Baba Ramdev is getting into politics now. I was a bit put-off when I first heard about it. Politics has a pretty shitty image in my mind and someone who has brought about a drastic change in the way the country and the world views Yoga getting into this shit seemed disconcerting.
Sometime ago I lost a bit of respect for him because of his controversial statements on homosexuality. Calling it a disorder while science says it is not is not going to earn one any brownie points in my book. De-criminalizing same-sex relationships was one of the best decisions that the Indian supreme court made in my opinion, and his views on the topic did not endear me to him.
I chanced upon this interview of his on Rajat Sharma’s (apparently with a hair-weave now) Aap ki Adalat (India TV — see videos below), the first of his that I have seen. I have to admit that the man has charisma and charm and is able to captivate the audience. I particularly like his plank — eliminate corruption, and I like the fact that he has ideas for it. Obviously, these are not ideas that he has thought up on his own. Apparently, he has with him a group of highly educated and knowledgeable people who work diligently behind the scenes — a pretty sweet setup. The Outlook carried him on their recent cover and the writer has some things to say: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?270745.
He does seem like he knows what he is talking about. Although in video 1 the interviewer leads him so that he can give the standard answers, video 2 is a much better watch. His solution for accounting for the lost ‘black’ money is simplistic, and if you believe him was also suggested by our ‘clean’ prime-minister, when he was at the reserve bank. Baba Ramdev does seem like he truly wants to make a change. He has the support of millions, but as the Outlook author points out, changing support to votes is not as easy as it seems. He also has to appeal to sections of the society that will view him as a threat — essentially any non-Hindus. His views on Maoists and Kashmir are pretty strong as well, maybe for the good. Given that we constantly keep voting for idiots and corrupt incompetents, it may be a good idea to give this man a try. After all, what is the worst that could happen? He could prove his nay-sayers right and become corrupt himself — we are used to that right?