people at least till we come down to brass tacks. So the Jantar Mantar brigade seems acceptable. Once they get down to specifics of the drafting and begin to identify specific people and processes not just at higher levels but also at lower levels who would rather be happy with the status quo, we may see some opposition to this brigade.

  8. Anonymous Guy Says:

    There is no shortage of ideas in India. Especially ludicrous ones. The baba will have to win seats in elections if he wants to further his political career. Raising some vanar sena and arming them wont short circuit him to power.

    His struggle and ideas have just diluted whatever was being proposed by civil society. He has probably gained some political traction for himself and his RSS/VHP overseers. And allowed Congress to delay for time and divert attention from the real matter at hand.

  9. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Huh?! Baba Ramdev is trying to “to salvage his reputation, credibility”? What is Churumuri talking about? Insinuations do not a case make, good sir!

    I welcome any earthy, accomplished leader’s entry into national politics, if only to balance the rampage of sophisticated career opportunists such as Digvijay Singh.

  10. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    @Faldo, excellent point. I agree with your analysis completely.

    The media is going after the Ram Leela brigade because a specific proposal like bringing back black money from abroad is bound to hit at the deep pockets of many top media tycoons and their cronies.

    Whereas the proposals of the Jantar Mantar briagade are completely harmless to the elite. All these guys want to do is create another level of bureaucracy. That is why the media worships the Jantar Mantar Brigade.

    Thank you Faldo, for making people like me understand what should have been obvious all along.

  11. SS Says:

    OM, TS,

    There is no denying the fact that corruption and black money are very relevant and important issues. Thus aims professed by Anna or Baba R are not something one can decry.

    Between these two, corruption is something most of the Indians can readily identify with since it is all pervasive – crib to casket. Where as the issue of black money is mostly a hearsay or a matter of speculation for many of the folks and thus not of immediate concern. Hence though it may make for roaring rhetoric (40000 lakh crore Pesos or Lira or whatever), it may not have that sense of immediacy or resonance with many of the populace.

    I think media understands this and as a clever salesmen sells what the market needs. That can explain more ink devoted to Anna and less to Baba.

    On top of that many may say media is infact ridiculing Baba and his brigade. That’s quite easy. Anyone who has watched his ‘Walk the talk” with Shekhar Gupta would have no hesitation in fondly hoping that Baba would limit himself to physical contortions rather than mental calisthenics. You can catch it on Youtube. Just one gem from that – once all the black money is back in the country, 1 INR would be equal to 50 USD.

    Then our Baba went on fast claiming a Yogi can withstand months of fast and promptly got admitted to a hospital to get his body rid of ketones via saline. Credibility? Ok, don’t cure cancer via Yoga but atleast hold onto fast for a fortnight.

    The bottomline is Baba exhaled too much via his pranayama and most of it was unfortunately gas.

  12. twistleton Says:

    @Mysore Peshva

    there’s nothing earthy about Ramdev’s hypocrisy. And people learn political sophistication soon enough. Also a bit naive of you to think that Ramdev is all ‘you get what you see’.

    We do indeed need a good, earthy, no frills leader, a veritable son or daughter of the soil, We also have them, but however blemish-free the rise of these sons and daughters might have been, they sooner or later fail to fulfill the romantic vision of an upright statesman/woman.

    But power ruins all but the greatest souls. It is a foible almost none escape; every earstwhile leading light is prone to that wonderful and mysterious force: corruption – the pet topic of the day keeping civil society awake at nights it seems… as though they are extra-human, above and beyond the baser promptings of human nature… :D

    Look at Mayawati, as earthy as they can get, but not the most honest among mortals…

    What we need is an exception to this rule, but we can do better than Ramdev at all costs…

  13. Anonymous Guy Says:


    It is funny to see the cheddis supporting an ‘earthy’ leader when they hate the likes of non-RSS/VHP earthy leaders like Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.

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