28th October 2012
UPDATE: I have met Swami Ramdev later, in December 2012, and found a large number of commonalities of perspective.
I chanced upon the following view on Facebook, and would like to provide below a copy of my response, and also a few other observations.
रतन सिंह Shame on you that you dont know abt FTI…This is the same guy Sanjeev Sablok Who oppose every move of Baba Ramdev & wanted to stop his agitation by hook or crook ..Even he justifies the govt's cpwardly act to stop Baba Ramdev ….& you r liking his post ??? Popularizing him ???.
Sanjeev Sabhlok Ratan, you are welcome to misrepresent me and my work, that's up to you. I NEVER opposed Baba Ramdev personally. He is a fine person who wants to remove corruption. He and I have the same goal.
Indeed, he and I spoke a couple of weeks ago and had a very productive conversation about the changes needed in India. I might even work with him more closely in the coming years. Yes, I did oppose some of the statements he made and will continue to speak the truth about things that are incorrect. Many of the earlier ideas of Ramdev about removing corruption were simply wrong. He agrees now that we must follow Chanakya's Arthashastra more closely. What I'm teaching is pretty much what Chanakya said.
When Ramdev fled, wearing woman's clothes, I was very angry at that act. But my position changed after I was told by eyewitnesses that Ramdev had offered to be arrested, and that the police refused to do so. I was told that his life was actually in danger. I therefore removed that post and wrote a post asking the Congress government to resign: Did Baba Ramdev offer to be arrested? If so, the Congress must resign.
I've always said Ramdev is a good man who sometimes does or says the wrong thing.
For instance, he is very good at yoga: Now, here's something Baba Ramdev is very good at. This is what I wrote: "Ramdev is therefore VERY good at transmitting ancient Indian knowledge. I give him much credit for what he is good at."
On yoga I'm happy to listen to Ramdev. On policy, he must try to listen to me.
I've said so many times earlier, e.g: Baba Ramdev a good man, but how does one get him to understand good policy? This is what I wrote: "This man DEFINITELY has potential. His heart is in the right place. What he needs is to understand how to create the economic prosperity that he talks about, and to get out of the shoddy policies he imagines will solve India's problems."
Baba Ramdev is very good in yoga but not very good at all in policy thinking. Just like I'm very bad in yoga and much better in policy matters.
He is now willing to accept this fact. The fact that he now thinks that Chankaya might have something useful to say on corruption is a sign that he is changing.
In the end the TRUTH wins. Satyameva Jayate. We need to find solutions that work. And Chanakya had found many of them. We need to rediscover Chanakya.
It is my job to continue to speak the truth. When India is ready, it will listen. Of that I'm sure. I'm glad that Baba Ramdev and I had a very positive and productive conversation recently.
I'm even willing to work closely with him subject to (a) verification that his accounts are totally clean and (b) detailed policy agreement.
He must also eschew any support for either BJP or Congress. He must stop supporting the reservations policy, and he must stop demanding a prohibition on cow slaughter.
Remember that Chanakya's Arthashastra does NOT contain any such admonition against cow slaughter. [Sanjeev: Actually, beef was officially permitted to be sold by the King during Chanakya's time] Indeed, there is every likelihood that in Vedic times, Indians ate beef. But that's neither here nor there. Let historians debate that. And I'm not asking anyone to eat anything or not eat anything. That's their private business.
The point is that Chanakya did NOT believe in prohibitions. We must ensure animal rights and accountability, and then allow people the freedom to be what they want to be.
We must learn from Chanakya. Then we can move further, together.
If we keep following half-baked socialist ideas, then I'm afraid we are not going to make any progress in India.
In fact, things will only get worse.