June 12, 2011
Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
- Image Credit: AP
- Baba Ramdev is offered a glass of juice by renowned Hindu scholar Morari Bapu, wearing spectacles, and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, on his right, as he breaks his fast at a hospital in Dehradun on Sunday.
Dehradun, India: Nine days after his hunger strike against corruption triggered a political war, yoga guru Baba Ramdev broke his fast Sunday following appeals from spiritual and religious leaders.
But close aide Acharaya Balakrishna said while Ramdev, who is in hospital, was ending his fast, he will continue with his campaign against mounting corruption and black money.
“Today [Sunday], I will end the fast on the appeal of holy people. But I take this resolution to lead this satyagraha [passive resistance] until the last breath of my life,” Balakrishna, who was also fasting, quoted Ramdev as saying.
One of the first to break the news was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living founder who had been engaged in efforts to persuade Ramdev, 46, to give up his protest that was affecting his health.
“Baba Ramdev has ended his fast. He has taken [fruit] juice,” he told reporters after meeting the yoga guru for a third time. He said Ramdev ended his fast in the presence of religious and spiritual leaders.
Even as Ramdev’s supporters gathered outside the hospital celebrated the development by raising slogans hailing him, others used the opportunity to lash out at the government.
While some Hindu religious leaders vowed to join hands in the anti-corruption drive, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy took pot-shots at Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Describing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government as “monstrous”, Swamy said Ramdev’s fast was “successful”. “The fight against corruption will continue.”
Ramdev was shifted to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences on Friday, as his condition worsened from abstaining from solid food for a week to demand that black money stashed by Indians abroad be seized.
Government had to act
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has defended the June 4 midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his supporters, saying “the government had to take action” as the yoga guru went back on his word of staging only a “token fast”.
“He [Ramdev] said he would withdraw it [the agitation] in the afternoon of the first day [June 4]. And he did not… after a sort of agreement between the government and Ramdev, when we found that things were getting out of hand, the government had to take that action,” Bansal said.
“He was supposed to be withdrawing it. And he said he would convert it into a thanksgiving fast or a token fast. Instead, he started [his fast],” added Bansal. He said midnight was “the only time” for police action as it helped prevent casualties.
Source: Gulf News