`Babagiri to me is spiritual & economic progress`

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 10:53 AM IST

New Delhi: Baba Ramdev is seeking to enter politics with an aim to cleanse the system. Speaking to the prolific yoga guru on her chat show `Kahiye Janab`, Swati Chaturvedi of Zeenews.com gauged his thoughts on the Ayodhya verdict, country’s socio-economic conditions, his meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and more.

Excerpts:

Swati: Now that the Babri Masjid verdict is out, many people have said it was panchayati justice…

Ramdev: Many people agree that now they should not go to Supreme Court, whatever the High Court has decided should be followed and disputes should be resolved amicably. Our country will not gain anything in raising this issue. There are other key issues to be dealt with like education, poverty and unemployment. Even, Muslim leaders want that. Now, Hindus and Muslims have become more mature and don’t want this to go on.

Swati: You have formed your own political party at a time when there is no credible opposition and people are helpless. Will you take any initiative on Ayodhya issue?

Ramdev: People today have moved beyond the days of temple-mosque disputes. Hindus and Muslims both want that Ram Mandir should be built because even Indian Muslims believe in Lord Ram.

Mandir and Masjid both should be built there. I don’t think there should be a problem in this. Lord Ram is the ideal of humanity.

Swati: Do you think this issue will be solved through talks ever?

Ramdev: The High Court has given a very balanced verdict. No better judgement can be given on this issue. I think Supreme Court will also give the same verdict. Some people say that the decision is a compromise. But High Court has created history by giving such a balanced judgement. It’s up to the government to decide the measure of land to be given to Hindus and Muslims. As far as Ramlala is concerned, I think nobody has a problem in that.

Swati: Mayawati held a press conference on the judgement day. BJP and Congress put forward their different opinions too. What do you think about these reactions to the judgment?

Ramdev: First of all, I would like to praise Mohan Bhagwatji (RSS chief) as he gave a balanced statement that it was not about victory and defeat but it was about a ‘solution’. BJP’s reaction was very balanced. Congress also said that the court’s decision should be followed. Mayawati’s ‘maya’ was quite different but she also didn’t give any inappropriate remarks. Politicians, for the first time, showed intelligence and maturity.

Swati: How do you define economic justice and social justice?

Ramdev: India’s total population is 120 crore. Around 60 crore population is deprived of basic amenities like food, clothing and shelter. Crores are living below poverty line according to the report given by Rural Health Ministry. 70 lakh people die due to hunger and around 60 lakh children die due to unhygienic and unliveable conditions. This is the situation in our country. On the other hand, the richest people of the world are also from India. Among the list of 100 rich persons, ten are from India and this number is rising every year. This is economic injustice.

As far as social justice is concerned, whenever there is any exploitation or harassment, people approach courts. But there are already lakhs of pending cases. The whole system is corrupt, as about 95% cases are against government. Around 64% houses are in dark without electricity. 50% people are illiterate; higher education is very poor.

Swati: Then with such a corrupt system and politicians, how will you reform this country?

Ramdev: We have given three years time to Congress as it is in power right now. It is the chief responsibility of Government to look after the country’s economic and social situation. If Congress is not able to work on its economic policies and law & order, then I think the people of this country will not accept it anymore. So, it has to change itself and give justice to people...

Government should ban high denomination currency notes to curb corruption which has spread all over the country. I think Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh should implement this idea.

Swati: What did Rahul Gandhi say to you when you met him?

Ramdev: Rahul is very tolerant, active and intelligent person. In the one hour meeting with him, we discussed key issues about changes in education policy, judicial system, agriculture system and criminal punishment system. How Kashmir problem should be solved; Maoism and Naxalism should be dealt with etc. were also discussed.

Swati: Did you meet Sonia Gandhi also?

Ramdev: I haven’t met her yet. But talks on meeting her are on.

Swati: Do you think Rahul Gandhi will be able to fulfil hopes & expectations of the people of India?

Ramdev: I talked to Rahul about all important issues and he assured me that government will take all necessary steps for the country’s development. Any person who is capable of curbing corruption and changing the whole system can be regarded as a ray of hope.

Swati: What is ‘babagiri’ according to you?

Ramdev: It means to take this country on the pinnacle of spiritual progress and to make it a world economic superpower which is the dream of every Indian.

For that I will never fight elections and will not accept any political post. But for country’s development, I will always fight till my last breath. Now, I don’t have just two hands but I have the support of crores of people who believe in me.

Adapted by Preeti Panwar