At midnight on 04.06.2011, Delhi police forcefully evicted the Ramleela ground. Hundreds injured. Baba Ramdev was held and sent to Haridwar by a special flight. The drama ended by the dawn. TV channels got chance to telecast items related to the issue for the whole day and people sitting at home, since next day was Sunday, watched the drama again and again on TV.
But, the entire episode has revealed immaturity at both ends.
Was Ramdev Baba right on his demand?
Earlier while demanding Lokpal bill, Anna Hazare has made some ridiculous demands. He had demanded to consolidate powers of police, investing-agencies and judiciary in one person, i.e. Lokpal. It so done, it would be really dangerous if the person sitting on the Lokpal-seat is by chance a politician. And chances are that mostly it will be a politician only who will décor the Lokpal chair, as being done in case of the state Governors. Baba has also demanded for capital punishment or life imprisonment for the person convicted for having the black money. The definition of black money is very vast and the unscrupulous politician can use this law, if enacted, for finishing the career of their rivals. Or the same can be used by the government officials for their benefits.
Similarly, demanding for an immediate notification on black money is not possible in the type of democracy we have. All party affirmation is required before President sign on any such notification. This can not be done overnight.
Any way, otherwise there was nothing wrong in baba’s demand. Asking for declaring the black money as national property or civil service delivery bill is not against the natural justice.
Then what went wrong?
Unfortunately, this government lack wisdom of power. Yes, wisdom power. When you are in power, your acts should match your authority. First it gave too much importance to the baba. Instead of having an open dialogue with the baba, ministers tried to reach to some settlement with the baba by conducting meetings in 5star hotels. Kapil Sibal, a notable lawyer was shrewd enough to befool the baba and company and got a written confirmation about when the fasting will be ended. When the ministers found the drama is not ending as per their script, Sibal just show the letter to the media.
AT 8.00PM on 04.06.2011, after Kapil Sibal disclosed the facts of the letter written by an aide of the baba, Ramdevbaba had lost the battle. After disclosure of the letter, baba has almost lost the support of large chunk of the society for his back-door dealing with the government and not declaring the same to the followers. He could have ceremoniously declared that the government had accepted the demands and the agitation will be over next morning after the Yog (not Yoga) classis. It was perfect time for baba to wind up his fasting and start second phase of the agitation, i.e. follow-up, as being done by Anna. But, for some unforeseen reasons, baba decided to continue his fasting. Had government allowed the fasting to continue, perhaps from the next day or so the number of participants would have started reducing. But, lack of farsightedness was everywhere.
At midnight the police cracked on the peaceful demonstrators and gave baba an opportunity to come back in the battle which he had already lost. Again baba made mistake. He had the best chance to become a hero again. Had he accepted the arrest ceremoniously and asked his followers to evict the place peacefully, he would have regained his honor in the eyes of his followers. Perhaps application of force by the police could have also been avoided. But baba was a ‘baba’ really. First he appealed from the stage not to evict the Pandal and then he himself jumped down from the stage and get cover amongst the women-followers. He even went to the extent to clad himself in ladies dress to hide from the police. It was really a foolish step by any leader. He should have shown some sense and stood against the police force till the last moment. What police could have done. They have no alternate but just to arrest the baba and deport him to his place, i.e. Patanjalee Yog Peeth at Haridwar, what otherwise also done by the authority. Even if he was sent to jail, he would have acquired even a better position in the eyes of his followers. But baba lost the chance again and lost the battle again.
Well, after the drama all lot of politicians came into picture to get the benefit of the situation.
Some of the politicians were of the opinion that Ramdev baba was a Yog-guru and he should limit his activities to his job only and should not interfere in politics. Nice. If so, Lalu Yadav should graze the cows/buffalos, Kapil Sibal should practice law, Dr Manmon Singh should go back to Delhi University teaching economics and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi? Yes, Soniajee should continue with her profession before she married to Rajiv Gandhi. (She was a waitress in a Greek restaurant : source-Wikipedia). This is really foolish. In a prudent democracy, any citizen has right to raise questions and demand justice. It is not politics. But some of the politicians believe that politics is their ancestral property and no ordinary citizen should enter into.
Another mistake some of the leaders made was making statements that the baba was a ‘thug’ and investigation will be made about his wealth. Now, this is really ‘bakawas’ at this stage. Baba has been building his empire since last 10 year or more. Where were you till date? Since baba was not creating any problem for you, he was allowed to do every wrong thing (as it is said now!) and since now he had raised his voice against you, government investigating agencies will come in actions against him? This means that there is no problem if you are a black marketer, a corrupt, a thug or whatsoever till you do not ask questions to the authority. If tomorrow the Tata, Birla or Ambani will raise their voice against the government they will become ‘thugs’ overnight and will be harassed by the government agencies. Maturity is lacking definitely at all levels in the present government.
Well, the first part of the drama is over. Let us wait for the part two.