# Baba Ramdev is a Very Great Man

Baba Ramdev is a popular Hindu leader. He is widely respected and celebrated for his teachings on yoga shastra. He is a tireless teacher to millions of people. He has rendered incomparable service to his followers in India, and — with the power of the internet — around the world. No one can take away the significance of his achievements in bringing understanding and empowerment to his followers in their private and social lives.

No one except Baba Ramdev himself, that is.

I think that the greatest enemy that Baba Ramdev faces is himself, as sometimes happens with people with extraordinary talent. They are victims of their own successes, and the knife sticking out of their backs is often one that they themselves hand to their attackers.

#### Orthogonal Dimensions Arithmetic

Extraordinary wisdom, supernormal intelligence, extreme dedication to social causes, dazzling beauty — these attributes are orthogonal and are rarely present in equal measures in any individual. Nature is not profligate and generally rations out its blessings in teaspoon-fulls even in those rare instances when it is generous in one attribute or the other. Statistical improbability argues against someone being extremely wise, extremely intelligent, and extremely informed.

If any of those qualities is present in its extreme measure in one out of a million people, then the probability of all of those three being present in a particular individual is one in 10^^18 (or quintillion). Which is to say that the probability is zero for all practical purposes. In light of the fact that only around 100 billion humans have ever existed on earth (and over 90 percent all humans who have ever existed have died), you can bet that no one has ever been extremely wise, intelligent and informed. Anyone claiming to be such is clearly not very well informed, nor intelligent and certainly not very wise.

You might wonder what this has to do with Baba Ramdev and why I bring up those numbers. Fact is that I like to do arithmetic. It is something easy to do, and perhaps the only thing I can do that is not generally done by too many people. Doing arithmetic probably does not help you make friends and influence people who are naturally innumerate but it helps you avoid believing in all sorts of foolishness. As my grandma used to say, do your sums carefully and you will not appear to be an utter idiot in and out of the classroom. But I digress.

#### Ramdev Baba the Ignoramus

The point that I am laboring to make is that you could do worse than learn pranayama and surya namaskar from Baba Ramdev. For all I know, he’s brilliant in that. For discourses on the Bhagavat Gita, one may be advised to consult him. Hindus could perhaps go to him if their moral compass needs a bit of tuning. He’s acknowledged as a specialist.

But when it comes to politics, economics, technology, foreign policy, electoral reforms, brain surgery, superluminal space travel, avionics, genetics, astronomy, cosmology, national defense, stock markets, cosmetics, geology, haptics, motorcycle maintenance, computer programming, agriculture, etc., etc., I would advise you to give Baba Ramdev a wide berth. Just like Baba Ramdev is a specialist in yoga, there are specialists in those and hundreds of other disciplines. Getting your tax advice from a brain surgeon is a sure way to lose money (although perhaps not as bad as getting your brain surgery done by your tax accountant.)

#### Ramdev Baba Must Specialize

Specialization matters because the world is a complicated place these days. Granted, 500 years ago, you could get your medical treatment from the same guy who was also a carpenter who moonlighted as a fortune teller . But those days of easy expertise are gone. Today the guy who has spent 20 years learning brain surgery has not had the opportunity to learn much about anything else.

Baba Ramdev should stick to what he knows and maintain absolute silence on topics that he neither has any training nor competence in. I am not privy to what Baba Ramdev thinks, or even know of his views on a variety of matters. Just occasionally I get to read an article or two about him, like this article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Nine More Things Baba Ramdev Wants”.

Granted that it’s a hack job of an article, written by someone who is clearly biased and is interested in ridiculing him. But one has to admit that Baba Ramdev has brought the possibility of ridicule by straying into areas that he should have scrupulously avoided.

#### Ramdev’s Silliness

I commend Baba Ramdev for his vocal opposition to crooked politicians and for his fight against public corruption. I fully support him in his attempt to mobilize his supporters to kick the corrupt out of power. But with equal force I oppose his “buy Indian only” demand, his “no Western medicine” demand, his “go organic” demand, his “train Indian scientists in Hindi and regional languages” demand, and his ““cure” gay people through breathing” demand. In the interests of keeping this post short, I will not go into the details of why those things are silly at best. Perhaps I could be persuaded to go into them later. For now, I will make a few general points only.

#### Point number 1

Stupid bleeds into the neighboring areas. If you say something stupid in one domain, it bleeds into other domains that you touch.

Suppose you are a highly trained, widely respected quantum physicist, and suppose you make an utterly foolish statement about foreign policy. People who know foreign policy will judge you to be quite uninformed about foreign policy. But since they don’t have a clue about quantum mechanics, they will suspect that you are not particularly smart about quantum mechanics either.

Your natural stupidity in one domain will make your expertise in another domain vulnerable to suspicions of incompetence. Revealing one’s ignorance is not a bad thing at all. In fact, the ability to say “I don’t know” is one of the defining characteristics of really smart people. They know that the extent of their knowledge in their own domain is limited and their ignorance of all other domains is vast.

People who don’t even know that they are ignorant of something are ignorant to a degree that exceeds mere everyday ignorance.

#### Point number 1.5

Stupidity bleeds but smartness does not. Nobel prize in literature, for example, does not automatically confer expertise in economics. We witness over-reach by people too often and the sight is not pretty.

Smart people figure out early on in life that the thing to do is seek expert advice.

They say, “I don’t know the answer but I am sure there’s someone out there who knows this stuff. Let’s get him or her to tell us.” They hire the best they can afford and that’s what makes them smarter than the others who think that they know it all. One lesson we should take to heart is that no one knows it all. A bit of humility is what we chiefly need since we are mere mortals, and omniscience is not our lot.

“Hey, wait a bleeding minute,” you may object. “Baba Ramdev is a free citizen of a free country with freedom of speech. He has a right to express his views on whatever topic he fancies.” Indignantly you may ask, “Who died and made you in charge of deciding what Ramdev Baba should or should not say? What about that freedom of speech that you constantly go on about? And haven’t I read you holding forth on a number of topics on this very blog when all you know is a bit of economics?”

Fair enough, I will answer. Here’s my point number two.

#### Point number 2

Yours truly is not a Baba Ramdev. The essential point of difference is that I have exactly three and a half followers on a good day. Baba Ramdev has thirty million followers — and that too on a bad hair day. That’s the point.

If I say something foolish (which is not unheard of), no one could care less. No great harm will come out of my insisting that 2 plus 2 is 5. But Baba Ramdev’s prescriptions on matters economic can potentially result in massive avoidable misery for millions. Banning technology imports (whatever that means in a world that is so awesomely connected) is a prescription for disaster. Insisting on “organic only” is a sure way to increase hunger and starvation.

I can afford to be careless because what I say has nearly zero impact. With his immense following, Baba Ramdev can definitely be a force for some good but he could do great harm too. He has to be very very circumspect in what he says and does.

If I were to start my own political party tomorrow, no one will even know about it. But if Baba Ramdev so much as hints that he is considering starting a political party, great things will happen.

Antonia Maino, aka Sonia Gandhi, will heave a great big sigh of relief and rejoice publicly. The Congress party will be assured of electoral victory for another generation, and consequently India will sink ever deeper into incomprehensible poverty. The Little Prince Raul Vinci, aka Rahul Gandhi, will be assured of his future as the prime minister of India. Baba Ramdev will accelerate the downfall of India. India’s future misery will make today’s misery look like a period of relentless prosperity in comparison.

Baba Ramdev is a very great man. That’s why I fear the very great harm he can do. So far, the signs are not very hopeful.

Related post: Three years ago — June 5th 2008 — I had written a post where I mistakenly referred to him as “Swami Ramdev” instead of Baba Ramdev. “Swami Ramdev’s Peculiar Beliefs.”

Economist.

## 42 thoughts on “Baba Ramdev is a Very Great Man”

1. hUmDiNgEr says:

I think your post is centered around one of those laws of stupidity you posted sometime back.

“The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person”

and yes, stupid people are dangerous especially when they have millions of followers.

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1. Chetan says:

Hon’ble Ramdev Baba is Doctorate in science. He don’t think anyone had influence over the masses like him. True Indian.

I don’t think every time proverb/Says, of great English men be chanted, you need to ponder on our Indian situations. After all We have all in country which others does not have.

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2. Aaren says:

You might as well have quoted from the Spiderman movies – “With great power comes great responsibility…”

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I don’t care what Ramdev’s political agenda may be, but he has spoken out against corruption very often. Maybe he too is twisted, but I like the fact that he has the cojones to take this stand against our extremely powerful imperial Italian oppressor and her brain-dead zombie minions.

The fact that we need to fight tooth and nail for something as basic as a dignified life in a so-called bastion of democracy is a vindication of the abject failure of the performance of this sytem in our context.

Emperical evidence points to the fact that not all peoples are created equal, and I know this first hand through my work. Some cultures, some peoples are just incapable of handling democracy, they just need to be led by strong leaders, whereas some people have the social and human maturity to handle equality and democracy. If you throw democracy at the first category of people, the result is a mess like we have today.

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4. hUmDiNgEr,

You are right. But I was too stupid to just quote that law 🙂

Aaren,

I am sure that Don Vito Corleone also must have something very clever to say in this regard.

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5. Pushkar says:

Atanu, I am for first time disappointed.on.coming here.. Tell me why do you need to write blog.. you are doing well teaching economics?? Well apologize for being rude but you are using same logic.

Tell me one leader in country who connects with so many people may be Namo is closest..second.I would call Baba Ramdev a leader who gave voice to concerns of people..I think you started your journey to understand why India is poor..we know the answer. So if a person verbalizes the solution you ask him to mind his business.

I hope in near future Namo and Ramdev ji join hand in this WAR.

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6. nimesh says:

U r not well informed about Ramdevji , i agreed that he speak on lots of topics which he never studied , but all he speak is not his views people like late Rajiv dixit & experts of various fields help him to understand all . then ramdevji try to speak on according to his understanding in simple language. S gurumurty , prof vaidnathan devendra sharma r in touch with him.he give platform all these people i m lucky to hear them

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7. The opinion can not be termed as stupidity.
Specially under democracy, everything with people support is right and will prevail.

Plus if someone is making an honest attempt to sort things out, cynics should not discourage.
Corruption is a bigger problem then freedom(british raj), It can not be removed by 3-4 days fast of anna or baba.
But surely it is a beginning of it. Structure and the formula to crack it down will come over the period of time as it was in the freedom movement.

You can not have “Bharat Chhodo” for Sonia, Manmohan and Sibbal or any one who is part of the corruption.

Plus Baba Demands automatically brings more foreign money for the next election for congress and support.
(Everyone wants to be the part this new Indian Economy(Behati Ganga))

Corruption has almost touched every Indian and many has accepted it as lifestyle.

Even if Baba Ramdev has convinced 5% of Indians to come out of this comfort zone and fight for it. I see it as a huge effort and success.
People who discourage it and call themselves intellectuals should also check, that the huge support does not come to everyone.
30 million people can not be stupid who are supporting it.

Supporting intent is more important then giving analysis and expert comments on this.
What is wrong, if Ramdev comes to the politics. Atleast someone is coming with a good intent and actually decided to jump into the mess to clear it up.

BJP is worried about the Votebank split. BJP has no face left after Vajpayee.

Even if UPA govt falls, BJP can not win election now. The Govt is safe.
So throwing Baba out of delhi will not affect Sonia at all and 2014 will come after three long years.

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8. nimesh says:

during cricket world cup expert of various field most of them from task force on black money of bjp are @ vivekanad memorial hall ,there many people their to hear it, Ramdevji also part of event its on web & also telecasted on Aastha ch , then during chitra navratrav there is Ram katha by shri morari bapu @ patanjali yog peeth haridwar in morning session it event of nine days , in afternoon & eve session experts of various field given good informative lectures ,Ramdevji was host . It is same time period when nation seen Ansan of Anna saheb ,where Ramdevji had token presence their as he was busy

so Ramdevji being popular face & hav following he try to speak what ever he understand from lectures of experts in simple words

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9. nimesh says:

swedeshi concept is not for boycotting all foreign made products but just giving preference to locally made products

organic farming is imp , & having successfully done in parts of AP , need to spreads all over desh .

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10. “Stupid bleeds into the neighboring areas.” You couldn’t have said it better!

Extremely well put and hit’s the bull’s eye with a lazy, laid back approach. Would love to read what you think of Anna Hazare and his minions too, considering that Babaji is now contemplating of joining forces with him.

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11. Ranger says:

Atanu, I am afraid – as you say – Ramdev is an idiot. A publicity hungry, power hungry fool. A good man, no doubt. But a fool. Can you believe he gave 3 press conferences in 10 hours on Sunday ? He is like a simpleton who suddenly gets fame and cant get enough of it. He is also full of delusions about himself. We need a responsible opposition in India. Not the idiotic main opposition party whose leader mourned the atrocities of the government by indulging in singing and dancing at Raj Ghat. We need Modi to take over. I couldn’t care less about BJP as long as they continue to sideline the only true leader the party – and the country has. Narendra Modi. BJP leadership – exemplified by the geriatric moron Advani and the pathetically foolish Sushma Swaraj hate Modi and will not let him take over as the #1 leader of BJP. For this reason BJP is condemned to sit in opposition for the next 30-40 years. Congress will continue to rule till then. And after the period of 30-40 years, there wont be a nation called India to rule.

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12. A says:

Forget everything else. thanks for making it clear in the first sentence itself that yoga = hindu.

unlike the deepak chor-pras of the world who get into pretzel-asans trying to prove otherwise.

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13. Agustin says:

Spiritual Leadership is a responsibility and is inheriently dangerous due to the conditions of the followers.

We have learned that spiritual leaders have no place in public policy.

Strive to keep that as a rule of the society… then we don’t have to go back age of extremes.

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14. Given Baba Ramdev is not of much help (infact will cause harm) to India then I am taking the liberty to ask what is alternative?

Do you have some well thought plan ready to implement which will hopefully feature professionals dedicated to their domain of expertise. How will you make sure plan will get executed exactly as planned and all these experts will be and will remain best of their lot and will never go corrupt? (I am saying this because probably Ramdev did few mistakes and you feel there is no excuse so I demand your version must not leave scope to error or mistake).

Why did I ask, because if someone is not best in his area of expertise, then result of his work can’t be best and again situation will be “could have been better” kind. The point I want to make is even smartest people make mistake (if at all they do any thing).

You see I feel that perfecting a plan and implement it perfectly will surely need something from outer space (if astrology is a practical thing) so why not start with best available thing/plan/idea/person and input it with operatives which can drive the plan towards better results.

I have seen you quoting somewhere that best thing will not remain best because of time factor. While agreeing with it, I feel otherwise too, that is, an imperfect thing can be perfected with time.

You might have some innovative ideas, better knowledge and I provide you with forecasting that your ideas/suggestions will be very impactful and successful as far objective of particular idea is concern if they are going to be implemented at all. How will it happen? How are you planning to inject these plans in brain of govt? I bet you don’t have any recipe for it, you see area of expertise 😛 .

If a person is desperate to get an alternative to congress what do he do? wait for eternity to see your plans getting converted into printed books as fairy tale for intelligent and intellectual adults? BJP is no where in scene because of their inactions.

Experts of areas of problem domain are not going to utilize platform of Ramdev by associating with him and contributing. If any allergy with RSS or hindu community which stops them to associate with Ramdev etc then these pros can form their own political party and get funded as venture capital firm politics surely is best business on earth, isn’t it?

How the hell you are going to polorise experts to work as political party? If not then it’s contradictory to your views which underscores that only people in power which certainly is Govt. and which certainly is mixture of politicians and in most contemporary cases mixture of political parties.

Bottom line is inspite of all his(Ramdev) views, some good some bad, at end of day he does and doing more ground work which he believes will do good to India than any living creature. I also believe Ramdev is flexible and open enough to take a diversion if better facts will be presented to him on given subject.

As I read your old post on ramdev’s demand on compulsory voting, might be your view why he’s wrong is correct but this takes a human to understand that Ramdev didn’t demand it out of prejudice, his thinking is that more people will vote then more it’ll reflect their correct choice. (I know you have already excused him on this ignorance). If you can see voting as qualification instead of right then why can’t Ramdev see voting as duty of citizen?

What I don’t understand is how compulsory voting is restricting anyone to educate and inform voters? At least result of election will show either it’s accurate judgement or contesting parties must work more towards educating voters. If I go along with sampling solution of yours then may I ask why exit polls are generally opposite to their actual counterparts?

You yourself accepted that most intelligent and informed people don’t go to vote. You see here again, how much informed a voter is and how many voters casted their vote are loosely coupled factors and they will have their impact even if working in mutually exclusive environment.

Probably I might sound unclear what I am saying and probably I missed to make certain points in waves of thoughts but definitely I wish to here your arguments against mine because a lot depends on it. I am following you from so long in a synchronous way it’s first time I feel different.

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15. The road to hell is paved with good intentions… Jai baba ramdev ! lol

Policy framework even by an honest but clueless also leads to disaster. And less slogan and more expertise can only save this nation. Enough Said !

Good write up Atanu Sir. Waiting for your book to release. Flipkart Link will be helpful 🙂

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1. Yayaver, Ranger:

I will announce the book on the blog soon. Sorry that it takes a while for Flipkart to deliver. The book will soon be available on Dial-a-book — they deliver within a few days in 27 cities in India.

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16. shyam says:

Everyone is on a overdrive to criticize Ramdev Baba and how much he does not know about corruption, politics etc etc etc. May be does not know what he is talking and we have every right to criticize Ramdev baba but why do we have to associate him with Hindu religion, RSS, BJP and other stuff. What is more sad is we Hindus are on overdrive to make such statements, write blogs about not an individual but about an Hindu individual. why was no religion discussed when Ann was on fast? If we don’t like what Ramdev Baba is doing, go ahead and spread the word but don’t attach Hinduism to this action. All the news channels are working overtime to attach a religion to this man. He wears a orange robe and he is hindu but thats not the point her. Mera Bharat Mahan

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1. Shyam,

Baba Ramdev is a Hindu. He is a teacher of Hinduism, yoga, and everything that is related to those matters. His followers are Hindus. In what way can one claim that he is not a Hindu guru is hard for me to fathom.

I am a Hindu. What Baba Ramdev does is of interest to me. The good work that he does matters in how Hindus and Hinduism is perceived by others, and what benefits flow from his work. Conversely, if he meddles in things that he does not know, he can cause harm to India, to Hindus, and in the end reflect poorly on us. It is not I who is “attaching a religion to this man.” The religion is inseparable from him.

Muslim apologetics use that all the time: don’t blame Islam for what terrorists do. Islam is blameless, it is only the “misunderstanders” of Islam.

I don’t think so. I want Baba Ramdev to continue to do good work but I wish that he would realize that he is not Mr Know It All. He should curb his ambitions. My criticism arises out of a genuine desire to see that he does not make a bad situation worse.

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17. Anonymous says:

Extremely well put and hit’s the bull’s eye with a lazy, laid back approach. Would love to read what you think of Anna Hazare and his minions too, considering that Babaji is now contemplating of joining forces with him.

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18. Ranger says:

Hey Atanu , just ordered your book on flipkart. 🙂 Hard part is the waiting. 8-10 business days.

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19. Ishan says:

Wish we had more writings like these in the mainstream english media. You have your opinion but you are not arrogant about it in your writing. Most of the mainstream political writers have become so predictable in their writing and are just interested in humiliating people like Ramdev rather than presenting intelligent, thoughtful views.

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1. Thank you, Ishan. Glad that you liked the post.

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20. One says:

What is your specialization? Still you speak on various topics other than computer science/economics. Why is it so?

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1. Mr One writes:

What is your specialization? Still you speak on various topics other than computer science/economics. Why is it so?

I suppose Mr One has not actually read the blog post. Because if he had, he would have found the answer to his question.

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21. Dheeraj says:

Excellent post, Atanu. All valid points. Just because one has a right to do something doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do!
I liked the respect you do show the baba and acknowledge his expertise in areas where he has had practice. Your subsequent response to Shyam is also most appropriate.

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22. x says:

>>> “The point that I am laboring to make is that ……Just like Baba Ramdev is a specialist in yoga, there are specialists in those and hundreds of other disciplines…….Specialization matters because the world is a complicated place these days.”

Yup the label ‘specialist’ is all that matters. Like our great ‘economist’ PhD Harward(?) Prime puppet or the cambridge(?) economist home puppet who have together made indian economy what it is now.

Lets forget whats inside the carton. Lets only go by whats on the label. If it has the stamp of approval from the great US academies, thats all you need to know.

And if there is also the Nobel prize, like in the case of Amartya Rothschild, wah! that proves the genius.

Lets all shut our eyes to reality and go only by what labels the west puts on us.

>>> “Baba Ramdev should stick to what he knows and maintain absolute silence on topics that he neither has any training nor competence in.”

As a citizen of India, BR does not have any right to ask for getting back india’s wealth cheated and stashed away in foreign banks. He should, like all other indian sheep, just say “mehehehe”, stamp over authority to rule over him to crooked politicos every 5 years and keep his mouth shut. else the egos of ‘great economists” certified by Berkerly/Cambridge/Harward will feel threatened. How dare an ignorant rustic village indian dare butt into ‘economic matters”, the exclusive fiefdom of Rothschild relatives and US lackeys?

>>> “one has to admit that Baba Ramdev has brought the possibility of ridicule by straying into areas that he should have scrupulously avoided.”

Sure. BR should just be concerned about his ego not getting hurt by the ridicule from foreign hacks.

He surely did not have any reason to go into black money issue when all the black money from india was being diligently retrieved for india by ‘great economists’ from Berkerly Univ.

Protecting one’s ego is after all paramount.

>>> “Point number one. ….Point number one point five…”

The point being that not addressing the points raised by BR is very CONvenient.

>>> “Smart people figure out early on in life that the thing to do is get expert advice.”

Yeah, smartness is to outsource your thinking to ‘experts’.

>>> “”Let’s get him or her to tell us””

>>> “A bit of humility is what we chiefly need since we are mere mortals, and omniscience is not our lot.”

How dare BR did not consult/ outsource his economic questions to ‘great economist’ (who also happens to be a paragon of ‘humility’) certified by Berkerly Univ ?
He surely did not display humility required of him, a rustic villager!

>>>> “But Baba Ramdev’s prescriptions on matters economic can potentially result in massive avoidable misery for millions.”

“See, the Satan is going to eat you up, lead you astray, come to your shepherd” is the refrain.

>>> “Banning technology imports (whatever that means in a world that is so awesomely connected)”

awesomely. indian ore go out at low prices and come back as finished product and its so awesomely priced that only the few crooks that made money selling off indian ore and their accomplices can buy that, while the vast majority of indians slave away their lives and deplete their future generations of natural wealth.

>>> “Insisting on “organic only” is a sure way to increase hunger and starvation.”

Yeah, hunger and starvation to Monsanto and Endosulphan manufacturers. we should never do that. no no.

instead we should enslave our country to those greedy scrupleless creeps and indebtize future generations.

>>> “With his immense following, Baba Ramdev can be a force for great good or for great harm. He has to be very very circumspect in what he says and does”

“Yeah, because his followers are all unthinking gullible sheep, like I am of western systems. They don’t have capacity to think and form opinions of their own”!

>>> “But if Baba Ramdev so much as hints that he is considering starting a political party, great things will happen. Antonia Maino, aka Sonia Gandhi, will heave a great big sigh of relief and rejoice publicly.”

We saw how sonia rejoiced when BR just sat on a fast.
Some people(the west influenced) are so habituated by listening to lies and accepting lies, that sometimes, they come to believe in their own fabrications and imaginations, oblivious to truth that stares them in the face, or they pretend so.

>> “The Congress party will be assured of electoral victory …..Baba Ramdev will accelerate the downfall of India.’

In short, apocalypse is round the corner if your support BR. Don’t ask me why, I only have aspersions to cast and doomsday prophecies to sell you, like the original church farters did to fool gullible public.

>>> “That’s why I fear the very great harm he can do. So far, the signs are not very hopeful….Related post: Three years ago — June 5th 2008 — I had written a post where I mistakenly referred to him as “Swami Ramdev” instead of Baba Ramdev.”

Me being great economist, have great powers to forecast gloom and doom. The ‘signs’, I tell ya, are ‘not very hopeful’. hehehe.

Afterall, my job(as a west educated expert economist) is at stake if BR succeeds in his stated aims, you know?

Instead lets just shut our eyes to reality, put our heads in sand and do Ostrichasana. very good to preserve our egos, bloated by doing chamchagiri to western systems at the cost of ordinary indians, and to stifle any nagging conscience.

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23. Saurav says:

Yes, agree with you completely. Ramdev indulged in hyperbole. Claimed yoga could cure hepatitis b and cancer. I remember a television debate in which the head of Delhi Medical Council cautioned Ramdev against taking yoga beyond its legitimate boundaries. For someone with political ambitions (and I mean it in the positive sense of the word, since politics is the prime instrument of change in any democracy) one should have always spoken in measured tones on issues not concerning his ultimate goal of throwing the Congress party out of power. His unwarranted remarks on article 377, allowed development of a constituency completely hostile to him, and a point to beat him up by the liberal India, both domestic and internationally.

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@Sushama:

While Francois Gautier makes some valid points, he’s aligned squarely in the sri sri Ravi Shankar camp, and has even written a couple of books praising his “guru of joy” so he’s not really unbiased.

That said, when the Italian Madam’s mafia party can go one extreme, I don’t see anything wrong with Gautier’s approach either.

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25. Above all IMHO Baba Ramdeve is a shroud businessman desi not swadesi. Its a excellent piece of brilliant sarcasm. I envy if I even had one percent of your writing talent 🙂

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26. vikram says:

atanu ji

you have made a great point …. however

“But when it comes to politics, economics, technology, foreign policy, electoral reforms, brain surgery, superluminal space travel, avionics, genetics, astronomy, cosmology, national defense, stock markets, cosmetics, geology, haptics, motorcycle maintenance, computer programming, agriculture, etc., etc., I would advise you to give Baba Ramdev a wide berth. Just like Baba Ramdev is a specialist in yoga, there are specialists in those and hundreds of other disciplines. Getting your tax advice from a brain surgeon is a sure way to lose money (although perhaps not as bad as getting your brain surgery done by your tax accountant.)”

Ramdev has never said he is expert on all matters – not even on the social and political front.
On the contrary he tries to work with experts, welcomes them, discusses with them, and give them due respect.
His organization is run professionally, has professionals employed.
He has organized various conferences, and keeps meeting people expert in their fields (obviously he mostly meets people working in the field of spirituality, social causes, yog, and political issues)

He is not against technology either – on the contrary he is in favor of using it correctly.
He credits the media that the work he could do in 5 years through television, could not have been done even in more than 30 years, had he been just going places to spread the message.

He also uses advanced machines, sometimes custom designed for the medicine, food products production he has been doing.

Sure he may turn insane and may say that his is the final word – but he has not done this till now.
On the contrary in his own words – agar mein sahi hoon to mera samarthan karo, agar mein galat hoon to mera virodh karo, par maun mat raho.
He has also said, that if in future he goes incorrect, or against the country, then his disciples should oppose him, and if require even eliminate him.

As nimesh told above almost every major function that happens at PYPT is accompanied with discussions, and people expert in their field are invited there. I remember about PYPT phase 2 inauguration, recent International Yog Conference, Conference on Corruption and how to deal with it at Vivekananda Foundation Delhi (when world cup final was being played), When Morari Bapu visited PYPT for discourse.

“But with equal force I oppose his “buy Indian only” demand, his “no Western medicine” demand, his “go organic” demand, his “train Indian scientists in Hindi and regional languages” demand, and his ““cure” gay people through breathing” demand”

As far I understand, by buy indian only, his point is that as far as possible purchase stuff produced as locally as possible, so that the money cycles and remains within the country. By purchasing foreign made stuff, just because of craze/marketing/hype, we end up destroying all that could be produced locally.
I think he is against using foreign stuff blindly – he himselfs uses foreign manufactured machines, since the same are not made in India.

Would it be correct that we all start going to department stores by foreign MNCs, all start eating at KFC & Mc Donalds Dominoes Pizza Hut, and all start buying Chinese toys and cheap poor quality electronic stuff – when there are already much better and much variety of food and manufacturing also done in India.

no Western medicine
In this case I am sure you haven’t read or listened to him properly. He has explained his stand on this in very detail. He has said time and again, that Indian system of medicine is capable enough to deal with most of ailments. However he never says that use ‘no western medicine’ – on the contrary he also has allopathic drs in Patanjali Yogpeeth. He has said this time and again that diagnosis, and testing, and emergency treatment, and surgery is way advanced in allopathic treatment — but certain typical problems/ailments are not treated properly/holistically in allopathy, and instead get remarkable results in ayurveda, accompanied with yog and pranayam.
For past two years he has been focussing more on corruption and black money issue – but previous to this whereever his yog camp was held he used to have meeting with allopathic doctors (their organizations like IMA) of that region, and used to take questions and used to convey his point face to face, and that was also telecast on aastha channel (but at that time people had not started recording these conferences to the youtube).

“go organic” demand, his “train Indian scientists in Hindi and regional languages” demand

very briefly…

go organic – as far as i understand, he sees that even organic farming can give dramatic results, if sincere efforts are made on that front. pesticides fertilizers and gm food are all heavily dominated and manipulated and promoted by politicians and huge multi-national companies, and both have vested interests.

train Indian scientists in Hindi and regional languages – he has not said that all indian scientests should be trained in hindi, instead he has said that there shoudl be an option available for people to also learn sciences in regional langauges too.

I can write further about these two but I dont have time just now – and it seems you have not really invested time listening him or reading what he has written… or trying to understand him

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27. veekay says:

Atanu,

Your points are valid. Please accept my compliments for a well written piece.

Yes, a person should confine himself to his core competency.

But dont you think the issues that Ramdev has raised need to be raised by the citizens of this country?

We are seeing new depths in public life and even basic rights such as the right to get our children admitted to good schools without paying large donations or being well networked, right to hospital care without being fleeced at all levels, green spaces, old age care etc., are not available while the persons in power are getting richer and richer.

Someone needs to be held accountable for this state of affairs, quite irrespective of which Government is in power. The Congress has ruled for long, the Right Wing tries its hand every now and then and the Left also was a part of the UPA at one time. So whom do we hold accountable?

Veekay

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28. A Sengupta says:

I don’t buy your argument on why somebody can’t be ‘extremely’ wise, intelligent and informed at the same time, since whatever probability you derive depends on your assumption that any of these three measures is present in only one individual among every million people, and also you’re assuming independence of these attributes and equal likelihood (any guy out of a million has the same probability of being, say, informed, ex ante) all of which need not necessarily be the case. For instance, someone with a higher intelligence is likely to be wiser, isn’t it?

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29. Ram says:

Atanu,

I think you are disturbed , Baba spent time with “Sri Sri” 🙂

Anyway you are right here and proved your own old opinions wrong.

When people become public figures they automatically carry the responsibility of becoming role models and they have to speak and act right. I would refer to your blogs where you had said the reverse

This is the misfortune of being a celebrity
If Atanu talks bullshit no one cares (almost 🙂 ). But Baba Ramdev does not have that liberty

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30. Sujoy says:

One of the best articles that I’ve come across that basically says that Sw. Ramdevji should keep him busy with yoga and not enter political realm, but it says so without any of the fire-breathing, breast-beating or foul-mouthing one frequents in ELM articles. I do not agree with every conclusion of Atanu just like I don’t agree with much Sw. Ramdev has said. That said, I overwhelmingly support the polite and civil nature of the article — surely a gem to find these days.

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31. Hello Atanu,

That was a very well written but you do have to invest some of your time in actually listening to what the baba actually says and not present a rehashed version of most media stories post his fast.

I totally agree with vikram above. The Baba wants us Indians to have a sense of pride in the country which is very much missing. Ask them to wear a kurta pyajama on a formal occasion and they will be like – wtf! And give them a saville row stiched suit and they will jump with joy as if they have won a million dollars.

Ok, you must have your own views and you are entitled to them but IMHO, you should seriously listen to the Baba in one of his lectures on the differences between western medicine and ideologies and indian medicines and idiologies.
And also watch the documentaries made by michael moore. They are fantastic!

Greetings from India!

Prateek.

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