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Action against Baba Ramdev not justified

S C Chabba’s letter (June 8) and the news report “Politicians, babus not ready for transparency: says Antony” (June 9) when read in juxtaposition made intriguing reading and prompted me to indulge in loud thinking on the current events and movements against corruption and black money. Firstly, the letter writer has vainly done a balancing act ‘vis-a-vis the inhuman, barbaric and most undemocratic crackdown by the Delhi police on the elderly, women and other citizens while they were asleep and Baba Ramdev ‘s  alleged acts of omission and commission. His specious plea that the civil society movement against corruption has been trivialised by “including other demands pertaining to agriculture, education and land acquisition.....”has a hollow ring.

Is it not true that the indiscriminate and reckless land acquisition by the politico-bureaucratic mafia under the antiquated Land Acquisition Act1894 has turned the state into a den of corruption?

That the farmers are up in arms against this institutionalised and legalised loot, in a way, prove Mr Chabba totally wrong in his assessment of the whole issue of corruption.

India is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and Article 20 guarantees everyone has a right to peaceful assembly. Article 5 mandates “No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment/punishment.”

Importantly, the Indian Constitution has granted the fundamental rights of freedom of expression to the citizens. But throwing all the canons of civilised and democratic conduct in governance of the affairs of the state, the establishment swooped down upon the elderly, women and other citizens when they were asleep at dead of night.

Edmund Burke has very aptly observed, “Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long last.”

The myriad scams and scandals bear me out to conclude inescapably that corruption has gone to the marrow of the powers that be in India.

 The civil society movements are clamouring for transparency and accountability in order to rid the system of the evils of corruption, graft and institutionalised corrupt practices in the governance of the country. But the politico- bureaucratic elite looks askance alleging “the movements are political conspiracy” and trying to defame the civil society leaders.

Time has come when the ruling political elite should stop the political blame game, skulduggery and brazen endeavours to communalise corruption.



No doubt, the statement of Baba Ramdev that a force of 11,000 will be trained both in shaastra and shastra to retaliate if the authorities crack down on their anti-corruption campaign is condemnable and there is no place for such means in democracy (editorial, “Ramdev’s call to arms”, June 10). At the same time the remarks made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that “it was unfortunate that operation had to be conducted but quite honestly, there was no alternative before the government” is also not a responsible statement. In a democracy like India the government has no right to attack unarmed innocent people who were protesting for a just cause.  

If Baba Ramdev is a fraud or has been propped up by the RSS as propagated by the government, then why did the four leading Cabinet Ministers talk to him? Baba Ramdev has come forward with a national cause that is getting the support and approval of the people.             

But the government believes only in suppressing dissent by force. It would take action against all those Indians who stand up in support of any effort to root out corruption. When it adopts such a posture the resolve that it expressed for fighting corruption becomes suspect.



The editorial was apt. The yoga guru’s readiness to create militants is an anarchist view challenging the authority of the constitutionally elected democratic government.

So far Baba did a yeoman’s service to humanity by showing the Yoga way of cure against serious physical ailments, besides providing medicines which found acceptance among the patients. His austere and simple life is exemplary.

The police action at Ramlila Maidan was unwarranted. Sadly, the BJP and the RSS are trying to fish in troubled waters.

The Opposition and other parties should help the government in resolving the crisis instead of mulling to dethrone the government or abetting disruptive and subversive activities.



The headline of the report, “Dalit protesters clash with police in Mirchpur,” published on the front page of The Tribune on June 14, was inaccurate. The headline should have been “Protesters clash with police in Hisar.” The error is regretted.

— Editor-in-Chief

Tackle HIV threat

Youth are the future of any country. It is shocking to know that adolescents are being increasingly affected with HIV. India is 10th in the list of highest number of HIV adolescents (article, “Don’t let the guard down against AIDS” by Aditi Tandon, June 9). 

HIV is not a new threat. It is the most fragile virus known so far. It dies within 30 minutes of its fair exposure or at the temperature of 56 degree centigrade. However, dramatic scientific advances since HIV was first discovered 30 years ago means the virus is no longer a death sentence. Despite spending a huge amount of money for HIV research a suitable vaccine against AIDS has remained elusive until now and an effective vaccine against this chronic disease is still many years away.

 No one disputes that the killer disease must be tackled. But AIDS is an expensive disease, expensive to prevent and expensive to treat - but India cannot afford the alternative.

The question is only as to how to combat AIDS. A preventive vaccine will have no use for people who are already infected with HIV. While a fully protective vaccine against AIDS is probably still a distant dream, promotion of better awareness in society through media, seminars, publicity and involvement of NGOs along with provision of highly effective anti-retroviral medication for the HIV-infected individuals can go a long way in tackling the menace of AIDS.

It would be more appropriate if the people living with HIV and especially young people with HIV are involved, in HIV prevention efforts to improve programmes with full respect for human rights to all.

The UN should stress on all countries to keep specific budget targets for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur



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