Guest post by KULDEEP KUMAR
Guest post by THOMAS CROWLEY
In the mainstream coverage of the Ramdev hullabaloo, there has been, unsurprisingly, little substantive discussion about corruption itself: its fundamental causes; its widespread effects; the viability of different plans to combat it. Who would want a dry, intellectual discussion of the root causes of corruption when we can stare uneasily at pictures of Baba Ramdev holding a sword and wait with bated breath for his holy army to congregate?
But let’s – for the moment – take seriously Ramdev’s proposal that the death sentence be meted out to India’s corrupt. If the press is to be believed – especially the foreign press – this may just mean killing every Indian. For, implicit in many media reports is the assertion that corruption is part of the Indian psyche, an essential component of what it means to be Indian. In this sense, corruption serves the same conceptual role as caste: it essentializes an ever-changing historical phenomenon, freezing it in time and obscuring its economic and political roots. Much as the British taught Indians and foreigners alike to understand India predominantly in terms of caste, modern commentators are encouraging both desis and firangis to conceptualize India as the land of unending corruption. (Of course corruption has not replaced caste as a mode of understanding India; the fascination with caste still runs deep.)
Sometimes, thankfully, one does not need to write an over-long post to make a point.
Everybody knows how the entire television media has been giving enormous airtime to BJP and its allies giving vent to their outrage on the condemnable police action on Baba Ramdev’s ‘Yoga Camp’ in the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. One woman, named, Rajbala is still seriously injured. No casualties have been reported so far.
Though it must be said that Acharya Balkrishna, Baba Ramdev’s right hand man, seems to have had the pitch of his voice transposed a few octaves higher, giving his heartfelt statements at press-conferences the timbre of a dulcet castrati. I suppose, depending on how you look at the fate of Acharya Balkrishna’s vocal cords and other organs, that is a casualty. Continue reading Six Dead Villagers and a Lost Road: This did not happen at Baba Ramdev’s ‘Yoga Camp’ at Ramlila Ground in Delhi
Guest post by DILIP D’SOUZA
So what do you think happened when the police assaulted a gathering of satyagrahis with lathis? Here’s what happened to some people I met from such a gathering.
- Tulsibai, 45+, was hit on her stomach and wrist.
- Manglubai, about 40, was hit on her buttocks.
- Rajkumaribai, who didn’t know her age, had a deep wound on the upper part of her thigh that she showed us shyly.
- Jiggelal, 60, was hit so hard on his arms and legs that he blacked out. Continue reading On Lathicharging a Satyagraha: Dilip D’Souza
WSS strongly condemns the midnight crackdown on thousands of people staging a ‘Satyagraha’ and hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan with Baba Ramdev for demands related to corruption and black money.
We are astonished at Mr Manmohan Singh’s defense of police action saying that there was no alternative. The attack on the protesters was absolutely unwarranted as the ‘satyagraha’ was neither causing any law and order problems nor was it disrupting the peace of the city in any manner.
We are not supporters of Baba Ramdev but clearly see the role of dissent in upholding a democratic society. Continue reading Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression condemns crackdown on anti-corruption protesters
(Please see an update made at the end of this post.)
I am watching the fog of tear gas shells descend on Ramlila Maidan on the live television feed on my computer. What was supposed to be a ‘yoga camp’ led by Baba Ramdev, and the fully-funded-free circus of his so-called ‘indefinite hunger strike’ against ‘Black Money’ has now turned into a tear-gas purgatory. It is midsummer, but inside that big tent it looks like a particularly foggy-smoggy night in a Delhi midwinter. It must hurt like hell, in the nostrils, in the lungs. With every breath that Ramdev’s disciples take (and how well they know the art and science of heavy breathing) their eyes must sting. Pranayam was never so painful. I hold my insomniac breath as I sit watching, riveted. Continue reading Pranayam was Never so Painful