A Hit and a Miss.

Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev – A hit and a Miss!

When I started my blog, I had one resolve that it will be different. It will represent me, the way I think, the way I feel and the way I act. I also, had a resolve of not making it a newspaper, i.e, no political posts.

This one had to come up.

Why? Well, Baba Ramdev is a very revered figure in my household. My father is a staunch supporter of him. His yoga has helped my entire family. Everyone (well, except me) has lost weight. Everyone is feeling better doing those Pranayams.

So coming back to the point, why Anna Hazare is a hit and Baba Ramdev is a miss.

We are Indians. We form perceptions. Larger than life figures are intimidating to us. They can wow us, we can watch them but when they try to alter our lives, we feel uncomfortable. The feeling of, “well, he is not one of us” is way too overwhelming.

That exactly hit Ramdev. His is a corporation. Patanjali Yogpeeth is a Rs. 1200 crore business empire. You PAY for medicines when you buy from there. That was not the problem. The problem occurred when he entered the retail. Soaps, toothpastes, Flour, Oil, Pulses and all? Come on, you are not a retailer. You are Yoga Guru, the Yoga Guru. People flock your yoga sessions. Please do not take that for your following. You have turned into a capitalist businessman.

There is nothing wrong in it. Absolutely nothing wrong in it. But that puts you in a different class.

Point number two: The appearance. Please do not take it in any other manner. Baba Ramdev, when I mention your appearance, I mean your imposing personality. When you speak, you roar. Well, shouting always doesn’t equal to roaring. Writers, you know, always tell that it is the content that matters. Well, presentation is important aspect of what you write but there HAS to be matter to read. That goes with speaking also, unfortunately. You need to be a little loud to be heard but you need to have content worth hearing. You wear bright Saffron cloth and run and empire. Saffron is the colour of sacrifice. Enough said there.

Point number three: The legacy, the history. You do not have a social cause supported other than Yoga. The share pattern and the balance sheet of Patanjali makes me feel as if I am reading a balance sheet of any other company. Of course, I appreciate the finance people in your “company” for managing the balance sheet so well.

Point number four: Dear Baba Ramdev, you remember wearing that Salwar suit while trying to run away from the Ramlila grounds? Now again, I do not doubt your intentions of trying to run away fearing for your life. Your right to live as important to you as my right to live to me. I want to be alive to carry out my responsibilities towards my family. I want to earn enough and secure enough that even when I go, my father, my mother, my wife can live comfortably. My daughter’s education would not be compromised. I buy your theory that you have to live long for the betterment of the Indian nation.

Anna is a genial, as one of my twitter followers Aneesha says, cute. He is a septuagenarian, a father figure. He is a common man, with a legacy of going alone on the right path. Anna has done so much for Ralegaon Siddhi. How many of you knew Anna before this Lokpal agitation? Many knew but comparatively, very few.

He is clean (I don’t mean personal hygiene here), lives a simple life. Infact, doesn’t have an empire for living a lavish lifestyle. He is ONE OF US.

I will not go so far into details because the points made earlier are inversed for Anna.

You know, the main reason for writing this post was not to cash in on the going controversy. The twitter storm in my timeline forced me to pen down my thoughts. He is fighting for Jan Lokpal. First of all, I know, 90% of my readers don’t have a clue about what’s Lokpal so will request you to please read it to understand this movement in totality.

Why irks me is that most of the people supporting Anna on twitter are the ones who download on torrents, buy phones on grey market or buy network locked phones and hack it. These are little things. These are not in line with the way we are supposed to use stuff.

My only point is, walking on the streets in support of Anna will not please him. He would rather expect everyone to do their work. Go to offices, go to colleges, do your bit. Live life responsibly. Pay your taxes, pay for the bills, buy and use things ethically, be honest. I try my best. People would call me a jerk for buying coreplayer for $29.99, Quickoffice for $70, whatever, but it gives me a satisfaction of doing my things right. I declare everything in my income and pay taxes accordingly. This is what is needed at a larger, macro level.

This is what exactly Anna wants. This is what is, which makes him a hit. He doesn’t ask you to come out in his support. People are flocking on their own. As Prasanna says, there will be candlelights for a week and then everyone will forget. Please, do your work and do it right. Anna will not be required to come out on streets. Forget blaming the politicians and do your work. Your being upright will result in a better society, ultimately resulting in better politicians. If they have no one to manipulate, what would they do? They are in power because YOU have sent them in power.

That is all. This will be my first and last post on this subject and anything related to something like this. 🙂


About Ashutosh

A family guy who loves phones, music, movies, tea, sweats and gizmos :)
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10 Responses to A Hit and a Miss.

  1. Want to make a point here. Ramdev is not actually running the Empire. He is not into retails directly. Others doing it and he might be a trustee or something in it (though I doubt), but not into business.

    Though I agree on the point that its about perception and appearance. Its very easy to point a finger toward a man in power or a man in money than toward a man with simple life or a man without any aspirations. Same with Ramdev vs Anna vision.

  2. I mean I am victimized by parents to use them 😥

  3. Ashutosh says:

    Oh Nitish! Just how naive can you be? You mean to say, Ramdev baba has got nothing to do with Patanjali money? There’s a full fledged business running using his brand and he has no stake in it? Who is Balakrishna to own 97% in Patanjali? Come on Nitish, you are working in a good company at a good post. You should be knowing all these worldly things these ”out-of-this-world-ly” people do.

    • I never said he has nothing to do with it. I said its easy to point a finger over anyone with power or money. If Anna had a business then you would have heard similar things about him as well..

      The example is here

      My original comment made only one point that is ..
      “People do not know Ramdev or respect him as a Businessman, they respect him for a job he does that is more than preaching only.”

      I had nothing to do with him earlier till he tried to support the momentum against corruption as only few try to use their support for a noble cause (most of the celebrities keeping mum) because he followed the principle “With Great power comes great responsibilities”. Once he tried, I respected him for that try only. At least he tried, for whatever reasons, by whatever means, at least he stood.

      Obviously he paid more than he gained at the end because of immaturity and being from a non-political background.

  4. Ashutosh says:

    Exactly. He is not one of us! And that post is all about that! Not about, who is wrong and who is right. And the Congress Article you’re talking about, you know even congress leaders are distancing themselves from Manish Tiwari on that, right?

  5. Good points about why baba was miss and Anna is hit ( At least as of now).
    One thing I want to add is that due to many events in recent past, people (middle class to be specific) do not have much faith in “Babas” . There is generic image of “Babas” among educated, urban youth which is hard to go away.

  6. Rakesh says:

    Nice article. Also I have gone through conversations via comments. I would but I would like to add a few things which is based on my background, a business man and an MBA. Also, I am a media savvy, do writing, once upon a time wanting to be a journalist, and pursued a course as well.

    Let me make a few simple statements which will be self explanatory:

    1. Doing business is not a crime, if done ethically and beneficial for society, but it is a crime if harmful for society and mankind.
    2. Earning money is not a crime, if done ethically and beneficial for society, but it is a crime if harmful for society and mankind.
    3. Perceptions and reality has a lot of difference.
    4. Running away is a better options to save life, if you are fighting with strong enemies. Sardar Bhagat Singh did it, so done by Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj. And see the history, even Britishers and Muslims did it with our civilization. They ran away, came prepared again and again and finally defeated us. Its time for us to learn from our mistakes.

    Now let us see the role and responsibilities of media. Supporting a social movement and not supporting a social movement by media is an ethical issue. Media has been deliberately able to create a negative perception about Baba Ramdev and did not support his movement. Since one year Baba Ramdev addressed lacs of people everyday in small villages, cities. Same thing was done with Dr Rajiv Dixit. Most of you will know about him first time. He is no more in this world. His twenty years of social work was never noticed and promoted by media. (If you want to know about him please go through http://www.rajivdixit.in and http://www.rajivdixit.com and listen his lectures). He was neither a sanyasi/Baba nor a businessman. Being an IIT product and associate of DR APJ Abdul Kalam, he left his career for the country.

    I would like to give simple reasons and facts, about news channels. They get a lot of money from MNCs advertising for their useless products and make money. It is huge huge money involved in advertising and selling products by making doubtful claims and grantees with a star mark, I mean hidden terms and conditions. Government pays huge money showing advertisements of their great work done for this country at us out of our tax money. However, Baba is a brand in himself and does not advertise their products on any other channel other than his own Aastha Channel. His products range increased means decreased turnover of MNCs, a negative impact on their business. And most importantly, most of the channels are owned by foreigners or they have great stake in media.

    Creating bad image about a saint/sadhu/sanyasi is a long term goal of foreign agencies and media for the sake of their business empire. It helps to increase consumerism and their business. Because most of the good sanyasis (Baba Ramdev is one among them) oppose cigarette, liquor, drugs, soft drinks, toothpaste, chips etc which all are harmful. ( Note – I admit some bad people are there in the business of sanyas / religion which is unethical due to playing with emotions of people). Baba Ramdev is the most successful person to challenge the empire and market supremacy of foreign companies. So, he is enemy no. 1 for them.

    Now, it comes to promote Anna, is a long term strategy of media and foreign consumerism. By giving importance to Anna, automatically size of Baba Ramdev decreased. It is the same way of management lessons of out of box thinking, if you need to make a line smaller without wiping or cutting it, you draw another big line beside it.

    Baba Ramdev shared his stage of lakhs of people’s audience in Delhi, with Anna, Kejriwal, Bedi and Swami Agnivesh. First was on 15 November 2010, then 27 February 2011. Such a huge crowd was never addressed in Delhi by anyone in recent a few years. But surprisingly, no media channel covered it (most of you will come to know about if first time). They tried to first ignore, I guess, and it did not work then now trying to defame it.

    Same thing is now happening with Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan as well. Government is sure alone Anna can not do anything, let us harass and engage his team. They will be busy and wasting their energy to reply government. Baba is already engaged.

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