An Open letter to Swami Ramdev from Swami Balendu – 22 Mar 11

Guru

Read this letter in Hindi

Dear Baba Ramdev,

You are a yoga teacher. I give you credit for making yoga popular in India. I admire you for building this business empire of Yoga and Ayurveda of billions of Rupees in such a short time. You really have very good business skills. You are a businessman. If you want to be a politician, you can surely be a good politician, too. However it often seems to me you have some hidden agenda that nobody is supposed to know about. You are a multi-faceted personality and it seems you are hiding something many times. I am not the only one who feels this.

The Indian population, also those who admire you and who are looking for someone to raise his voice against corruption, get confused. What is it you actually want, they ask. Let me explain you how you create this confusion.

When you talk about black money and bringing money back from foreign countries to India, people love it. Who wouldn’t want to see their country prosper? Doubt is created though, when we hear that you yourself have property in foreign countries. It is opposite to the aim that you say you want to achieve.

You want to stop poverty in our country by bringing money back, so why don’t you set an example and contribute yourself with the billions worth of property that you have collected abroad? Why don’t you give a big part of the profits of your enourmous corporation to educating people, building schools, paying doctors in hospitals to give free treatments to poor and feed the hungry? I have even heard that the hospital you built is too expensive for normal Indian people to afford.

You would probably tell me now that you actually do charity, that you give yoga classes for free and in this way help people. I however will not really accept this as charity. In the past, when you were a yoga teacher and businessman only, your yoga camps always cost an entrance fee. It was never for free and it was just fine. People paid and got to learn yoga from you. When you started your own political party and started travelling throughout India for making it more popular, your camps suddenly were fully for free! So people could come for free, learn yoga and right away sign up as members for your party and hear some political lectures, too. And then you claim you are helping people with free classes! You are not only helping people, you are helping yourself, too! Ratan Tata sells cars and helps people to come from one spot to the other but in the end this helps him because he increases his wealth. You, Ramdev, do the same thing, so don’t tell that you help people for free! You are doing advertisement and in the end look for your own benefit!

It is actually really very much your political career that confuses people. In the beginning, many were simply enthusiastic. Of course, you talked a lot about stopping corruption and first of all blamed the Congress party for corruption. Who doesn’t want to remove corruption from the Indian political system? The Congress government has disappointed whole India with all those scams and corruption which was brought to light. The party to whom you donate money however, are facing charges of corruption, too! The chief minister of Karnataka, Yeddyurappa, is not the only one, there are investigations running against another 10 ministers of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh because of corruption.

In Uttarakhand, the state that you are in, the ruling party is currently the BJP. Agitated by your talk about the corruption in the Congress party, the Congress Members of Parliament and the Congress Members of the Assembly of Uttarakhand, asked the state government for investigations into your own funds and asked another question: what happened to your Guru Shankar Dev? I read in Hindi newspapers and saw in TV interviews how they asked for more clarity. He had been living in the Ashram and one day simply vanished. You are still there, in the same Ashram, living and working. At that point however the BJP chief minister of Uttarakhand decided that no investigation against Baba Ramdev would take place. I understand that. When someone asked for an RTI proof, it showed that you have given big donations to the BJP and they would not want to risk losing them.

The point is that people could even accept it if you said you supported the BJP. They don’t understand however why you talk against corruption openly and then hide your support for that party. How should anybody trust or understand who you really are?

The Congress leader Digvijay Singh even asked you whether the money that you accept as donations is really white money. Are you 100% sure that your whole empire is built on white money? What is your answer to his question?

Some months ago I read in a newspaper about Ratan Tata who had been asked a bribe for getting a license for an airline company and only revealed that now. The next day I read your statement that you were also asked millions of Rupees bribes for your Ashram. We know you like publicity and being seen in TVs and in newspapers. So you thought it would be a good idea to follow the example of Ratan Tata and give a similar statement. And just like him you did not expose that person’s name who asked you to give them money. I understand Mr. Tata, who has an enourmous enterprise and whose fortune depends also on the approval of several people with high positions in the country.

What about you, why did you not reveal a name? You are showing yourself as a Baba, a Sanyasi, living in truth and honesty and without material attachment. So what is your explanation why you don’t tell the truth? You should not mind the consequences for business as you are not attached to material belongings! Or, if you do mind it, don’t call yourself Sanyasi! Instead, you report with much pride how big your corporation is and how many thousands crore Rupees it is worth. What should the public think now? Really, it is just a normal question in everybody’s mind. Are you still a Sanyasi?

If you still call yourself Sanyasi, do you really follow the Sanyas-Dharm, all those things that a Sanyasi should do? Do you get time in between all the TV interviews, advertisements and other deals? We want to know the truth about you! Help people understand who you are!

When you say you do not own property or any money, people know immediately that it is only a play of words. If you own a corporation and that company has money, it is of course yours, too. People who buy your products in stores all over India are not stupid, they know that they are supporting you! They know that they don’t only give you money but they buy from you because they want to support you! They also see that your family members drive around in expensive cars and have a lot more money than what they themselves could be earning.

Recently I saw some figures on a TV news channel which made your statement of ‘not owning anything’ sound somewhat ridiculous. It said your empire is worth at least 11.52 billion Rupees and they gave a lot of details:

 

1000 Acres Property in Haridwar 3 Billion Rupees /~ 67 Million US-Dollars
100 Acres Ashram in Haridwar 1 Billion Rupees /~ 22 Million US-Dollars
Food Park in Haridwar 5 Billion Rupees /~ 111 Million US-Dollars
Buildings in Haridwar 250 Million Rupees /~ 6 Million US-Dollars
96 Acres Property in Solan, Himachal Pradesh 200 Million Rupees /~ 4 Million US-Dollars
750 Acres Island in Scotland 140 Million Rupees /~ 3 Million US-Dollars
99 Acres Property in Houston 980 Million Rupees /~ 22 Million US-Dollars
20% Profit of Yearly Sales of Ayurvedic Medicine 3 Billion Rupees Sales x 0.20 = 600 Million Rupees /~ 13 Million US-Dollars
Sales of Books and CDs 100 Million Rupees /~ 2 Million US-Dollars
Income of 50000 people coming to your center every year, paying 5000 Rupees per Yoga camp week 250 Million Rupees /~ 6 Million US-Dollars

And then you tell people that you need Billions of Rupees of upcoming projects. It obviously looks like your ambitions are never-ending! Is that really the path of a Sanyasi who has renounced from all worldly attachments?

Some years ago there were allegations on you and your company to have mixed the powder of human bones in the medicine you were producing and selling. You were able to save yourself and your company through your connections and your approach to the right people. A few days ago the former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav gave a statement on TV, saying that he and others saved you by taking your favour in that time but they would not do that for you again. It seems that there was something wrong, otherwise why would anybody talk about having saved you?

You yourself have been seen on different spiritual TV channels a lot, so that everybody got to know your name and face. Everybody knows that one can buy the slots there and just pay for the sending time. I have heard however that you even the majority of the shares of one of those channels, so you can practically broadcast whatever you want. Another rumour is that you have plans to start your own news channel, too, because the other ones don’t give enough coverage of your own news and your statements. What should people think about this all?

I remember a few years ago I heard you saying on TV that you have nothing in foreign countries and you don’t even have a passport. In that time you were focusing on India and honestly had nothing to do with foreign countries. Some people liked it because you obviously were devoted to your home country. Sometime later you went to the west yourself though and gave a few very big yoga programs there. You must have been disappointed, because western people did not really accept you and your ways there.

To be honest, I think that is your own fault. You gave a very strange statement, saying that yoga can cure cancer. If you had said, yoga can help if you have cancer, it would have been right but people in educated countries know enough about medicine that this is not true. Additionally you have very narrow-minded ideas of sexuality and straight-out said that homosexuality is wrong. Your yoga-oriented audience in the west did not really like that idea, either, which reminds them maybe too much of the opinion of the Pope and the suppression of sexuality through the Catholic Church.

Well, I guess it was best for you to come back home, where you still find followers for those ideas, too.

There are of course many of your ideas that I don’t approve of but you had a lot of respect for your whole work of yoga. If you could have stayed with that, it would have been good for you. Your ambitions made you show different faces to the public, the face of the businessman and the face of a politician. Don’t you see that the graph of your popularity is going down, that people have doubts and that there are fingers pointing at you? Don’t you think you have cut that branch on which you were sitting and planted the seed of doubt in people’s minds? I am really sad about this for you, are you not? I may have supported you, too, with your good deeds for the world of yoga but not with all these doubts.

If you did some real charity with your money, I would be really happy. It seems however that you are too much the businessman for that and like to invest your money in this way. If you consider all of this, you must understand why people believe that you act out of personal interest and the ambition of getting more power and wealth instead of acting for the interest of the nation.

I hope nobody thinks now that I am a supporter of the Congress party. I do not have any interest or involvement in politics and I don’t give any donation to any political party. What I say to you is from my heart and I believe this is not only my voice. Millions of Indians have these questions for you. I am not your enemy and I am not opposing you. I just would like to see clearly what your agenda is.

I come from the same background, have lived the life of a guru but gave it up, along with all followers and my religion. I am now a happily married businessman, paying tax and having nothing to do with politics. I am a simple man with no millions in my account and also have no ambition to have an empire like you. I could have, if I had remained a Guru in this religious country. But I decided not to. I just want enough for my family to survive nicely and live in a respectful manner, so that sometime, if you come to my home, I can feed you, too.

As Kabir said:

“Sahib itana dijiye jame kutum samay | mai bhi bhukha na rahu aur sadhu na bhukha jaye||”

In short this means, I just want to live nicely and honestly and die peacefully. You may thus say I am just one of the normal Indian people, hereby raising my voice to just ask what you are all about.

It doesn’t matter to me who you want to be, the yoga teacher, the businessman, the politician or all three at once. Whichever role you decide to play however, be honest in it, only that is the right way. People doubt and find out lies. Nobody can cover and hide money, property and crimes. It will come out and destroy all of what they have built.

I hope you and your followers understand my words in the way they are meant and do not get angry with me. I wish you all the best whichever way you decide to go.

Sending you much love,

Read my recent letter to Baba Ramdev on 6th June 2011 here

(21)

  1. Pauline

    Until I read your article I thought Baba Ramdev is only doing Yoga and Ayurveda. I had no idea he started a party now… but I have not informed myself about Indian politics for a while.So this is interesting. I know he is an anti-coca-cola fighter, which I always thought was a good idea. It makes sense – it is unhealthy and it comes from out of India, supporting foreign companies. India has the potential to produce such products themselves if they really want to and thus strengthen the Indian economy.
    There are surely some ideas of his yogic background which make sense in politics, too! But I agree, he would need to be very clear about it then!

  2. Shivkumar

    Wow, long blog post! And some good points. I personally believe that yoga has nothing to do in politics! You cannot combine the two areas closely, it just doesn’t work. Think about it: you, a person considered as pure, enter a domain of bribes, treachery, frauds, etc. You try to change this all?It is fighting a losing battle!
    Stay out of politics Ramdev, this is not the right way for you!

  3. Nisha

    I was a bit careful when reading this post as I usually support Baba Ramdev and in general his ideas even though there have been some disappointments recently. He is still however the most spiritual person among our politicians. I don’t like it when people say Sanyasis should not go in business and politics. It is fine, they earn money but are not attached to it. Now in your blog I found you saying, he should not care if he lost business. In this point I have to agree. If his party and campaigns should not succeed in spite of all efforts and votes such as mine, he should accept that this is God’s will. If his business should fail some day in future, he should not be devastated but understand that this was not meant to be.All in all a thoughtful article that I can recommend.

  4. Mayank

    Respected Guru Balendu,As being a common Indian ( aam Bhartiya), I give my full moral support to Ramdev. Aapne jo kuch bhi is letter me likha hai, is me to kuch bhi naya hai, ye sare aarop ko congress laga chuki hai.Aur jo kuch achchi (good) baate bhi lekhi hai wo bhi congress hi bolti aayi hai. Rahi baat BJP ki to use hi sabse jayada nuksan hone bala hai ramdev ki party se.
    wase paisa kamana (in legal way) koi buri baat nahi hai. me bhi kamana chhata hu.
    Aur Guru Balendu ji aapne likha hai ki her koi corruption mitna chahta hai. phir aap or hum koi kadam kyo nahi uthate. agar BJP ek galat party hai to Baba aap BJP ke netao ka naam bolo ki ye aadmi galat hai. Lekin is ke leye himmat chhiye jo mujme aur aap me nahi hai. Lakin Ramdev me hai jo kum se kum Congress ke bare me to khulker bolta hai.

  5. Swami Balendu

    Dear Mayank Ji, Thank you for your comment. The first thing is that I am not Guru. Just a common man like you. I never said I have new accusations for him. Why do I need to search any new accusation? Actually I do not want to accuse Baba Ramdev of anything. I am not accusing him. I am only asking some questions in the light of many accusations that others have for him.
    I have no interest in Congress or BJP. All those parties are corrupt. Why does Baba Ramdev only accuse the Congress, why doesn’t he talk about the BJP too? Why does he give big donations to the BJP? I am not at all against Ramdev but I want answers to all these questions.
    I also appreciate his campaign against corruption like you. But he needs to be clear in his political agenda.

  6. Chirag Kansara

    I fully agree on this; however I also believe that India has lost more by people leaving the society, perhaps, we need more good (or less evil) people 18active 19 in society rather than just being critics and 18sanyasi 19.

  7. Ritesh Srivastava

    I am very sure that he does not know yoga and meditation .he knows only few steps of paranayam which is just a superficial part of yoga.on a blackboard whatever you write with white markers can be seen from a distance ,so it is just like the situation here .he is popular because maximum peoples in india does not know anything about yoga and meditation. He is just a good “Vaidya” of the olden days .

  8. Ashvini Kumar Saxena

    What a post Swami ji. You have put many points from the last discussion. I really appreciate you asking the relevant questions. Wonderful and just awesome

  9. Swami Balendu

    Thank you Ashvini, many people like me want to understand him

  10. Madan Mohan Tiwari

    I too had already sent a mail to Baba Ramdev about a month back suggesting him to continue his movement against corruption with the support of millions of honest persons only without involving the corrupt persons of existing political parties,if he really wants to fight corruption.People are following him as a Yoga Guru not as a power hungry politician.

  11. Swami Balendu

    You are right Tiwari Ji, We all need to fight with corruption but he himself also need to keep clean his activities.

  12. Aswani Srivastava

    Really nice writeup. Has left me thinking..!

  13. Swami Balendu

    Thank you dear Aswani, for agreeing. I want to understand him and his action.

  14. Bharat Chovatiya

    Please read our proposed workable solution to corruption and support it.

  15. Santosh

    Dear Swami Balendu, I welcome your effort to know the truth but still I think it is not enough said. There are so many questions left behind or let’s say are supressed by Baba Ramdev’s power and money. This is not the first time and you are not the first persin who has asked this kind of questions. On this page: http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report_ngo-wants-ramdev-to-prove-cancer-treatment_1076604 you can see one of this kind of question was asked but Ramdev never answered. Simply because he has no answers of the fact and he knows himself that he is just lying to people when he says things like “I can cure cancer with Yoga”. He also knows that he pays people to make statements in his running program that their cancer got cured or this and that happened. I am in favor of noone but I agree with you, Swami Balendu, who is not a Swami. I myself have been to many yoga camps of Ramdev but all I found is a big drama, looting of people. He is doing less yoga and more lectures. If you listen to him only for 15 min. he is talking so much of ego all the time! I am this, I did this, I can do this, I will do this, I want to do this and for that I need your support and money. This is what his lectures are about, which goes sometime for country, for health, for youth, for women on so many different topics but his formula is one and always trying to get people in his talks and get their support and money.

  16. Sunita Yadav

    I am happy to read this article about Ramdev, Swami Balendu ji, you have really taken a hard step by writing this letter to Ramdev. I am sure you will have to face many hard reactions from his blind followers but do not worry, I and millions of my kind of Indian are with you. Ramdev is so uneducated & illiterate, recently I read an article about him which made me very angry toward him: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_govt-orders-probe-into-ramdev-s-medicine-to-deliver-male-children_1094491-all I could not believe at first that he is such a stupid man who is insulting women by making medicins for producing male children. I say he should be arrested for this, else why is it illigal to check gender of a baby? Isn’t he doing the same thing and making people fool and giving them such dirty medicins? I want to ask him if his grandfather (Father of his mother) had done something like that, had eaten this kind of medicine, how would he would have came to the world. India is already suffering from lack of girls. What does he want to do? Does he want to create more Gay people and then get more business by claming to cure them by calling it a disease? Or he wants that sexual crime should increase and two or more men marry the same woman? Can he answer these all questions?

  17. Kamini Chaturvedi

    You are right Sunita, I was astonished to read the article that you gave here and I found one another article about Ramdev, talking about Sex: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_ramdev-maharaj-opposes-sex-education_1129138-all

    Ramdev is opposing sex education in schools.
    If you combine these two points together, see what picture is coming out: He is producing medicine to deliver male children and at the same time he is oppesing sex education in schools. That’s how he can have his business because if people have sex education, who would buy his strange product? So first he is misleading people by keeping them uneductaed about this topic and then he is tricking them by selling his non-sense product. He is such a cunning businessman! I do not see him as a Sadhu or Sanyasi at all. How much sex offence he does in public in his talks and acts, it makes him sound and look cheap like Rakhi Sawant.

  18. Rajendra

    Yadi baba ramdev ne manvendra singh ko ladaki se pyar karana sikha diya to manvendra singh ki life badal jayegi, who khushi se pagal ho jayega aur baba ke samane jake apni pant utar ke ulta jhuka khada ho jayega aur kahega “Baba tussi great ho tohafa kabool karo”

  19. Dinkar

    Another proof of supporting BJP. In this newspaper he says: “The person must be clean and honest. It can be from any political party – my own or any other,” he says while refraining from responding to queries of a possible alliance with the BJP.

  20. Asheem Aggarwal

    It was a bold letter to write as he is loved by the masses – maybe we should call you swami boldendu !! it almost feels as though almost anything large scale on this planet is bound to be plagued by inauthenticity. nature works in ecosystems that are distributed yet connected. a signal that we should not be lifting any one person to such heights. I feel mahatma gandhi was an exception as his acclaim was empowering the people and he lived most modestly and without a formal organization.

  21. BSC Aditya Singh Dinkar

    Humare Gaon mein ek kahavat hai – “JAB LOG TUMHARE KHILAF BOLANE LAGE SAMJHO TARAKKI KAR RAHE HO”
    Jab bhi is desh mein koi kranti laane ki koshish karta hai tab tab log uspe kichadd jarur uchalte hain…..Yeh pehli baar nahin ho raha hai……Gandhi Ji ne desh ko aazad karane mein ek badi bhumika ada kari….phir bhi aaj log unpe kichadd uchalte hain…..1965 mein jab Sh. Lal bahadur shastri ji ki death hui thi tab logon ne unke khilaf bolana shuru kiya ki woh sirf saadgi ka dhong karte hain…jabki unke pass croro rupayee hain….yeh baat baad mein ja ke galat sabit hui…..to mera to yeh mananna hai ki bolne wale to bolte rahenge…Par

    HAATH JINME HO JUNOON KAT TE NAHIN TALWAR SE,
    SAR JO UTH JAATE HAIN WOH JHUKTE NAHIN LALKAAR SE.

    Logon ka kehna hai ki inke pass 1100 crore ki property hai…..Sathya sri sai baba ke pass bhi to 85000-102500 ki property thi unke khilaf kabhi kisi ne nahin bola….kyunki kabhi unhone politicians ke khilaf nahin bola….baba ramdev bol rahe isliye log unke khilaf ho rahein…..darsal bharat ke log chahte hi nahin ki Bharstachar desh se khatam ho…..kyun ki unko aadat pad gayi hai iski….police wale ne pakad liya bina helmet 100 ka note de diya……office mein koi kaam atka hai to rishvat de di……aaj kal kisi ko bhi sabr nahin hai…sab kaam jaldi karvana chahte hain….To aise log kyun Bharstchar ke khilaf honge…..balki jo ga uski aisi taisi kar denge……
    Bharat meuin ek baat hai…….
    Jo chal raha hai chalne do agar koi kuch accha kaam kar raha hai to uski aisi taisi kar do……
    Kaun kehta hai hai ki swami logon ko sirf bhakti karni chahiye…desh ke liye kuch nahin….bharat main pehle bhi aise saadhu sant huye hain jinhone desh ki aazadi ki ladaiyaan ladi hai….Maharashi Dayanand Saraswati ka naam to aap logon ne suna hoga…woh inhi logon mein se ek the….
    Baba ramdev BJP ko support kar rahein hain yeh sab fizool ki udai hui baatein hain…..aur baba ramdev ne kabhi koi male producing medicine banai hi nahin hai…woh medicine baccha paida karne ke liye hai na ki male baccha paida karne ke liye…….
    Itne saalon se congress is desh ko lut rahi hai Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru se lekar Sonia Gandhi tak sab ne is desh ko luta hai…..ab tak to koi nahin bola….but jab Baba Ramdev inke khilaf bolne lage to support karne ke bajaye log inko opoose karne lage…..bade sharam ki baat hai yeh…..

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