Come the fourth of June and yoga guru Ramdev will sit on a fast-unto-death here along with one lakh of his followers. He will break his fast on condition that the government draft a strong anti-corruption Bill with death sentence for the corrupt as its centrepiece.
Baba Ramdev spearheaded the India Against Corruption movement until he fell out with the other leading lights of the group, namely Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan. And though the Baba showed up briefly at the Hazare fast, he has since made it amply clear that he believes in his own methods of fighting corruption.
Baba Ramdev, who is currently on a Bharat Swabhiman Yatra, made announcement on his fast in the course of the Maharashtra leg of his tour.
The yoga guru said a huge number of his followers across the country would sit on fast with him. He said as a disciplined disciple of yoga, he could easily stay hungry for 40 days — time enough for the government to enact the Bill as per his wishes.
Pointing out that the current drafting committee had not started the actual work, he said unlike some others he would not be cowed down if Parliament rejected the Bill:
“Our MPs have dragged their feet on the Bill for 40 years. So why should I accept their refusal now?” Mr. Hazare has been quoted as saying he will abide by the will of Parliament.
The Baba ended his discourse — televised on a faith channel — dramatically by announcing that India would get a strong anti-corruption law whether or not he lives to see it.
“If the government agrees I will break my fast. If not I will continue fasting to the end. My death will get you the Bill.”