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Baba Ramdev

Introduction

1. Baba Ramdev (born as Ramkrishna Yadav in Haryana) is a spiritual leader known for his contributions in yoga, ayurved, politics and agriculture.

2. He is best known for popularizing Yoga and Ayurvedaamong health conscious Indians through his mass yoga camps and TV shows.

3. He has been the inspiration and guide for the Patanjali group of institutions (including some firms).

4. Ramdev has more recently become a vocal advocate on Indian political issues.

5. Baba Ramdev was born as Ramkrishna Yadav to Ram Nivas Yadav and Gulabo Devi in the Alipur village of Mahendragarh district in Haryana state of India.

6. While living in Kalva Gurukul of Jind district in Haryana, he offered free yoga training to villagers for some time. Then he moved to Haridwar, Uttarakhand and spent several years studying ancient Indian scriptures at Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya. This included a rare book of Aurobindo Ghosh, Yogik Sadhan, translated from Bengali into Hindi by Ram Prasad Bismil. After reading this small booklet योगिक साधन he went to the caves of Himalaya and practised intense self-discipline and meditation.

7. He entered prominence when he started the Divya Yog Mandir Trust with the company of Acharya Nitin Soni.

8. In 2003, Aastha TV began featuring him in its morning yoga slot. Within a few years, he had gathered a huge following.

9. The New York Times called him "an Indian, who built Yoga Empire, a product and symbol of the New India, a yogic fusion of Richard Simmons, Dr. Oz and Oprah Winfrey, irrepressible and bursting with Vedic wisdom."

10. A large number of people and many celebrities in India and abroad have attended his yoga camps. He has taught yoga to many actors including Amitabh Bachchan and Shilpa Shetty.

11. He has also taught yoga in the British Parliament, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center affiliated to the University of Texas and at the seminary of Muslim clerics at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, becoming the first ever non-Muslim to publicly address the deobandi Muslim clerics.

12. Apart from making Yoga a household word in India, he has also taught Yoga in Britain, USA and Japan among other countries. Soon after getting popular outside India, he was invited by Kofi Annan in 2006 to deliver a lecture on poverty alleviation in a United Nations conference

Patanjali Yogpeeth and Research on Yoga

1. Patanjali YogPeeth has acquired a Scottish island for about £2 million which was donated by Mr. Sam and Mrs. Sunita Poddar, originally from India and living in Scotland for 25 years, who have been running the UK branch of the Patanjali Yoga Peeth Trust.

2. The Little Cumbrae Island, off the fishing town of Largs in Scotland, will also serve as the Patanjali Yog Peeth's base overseas, where yoga will be taught. This project will be run by Patanjali Yogpeeth (UK) Trust. They have plans to set up a wellness retreat there.

3. Recently, in September 2012 Harvard University of USA came forward to introduce Yog and Ayurved subjects in their university in collaboration with Swami Ramdevji and his aid Acharya Balkrishna in the wake of dreadful diseases being cured by Swamiji's Pranayam and his Ayurved medicines.

Political and social campaigns

1. Swami Ramdev has been associated with the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement

2. He was also involved in the Jan Lokpal agitation, which was focused on having a strong lokpal.

3. On 27 February 2011 Baba Ramdev held a large rally of over 1 lakh people at the Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi to protest against corruption. Those present at the rally included Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna, Ram Jethmalani, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and many others. All members spoke and explained how corruption was rampant in the country and how the government itself was indulging in it. The most highlighted topic was Indian black money lying in tax havens. A striking feature of this rally was that all the major media houses boycotted it.

Protest at Delhi Ramlila Maidan

1. Baba Ramdev declared to go on an Anshan (indefinite fast) on June 4, 2011, at Ramlila Ground Delhi to pressure the Central Government to root out corruption from India and bring back the black money stashed away in various financial institutions abroad. After this declaration the government was said to have set up a panel to suggest steps to curb black money and its transfer abroad, in an apparent bid to placate Ramdev.

2. When Ramdev arrived at Delhi airport on June 1, four senior ministers of the UPA government met him on the airport and tried to persuade him by telling of the government's initiative on corruption.

3. On 4 June morning 65,000 followers of the yoga teacher had gathered at Ramlila Ground.

4. By noon queues extending up to 3 km from the entry point of Ramlila Grounds and were seen chanting 'Vande Mataram'.

5. In the evening a press conference was organised by Kapil Sibbal made public a letter from Ramdev's camp to call off their agitation.

6. Ramdev took it as a betrayal of the Government and hardened the position by declaring not to take back his Satyagrah until a proper government ordinance is announced in place of forming a committee.

7. Satyagrah was going on even in the night of 4 June 2011. Sources informed Baba Ramdev that a huge police force can try to clear Ramlila Ground and if it is not done they can also kill him in a fake encounter or set fire in the tents.

8. At midnight, a huge team of 10,000 officers of the Delhi Police and RAF raided the ground when most of the Satyagrahis were sleeping on the and Ramdev was also sleeping on the dias along with his core group.

9. A large police force lobbed tear gas shells and lathicharged to evict the crowd from 1a.m. to 4 a.m.

10. The tent was set on fire at many places. Cold water was thrown over power generators to create complete darkness to prevent any video recording of the whole attack.

11.However most media persons recorded what was going on.

12. Police had arranged buses to drop supporters at railway stations and bus stands in advance; had ammunition ready and all the policemen were in battle-gear wearing vests and helmets and kept some ambulances on standby.

13. Ramdev was arrested while attempting to disguise himself in women's clothing.

14. Delhi Police forcefully detained Ramdev at Safdargunj Airport in complete isolation for a few hours and then deported him to his Ashram in Haridwar via helicopter.

15. Police fired tear gas, lathcharged people who were reportedly peacefully fasting.

16. 53 persons were injured and treated at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, AIIMS trauma center, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

17. Government stopped media person or anybody to enter the hospital to check the injured. Protesters huddled near the Metro station, bus depots and railway stations. Many walked down to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and other nearby Ashrams.

18. According to New Delhi railway station authorities, supporters continued to leave in batches through the course of the day. While several supporters spent the day in a park near Ramlila Maidan, others took shelter in Arya Samaj at Paharganj.

18. Baba Ramdev was taken by police out side Delhi and was banned from entering Delhi for 15 days. After being banned from entering Delhi for the next 15 days, Union Home Secretary G. K. Plillai said the Baba was on his way to his Ashram at Haridwar under police custody.

19. On reaching Haridwar, Swami Ramdev declared in a press conference that his fast unto death will continue.

20. About 5,000 supporters were still missing according to Baba Ramdev.

21. Dr. Jaideep Arya, a key advisor of Ramdev’s team, said that about 19 girls students from the Chotipur Gurukul, who were seated near the dais, are estimated to be still missing.

22. Suman, women’s representative of the Trust, said many of these girls were roughed up when the police tried to reach Swamiji and were crying since police officials were pulling their hair, dragging them badly and their clothes were torn. Police, however, said no one was missing.

23. A senior police officer reported that they were forced to retaliate after Baba Ramdev's supporters started throwing stones and flower pots at them.

24. Police also released CCTV footage to prove that no woman was beaten by them.

25. TV channels were telecasting the footage of the scene in Ramlia Ground.

26.Rajbala, who suffered a crippling spinal injury and was undergoing treatment at G. B. Pant Hospital died following cardiac arrest. The hospital authorities refused to give a death summary and other relevant papers, and even asked to file an RTI application.

27. Baba Ramdev, in a statement, said “Her sacrifice is an irreparable loss to the whole organisation…..and her death will not go in vain. We will continue to fight for a corruption-free India.

28. On 9 August 2012, Baba Ramdev lanuched an indefinite protests at Ramlila Maidan against Government's failure to take action against corrupt and in bringing black money back into the country.

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