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'Health benefit for fat people, wealth for nation'

Last updated on: June 4, 2011 16:45 IST

'Health benefit for fat people, wealth for nation'

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Baba Ramdev on Saturday took a two-hour break from the protest, stating he had to discuss issues with government representatives on his demands for bringing back black money stashed away abroad and end corruption.

"There will be a two-hour break now. I have to discuss issues with government representatives," Ramdev said while addressing his followers at Ramlila Maidan where he started his hunger strike.

Among the demands made by Ramdev are an ordinance to repatriate black money from abroad, capital punishment for people convicted for corruption and speedy trials of persons accused of graft.


Image: A supporter wears an image of Swami Ramdev while listening to his address at the Ramlila Grounds
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'We agreed on some issues'

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He said the government should give in writing what it can give and they should take constitutional steps in those cases where such measures are required.

"We agreed on some issues on Friday. On some issues partial consensus was arrived at. Till 100 per consensus is reached, we will continue our protest," he said.

"I am not sitting here to rebuke anybody. If government fulfills our demand, full credit will go to government," he said.


Image: Swami Ramdev performs yoga at the Ramlila Grounds
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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Sadhvi Ritambhara present at fast venue

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Meanwhile, devotional and patriotic songs reverberated across the Ramlila Grounds, the site of yoga guru Baba Ramdev's hunger strike against black money, as his discourse was laced with humour and demonstration of asanas.

A music-filled morning greeted the thousands of people who poured into the sprawling site to see and listen to Ramdev.

At 4:50 am, Ramdev came on the dais accompanied by saffron-clad monks and he was joined by radical Sangh Parivar leader Sadhvi Ritambhara and Muslim and Sikh religious leaders.

It was almost a one-man show by Ramdev who conducted the proceedings, interspersing yoga demonstration, discourse and music with a bit of humour to spice up the  proceedings.


Image: A man waves the national flag during an address by Swami Ramdev
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'This is not Mullah Omar's Taliban'

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Whenever religious leaders came on the dais, Ramdev would introduce them, apparently to project that his movement was not sponsored by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or any other organisation.

Ramdev continuously addressed the gathering and was followed by Sadhvi Ridambhara, who lavished praise on the Baba saying, "If there were more Vallabbhai Patels, then there would no need for a sanyasi to sit on satyagraha."

Maulvi Rizvi complimented the Sadhvi for her speech and said, "This is not Mullah Omar's Taliban. This is Hindustan," drawing thunderous applause.


Image: A supporter of Swami Ramdev uses a magnifying glass to watch his address
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'Health benefit for fat people, wealth for nation'

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Ramdev was at his humorous best when he told his followers that the hunger strike will help them in two ways.

"Hamara mota bhai aur moti baheno ke liye yeh satyagrah health benefits dega aur desh ke liye wealth mil jayega" (while the hunger strike will help obese brothers and sisters, it will also bring wealth to the country)".

When a follower gave him a Rs 11 lakh cheque, he quipped, "Take the photo, this is not black money".


Image: Swami Ramdev raises his hands with supporters at the Ramlila Grounds
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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