Lucknow, 6 April 2006
The skeleton dust controversy almost reduced to ashes, Baba Ramdev’s dream project took off today amid much fanfare.
There was also a surprise gift for the new-age guru. After the Patanjali Yog Peeth was inaugurated near Hardwar, Uttaranchal chief minister N.D. Tiwari announced that he had decided to award it university status and make Ramdev its vice-chancellor for life.
Joining Tiwari on the glittering guest list were vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, railway minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, the chief ministers of Bihar, Haryana and Delhi — Nitish Kumar, B.S. Hooda and Sheila Dikshit, respectively — besides some industrialists.
Shekhawat sang paeans to the baba, comparing him with Swami Vivekananda and his Peeth with the Ramkrishna Mission. “In the 21st century, Baba has reinvented the Indian traditional healthcare system. He is India’s future. His cure system encompasses all human ailments.”
The Peeth, about 50 km from Hardwar, has been designed as a centre for social and scientific research in yoga and ayurveda.
Last year, CPM leader Brinda Karat had alleged that Ramdev was marketing ayurvedic medicines that contained animal parts and powder made from human skull. The storm was given a quiet burial after the Uttaranchal chief minister handed the baba a clean chit.
The Peeth, set up at an approximate cost of Rs 100 crore, will lay stress on pranayam — Ramdev is a familiar face on television teaching the breathing exercises — being a cure for several diseases for which modern medical science has no answer.
University status will help the Peeth promote the study of ancient India and herbal medicines, Tiwari said. “Baba is a pathfinder. His outstanding methods of exercises and his dedication to promote ayurvedic medicine should be welcome by all,” he said.
A bill would soon be introduced in the House to formally make it a university.
The speakers avoided any reference to the Ramdev-Brinda row, but not Lalu Prasad. “She is our sister. But she should understand that when a man is on his deathbed, one should not think what medicines he is taking for his cure. Even if it is human skull dust, what does it matter?” he asked.
His funny bone was right in place. “Jaan bachane ke liye insan ka kaan chabana hai to bhi sahi (It’s okay to even chew a human ear to save one’s life),” the former Bihar chief minister said amid roars of laughter.
He wasn’t done yet. “Danav ka khopri ho ya manav ka, khane se bimar bhala hota hai to harj kya hai (Whether it is the skull of a devil or a human, if it cures a sick person, then why should one object?).”
News Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com