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I'm raising only a nationalist force: Ramdev

Under attack for his proposal to raise an armed force, Baba Ramdev on Thursday said he was not trying to train terrorists or Maoists but only wanting to set up a “nationalist” force. File Photo  

Baba Ramdev said on Thursday that he was not raising an army or a violent group like Maoists or terrorists, but only a nationalist force for self-defence. The clarification came after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram took strong exception to his plans to raise a “sena” of 11,000 young men and women.

On fast since June 4, Ramdev has agreed to take lemon, water and honey so that his body gets glucose and his health was being monitored closely, District Magistrate R. Meenakshi Sundaram said.

Ramdev told journalists that his words should be interpreted in the right context. “I want to train young men and women in self-defence. Shaastra means knowledge and shastra means self esteem and self defence.”

The yoga expert said on Wednesday he would raise a “sena” to counter any future attempt by the police to disrupt his movement. By self-defence, he meant martial arts such as judo and karate to protect oneself against attacks, his associates said.

Senior intelligence officials, however, wondered what Ramdev meant by announcing plans to raise a “sena.” “You don't need so many people for self-defence,” they said.

To a query, Ramdev said the passport held by his associate Acharya Balkrishna was genuine. Mr. Balkrishna said the balance sheets of Ramdev's four trusts were put on the Patanjali Yogpeeth website. He, however, parried questions as to how many companies the two of them had floated.

“Companies were floated to carry out activities that could not be undertaken by the trusts and all our audited accounts are with the Income-Tax Department and other authorities,” he said. These companies were not profit-making ventures and whatever profit was made was rolled back for welfare activities.

In Dehra Dun, chairperson of Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra Avdhash Kaushal, while expressing deep concern over the state of corruption in the country, demanded a fair and transparent inquiry into the allotment of land to Ramdev in Haridwar and other parts of the country.

Describing Ramdev as the creation of the Congress and the BJP, Mr. Kaushal wanted to know at what cost or rent 261.468 hectares of prime irrigated agricultural land was given to Ramdev for non-agricultural purposes in Uttarakhand.

Armed sena does not fit into our model: Hazare

Pune Staff Reporter writes:

Making clear his stand against violence, social activist Anna Hazare said on Thursday: “I have always preached ahimsa. The idea of an armed sena does not fit into our paradigm.”

Asked if this meant that he did not support Baba Ramdev's cause anymore, Mr. Hazare, who was on his way to Ralegan Siddhi, said, “Let them decide that now.”

Mr. Hazare refused to say in clear terms if he was still supporting the yoga guru, after his call for an ‘armed struggle.'

Reacting to Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad's comment that he [Hazare] was only a mask of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the social activist said: “It is their [Congress'] stupidity that they are linking me to BJP and RSS. I am not connected to any political party, and the people know that. They can decide for themselves. We are getting more support from the people and the government is scared of the consequences.”


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 5:38:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/im-raising-only-a-nationalist-force-ramdev/article2090084.ece

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