Sunday, June 5, 2011

People's Participation across all sections - Baba Ramdev's Protest

Vivek Sinha


New Delhi: On a Saturday, Dr Anil Pandey is yelling “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”at the Ram Lila Grounds at Delhi. An ayurvedic doctor from Gujarat, Dr Pandey is not practicing any yoga asanans with Baba Ramdev nor experimenting on any of the ayurvedic therapies in the scorching heat of Delhi, rather he is here for a purpose---get the Black Money stashed in tax havens abroad. Baba Ramdev estimates there is around Rs 40 lakh crore black money in tax haven nations such as Switzerland, and this figure is growing fast.



“We support Baba Ramadev for this Satyagraha. We will continue with our satyagraha till the government accepts all our demands,” says Dr Pandey, squatting with his friends and relatives at the mattresses laid down for Satyagrahis at the Ram Lila Grounds.



Well, Dr Pandey is not alone. Around one lakh people cutting across regions, gender and religion actively support Baba Ramdev and are braving the Delhi heat and are on a fast with the Yoga Guru ---temperature hovers around 40 degree celsius during Summers in Delhi.



As I find my way inside the especially erected canopy tents what strikes me most is the energy and patriotic fervour of these voluteer satyagrahis. The tents are packed with men and women, young and old with a huge number in their traditional attrires with colourful turbans. Amidst cries of Vande Mataram, enthusiastic hands rise in support of the cause led by Baba Ramdev. Not a soul complains and there are no signs of weariness either.



Whether these chants fall on deaf ears of those in the power corridors just a few kilometers away from the Ram Lila Grounds will be seen over the next few days but it does assure me of one thing. The aam aadmi ---the common man, may not always react to misgivings of the government but that definitely does not mean it goes unnoticed. It lies in the sub-conscious minds and given the right opportunity it vents out.



For instance, Balbir Kaur seemed to be in her mid-fifties and was here with her teenaged daughter. She says that she wants her daughter to live a dignified life where battles need not be fought to gain access to even the basic necessities of life. “Imagine how fast will the country progress if the government gets back the Rs 40 lakh crore Black Money,” questions a wistful Kaur.



The quantum of this Black Money may be disputed but everybody does agree that the size of “Black Money” is indeed very huge that has been accumulated by various fraudulnet means . The massive support to the cause only testifies that people neither forgive nor forget.

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