This is no Saint
09 Jun 2011
The government has been roundly criticised for first having cosseted Baba Ramdev and then arrested him.
The police action to arrest him has been compared to the Emergency. It is only a matter of time before someone labels the midnight descent upon the Ramlila ground as India's Tiananmen.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Two months ago Anna Hazare won the greatest battle for democracy that the country has seen. But Baba Ramdev was throwing away all the concessions Hazare had wrested from the Indian State. He was doing this by steadily raising the demands for 'reform' till they became impossible for even the most sincerely reformist government to accept.
Ramdev was, admittedly, taking his cue from the more radical of the activists who surrounded Hazare. But unlike them he had not come into the field of battle to win but to lose.
Ramdev's predecessors had already jeopardised the success of the joint panel on the Lokpal bill by insisting that it should have the power to investigate and, if necessary, indict not only MPs, ministers and bureaucrats, but the prime minister and the judges of the Supreme Court as well.