guru Ramdev wants to enter politics, decries "weak leadership"(Interview)
Kong, June 2 (IANS) Indian yoga guru Swami Ramdev, who has
helped popularise ancient fitness regimens and traditional
ayurvedic medicine in different parts of the world, wants
to contribute to politics now to realise "the India of
have political ambitions, but not to grab power. I want to
change the way of life and thoughts of those who are in power,"
the 55-year-old guru said.
hate the country's political system. It paints a negative
picture of our country abroad," Swami Ramdev told IANS
in an informal chat aboard the Superstar Virgo off the South
is conducting on board the luxury cruise ship a five-day course
in yoga and pranayam, a breathing exercise, for 1,000 people
from 15 countries.
on the deck of his luxury suite on the 10th floor of one of
the world's largest luxury liners, Swami Ramdev said he wanted
to see the reins of the country in the hands of those who
are "farsighted, humble, enterprising and transparent".
leadership is weak. People are not willing to listen to the
leaders. The current crop of politicians is thinking short
term and is trying to divide people in the name of caste,
creed and religion. It cuts across party lines," he said.
guru, who came across as introspective and deeply concerned
about the state of Indian polity, said India was the only
country where a peon (office messenger) was punished for a
crime and forced out of job while murderers and criminals
with police records were allowed to become legislators or
want to create a leader from among the masses that control
50 percent of the country's wealth. The lawmakers will have
to be accountable, have clean minds and must put national
interests above everything else," he said.
to him, politics had become a business and India badly needs
a "king who is restrained, honest and universal in approach
Ramdev said one way to ensure clean governance was to make
voting mandatory. "Thirty-two countries across the world
have 100 percent compulsory voting, so why not India?"
guru said the revolution in thought that he wanted to bring
about was possible through yoga.
"India has 600,000 villages and for this I intend to
take yoga to each and every village by the end of the decade."
has set the process in motion through his trust, the Patanjali
Yogpeeth in Hardwar, which has a network of 535 centres across
will train 100,000 teachers next year from the grassroots
in Sahaj Yog and pranayam so that they become master trainers
and teach people in their respective villages."
training will be held from April 6 to July 20.
guru's ultimate goal is to take yoga to every corner of the
call it branding or corporatisation of yoga. It is a way of
life," said the guru, who is planning to send a few teachers
to China next year.
the Chinese, yoga is the only spiritual alternative because
it does not clash with their political ideology and faith,"
Ramdev told IANS.
Ramdev has already made inroads into poverty-stricken and
strife-torn heartlands of Africa as well as among the movers
and shakers in the US, Britain and Canada with his brand of
simple yoga and holistic living.
makes him tick?
childhood has been an abiding influence into making me the
person I am today. I was born to illiterate parents in Said
Alipur village in Haryana's Mahendranagar district and studied
with second-hand books in the lamp light. But I was always
at the top of the class," he recollected with glee.
learnt early in life that there were deep imbalances in health,
education and wealth distribution in the country." Since
then the motto that "health is the fundamental right
of all human beings" has been the guiding principle of
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