Cruelty is born in the heart. One who can harbour cruel thoughts in the heart is no less cruel than the one who commits the actual acts of cruelty. Baba Ramdev’s wish to kill lakhs of people if they refuse to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ makes him a potential mass murderer. His wish raises a lot of questions that we should ponder upon.
|Courtesy One India|
First of all, Ramdev claims to be a yogi. A yogi is one who has mastered self-control. It’s control over body and mind. It’s control over one’s passions of all sorts. A yogi towers above the rank and file by virtue of that self-control. There is no place for hatred of any sort, let alone murderous thoughts, in the heart of a yogi. Is Ramdev a yogi? Does he deserve the veneration that is being lavished on him?
The man forfeited his claim to that venerable status long ago when he commercialised spirituality and Ayurveda. His Ayurvedic products have been called into question for their quality time and again. There are umpteen court cases against his claims regarding his products. He may be the richest trader in the country. But a yogi? Hmmm.
He continues to enjoy veneration from millions of people merely because of the spurt of nationalism of a queer sort that has found popularity recently in the country. This nationalism is actually hatred masquerading as love of nation. This nationalism is a reactionary force born out of the frustration of a section of people who think that another section of people are the cause of their failures and frustrations.
People of the stature of Ramdev have the duty to bring remedies for the frustration which has become a menacing social evil. It is the duty of every leader to find solutions to social problems. Instead Ramdev is adding fuel to the fire. He is fishing in the troubled waters. Far from being a yogi, he is not even a leader. Rabble rousers are not leaders. They are potential murderers.
Yet another question that rises is whether devotion to national symbols such as Bharat Mata can be prised out of people like a boulder being ejected from its moorings in the soil. Even a person with ordinary common sense knows that no love can be forced on anyone or forced out of anyone. Love has to be nurtured. Make Bharat Mata a meaningful symbol for the people, a symbol to which they can relate at some level, if it is to be venerated. But is it veneration of any symbol that people like Ramdev really want?