Sunday, June 5, 2011

It may be Baba Ramdev today. It could be any of us tomorrow.

Came across two interesting articles, not in the discredited mainstream media (MSM), but in blogs.  covering the fast of Baba Ramdev.  If time permits, please have a look at these two links.
  1. Baba Ramdev - a few thoughts (Link -
  2. The fast & the spurious (Link -
Hummingbird broadly concurs with the theme of these articles, though one can dis-agree with some aspects. 

Hummingbird watched the entire police action starting from 12 mid-night till 3.30 am today morning.  It was sad to watch the various (contradictory) announcements like -

  1. Baba Ramdev was arrested.
  2. No Baba Ramdev was not arrested.  He was only detained.
  3. GoI didn't do it.  Action was taken by Delhi Government.
  4. No he was neither arrested nor detained.  He is now in safe custody.
  5. No he was neither arrested nor detained.  He escaped from behind the pandal.
The action left Hummingbird wondering about the direction our country is heading wherein the corrupt and terrorists go scot free, but those who ask for action to be taken against the corrupt end up getting beaten - including women and aged people.  And these are not people who were violent and on the streets.  They posed no danger to anyone, other than themselves by their fast.  TimesNow reported (during the operation) that there were around 80,000+ people (including children, women & aged) in Ramlila ground that time.  Resorting to brutal police action and tear gas in the middle of the night on such people, to his heart, appears to be completely in-human.

Hummingbird wonders if it is the colour of the dress worn by Baba, his rustic language, non-convent & non-English background etc which irritated the media and 'elite' civil society.  Maybe the issues raised by him especially money stashed abroad threatened the political class which has been a great beneficiary of a corrupt system.  Anyone who even remotely tries to rectify/correct the situation ends up vilified by a campaign of calumny eg., Shanti & Prashant Bhushans recently and now Baba Ramdev. 

Hummingbird remembers that in the recent past, Sri Ratan Tata called India a "banana" republic.  The brutal mid-night police action shows that if we aren't a banana republic by now, then we are definitely on road towards that destination. 

The glee in the English language media (NDTV & CNN-IBN) was sad.  Little do they realise that the bell will toll for them too, and there won't be people around to support them, for they (media) have already justified brutal mid-night police action.  The media which crawled during the Emergency when they were only asked to bend, has now become co-opted by the system.  The media which feels elated when Medha Patkar and Anna Hazare goes to fast, suddenly feels threatened when Baba Ramdev goes to fast.  The media which supports rights of terrorists, Maoists and their sympathisers and other anti-nationals, is now supporting police action on women, aged and children in the middle of night with excessive force and tear gas.  This speaks volumes about the media. 

Hummingbird is against fasting as a tool to force governmental action whether by Medha Patkar or Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev.  Hummingbird is against violence (in any form) or against suicide.  But often such actions come about as a last resort when normal measures fail.  The key aspect is identifying and eradicating the cause rather than treating the symptom.

People are struggling - inflation and corruption are killing the people.  Hummingbird has a bad habit of striking conversation with aam admis - be it the vegetable vendor, the auto drivers, bus conductors, istry walah, shop keeper, flower vendor...  Everywhere, he is seeing visible signs of helplessness and anger amongst people.  Normal people who otherwise should feel contented (especially educated & earning middle class) is angry and this is something new to him.  He did not see this anger 5 or 10 years back.  The expressions used in day-to-day language is becoming strong and bordering on violence.  India is governed not by the small contingent of police - but by restraint / discipline / belief in God of the people of the country.  He is worried that this country will become ungovernable if people don't see visible action against the corrupt.  Hummingbird worries that in our own lifetimes we may see bloodshed on the streets.

Even now it is not too late.  The ruling class can show determination to catch hold of atleast one corrupt person and recover the lost loot.  That will bring back credibility to the political process.  Otherwise, Hummingbird sees troubled times for the country.

We should respect the democratic rights of people to protest, in as peaceful a manner as possible.  The brutal police action, gives Hummingbird the feeling, that such a right has been violated.  It may be Baba Ramdev today.  It could be any of us tomorrow.