For once, the nation agrees with Justice Markandey Katju, who called Ramdev’s show at Ramlila “a circus”. In this circus, Ramdev was the clown who entertained his disciples for three days with his amusing claims. AIDS can be cured by yoga and black money, if brought back, would make everyone rich, are usually the kinds of claims that even magicians at circuses would fear to profess. But, Ramdev had other plans. His circus was trying to sell corruption that had become the only rallying point for Indians. Though he failed to attract revellers for the first two days, the last day saw a surge in these numbers putting the smile back on Baba’s face.
On the last day of his jamboree, Baba decided to lead the carnival to Parliament and there was enough evidence to suggest that he would be arrested much before he could reach his destination. But, Baba decided to become the showstopper and take matters in his own hands. He knew that the only way to get footage on television channels was to do something dramatic. Something that keeps the crowds entertained, both at home and at the venue.
Soon emerging out of the locked gates of Ramlila Maidan, mobbed by cameramen and supporters alike, Baba was gleaming with the attention. Even policemen were busy filming the yoga guru as he surfaced out of the venue like a top European model. Perched on top of a car, Ramdev appeared in a cross-legged pose that would have reminded viewers of the famous Angelina Jolie high slit pose during the Oscars.
Flashing his 100 watt smile, Baba in his trademark style winked at his supporters. This was his moment. His Anna moment. Exhibiting behaviour similar to that of the crowds at circuses, people were buying Ramdev goodies that sold like hot samosas. Instead of balloons, children were buying flags while the elderly were sporting Ramdev t-shirts, bandanas, wrist bands and topis. Souvenirs from the circus, eh!
Basking in his glory, Baba was hysterically waving the tri colour. He was a true reincarnation of Kiran Bedi, who had a similar job during Anna’s stint at Ramlila Maidan. She had earlier paid a visit to Baba at the venue and could have shared her wisdom on the act of flag waving.Exhausted after the strenuous routine, Baba now decided to speak to his supporters. He took up the microphone and screamed Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram. This was way too similar to how Anna would greet his supporters. After all, the two are torchbearers of the same sinister design.
Except for Baba, there were a few others accompanying him on the roof top ride. Presence of a woman with his entourage did raise some eyebrows and many believed that she could possibly be carrying an extra pair of women clothes for Baba’s cross dressing escapades. Policemen kept a strict vigil on the woman’s movement, but much to everyone’s dismay, she soon got down putting all such speculations to rest. It seemed that Baba knew that there was no need for such a ‘sexy’ escape.
Loud chants of his followers were greeted with high-speed winking. Baba could have easily been the fastest winker on the planet. A light shower followed, forcing Baba to take cover inside a bus. If he would have decided to brave the rains, Baba could have easily been mistaken for a Bollywood starlet doing a seductive rain sequence on a bus top in a saffron saari. Inside the bus, Baba was out of the media’s gaze. Surrounded by his followers, it was difficult for cameramen to focus on the yoga guru. Baba couldn’t afford to be far from media’s eyes and soon he was seen wriggling out of the bus window trying to squeeze his torso between two iron bars. Thanks to his yoga skills, he managed to slip through them. Despite the discomfort, Baba was still smiling and happily giving “bites” to news hungry television channels.
With TV cameras panning and zooming at his every movement and capturing every detail of his acrobatics, the yoga guru was ecstatic. But the pain of being sandwiched between two iron bars must have been overwhelming and Baba decided to retreat. After his approval, his followers then started pulling him inside and with great difficulty managed to squeeze him out of the precarious situation. Just when everything seemed to be ending on a peaceful not, Baba was in mood of some more fun. He again climbed onto the roof of one of the buses and paid no heed to the requests made by police to climb down. Baba was giving exclusives to news channels from the rooftop and after every channel had an exclusive with Baba, the yoga guru seemed exhausted.
After repeated requests, Baba finally climbed down and was then taken to Ambedkar Stadium inDelhi along with his followers. When everyone thought that the day-long commotion was over, Baba had other ideas. Inside the stadium, he made frivolous demands like food and water be provided to his supporters by the government. He winked again. Next day, the channels were up early and began speculating on when the yoga teacher would break his fast. Like Anna, he too wanted to make a spectacle out of this. And following Anna’s footsteps, a young boy and a girl were brought in to help Baba sip coconut water from a glass. With Anna magic fading, Baba made every attempt to hijack the corruption issue and made sure that the Right-wing forces behind him weren’t disappointed with his efforts.
Ironically, the man who had amassed huge wealth and runs an empire was lecturing on how corruption is the root problem of all ills in the country. His partner, Balakrishnan, whose posters were all over Ramlila and was dubbed as a revolutionary, was recently released on bail for forgery. So, how does such a man be the saviour of the masses? “How could people trust a man who winks after everything he says?” was trending on social networking websites.
With Ramlila being the confluence of such jokers, Delhi is certain to have such jamborees that will keep the crowds amused and the government on its toes.