Ramdev's nine-day fast ends; protest to continue
Yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday broke his nine-day-old fast even as doctors said he will be discharged from hospital in two-three days though his condition is "stable".
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, who met the 46-year-old yoga exponent for the third day at a Dehradun hospital, said, "Ramdev has broken his fast by taking juice. He ended the fast in the presence of various religious and spiritual leaders".
Ramdev, who went on his hunger strike to protest against corruption and black money issues, was admitted to the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences in Dehradun on Friday after his condition deteriorated at his Patanjali Yogapeeth ashram in Haridwar.
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'He will take this satyagraha forward till his last breath'
Vijay Dhasmana, the hospital director, said, "I am thankful to everyone who came here and helped Ramdev to break his fast. His health is not such that he can be discharged on Sunday."
"It will take two-three days for him to be out of this hospital. By evening he will be shifted to a deluxe general ward. His condition is stable and he has broken his fast," he said.
The yoga exponent's close associate Balakrishna, who also ended his fast at the hospital, said, "Ramdev has considered the request of hundreds of his followers and people from the saints' fraternity".
"He (Ramdev) will take this satyagraha forward till his last breath. The protest will continue till our last breath. Ramdev wants black money to be declared as national wealth constitutionally. We appeal to all our followers and other people to break their fast as well," Balakrishna said, adding "I also thank the media for helping us in spreading the message against corruption to the masses".
'It is not a a matter of who wins or who loses'
Asked if the battle against the government was lost, Balakrishna said, "It is not a a matter of who wins or who loses. The aim was to wake up the nation against corruption and now people have woken up and the fight will continue."
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy said, "I was here when Ramdev took a glass of juice from Sri Sri Ravishankar and broke his fast. It is a matter of great satisfaction for the whole nation. Protests should be done in front of people who have a heart. Protests against corruption will continue. We all are with him."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living founder, had been meeting Ramdev at the hospital to persuade him to end his hunger strike. He had come from Haridwar where he had gone to immerse the ashes of his father who died recently.
'Whatever message he wanted to give has been given'
Morari Bapu, a religious leader, said, "I have been associated with Ramdev through spirituality and I came to meet him and to take stock of his health. I am happy to note that he has broken the fast and taken juice. Whatever message he wanted to give has been given."
Soon after the announcement was made that Ramdev had ended his fast, a number of his supporters shouted anti-government and pro-Ramdev slogans.
"We all are happy that Ramdev has broken his fast and we all are with him to fight corruption and to bring back black money," said Rajesh Kumar, a follower who came here from Jharkhand along with 50 others.
Baba Ramdev will leave hospital in 3-4 days
Earlier doctors attending on him had said, "His condition is stable. Ramdev's blood pressure and pulse rate and all other parameters are the same. There was slight variation in his BP. It has tripped thrice today."
Neurologist Dr Deepak Goel, who is part of the team treating Ramdev, said, "He is facing problem in speaking. He has complained of weakness. We are giving him saline drip with vitamins. A team of doctors which is looking after him had said that he should be allowed oral feeding to save his life."
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala had also met Ramdev on Sunday morning.
Badal told media persons, "I want the government to accept all his demands as they are for welfare of the whole nation. We will be conveying to the Centre that it is their responsibility to save a human life who is fighting for people's cause."
Image: Tears roll down the face of a Ramdev supporter