POSTED BY Buzz ON Jun 08, 2011 AT 06:19 IST ,  Edited At: Jun 08, 2011 06:19 IST

Sagarika Ghose in the Hindustan Times:

The UPA has dispatched Ramdev to his ashram. The police action at the Ramlila Maidan was insupportable and the BJP has now gained a cause celebre. The RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have fully supported Ramdev from the start. On Twitter, anyone critical of Ramdev is being dubbed a ‘Congress
agent’ by Sangh parivar activists.

The Ramdev phenomenon and, to some extent, the Anna Hazare campaign are part of India’s right-wing nationalist revolution. It is right-wing because it is based on national pride and individual entitlement. It is a movement of the middle and lower middle class buoyed up by 9% growth that now seeks a responsive, overtly honest government and a hard State.

This revolution is closely linked to a Hindu consolidation spreading through society. Perhaps as a backlash to globalisation, urban religiosity and Bharatiya sanskriti have become fashionable; faith in gurus is growing and it cuts across classes. Ramdev jumps from colas to homosexuality to black money in his choice of enemies, yet his devotees’ faith remains constant.

Notwithstanding the BJP’s crushing electoral defeats, the Hindu nationalist consolidation is gathering tremendous cultural momentum, much of which feeds into the anti-corruption campaigns. The Ram janmabhoomi movement is back, in a new sophisticated avatar.

Read on at the Hindustan Times

Incidentally, journalists known to be close to the BJP are far more circumspect about the impact of Ramdev.

Swapan Dasgupta in the Times of India puts his finger on what should certainly be worrying the BJP:

The BJP believes it too will be the principal gainer from the Congress's inability to respond to the 2009 mandate. That may be. Yet, it should reflect over why civil society movements are acquiring momentum in precisely those regions where BJP is the natural alternative to the Congress. Even if the Facebook crowd is aesthetically inclined towards the 'non-party' activism of the NGOs and the likes of Anna Hazare, why is the non-cosmopolitan middle class acquiescing to the opposition mantle being passed on to a baba rather than to a political party espousing the same values?

For India's politicians, the need to subsume banality and dubious history in reflection was never more pressing. The Ramdev crisis has burnt the Congress but it has also singed the opposition.

And Ashok Malik argues that Ramdev is too independent and autonomous to be satisfied being a prop for the Sangh Parivar – as the RSS network is called – or indeed any party:

Till a week ago he seemed happy to do a deal with the Congress on his terms. Today, he is happy to enter into a mutually-beneficial and expedient relationship with non-Congress parties, the BJP the biggest among them....

Ramdev is a Yadav from Haryana, an OBC. He can attribute his fame not to some ancient monastery but to television. He is one of a generation of astonishingly successful televangelists.

These televangelists don’t restrict themselves to caste or sectional mobilisation; they don’t carve out geographical territories. Instead, they seek to construct pan-Indian constituencies, particularly among television-watching audiences in urban India, largely in small towns but in big cities as well.

Today, a Ramdev has greater name, brand and face recall than the RSS, the VHP and almost all of the worthies who signed up for the dharma sansad 20-25 years ago. Unlike them, he is not going to be reined in by group discipline. That’s what makes him – and others like him – so fascinating and so unpredictable.

The question is: can they influence voting decisions as well?

POSTED BY Buzz ON Jun 08, 2011 AT 06:19 IST ,  Edited At: Jun 08, 2011 06:19 IST
Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for important and fun stuff
TRANSLATE INTO:


Post a Comment
Share your thoughts
You are not logged in, please log in or register
Must See
Daily Mail
Digression
57/D-65
Jun 16, 2011
01:14 PM

We know that the way it dealt with corruption in Karnatak was no better than the way it dealt with the massacre in Gujarat in 2002.

RSS responsible for corruption in Karnataka just like Islam is responsible for Godhra massacre. Communists are responsible for genocide of ten million people hence we should ban CPM from opposing corruption. Such twisted logic!

RSM
Delhi, India
56/D-60
Jun 16, 2011
01:02 PM

>> We know that the way it dealt with corruption in Karnatak was no better than the way it dealt with the massacre in Gujarat in 2002.

It has as much right to pick and choose issues as you or Teesta.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
55/D-46
Jun 16, 2011
11:41 AM

>> RSS supporting a campaign against corruption.

We know that the way it dealt with corruption in Karnatak was no better than the way it dealt with the massacre in Gujarat in 2002.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
54/D-31
Jun 16, 2011
09:21 AM

>>the attempt of the RSS to piggyback on the anti-corruption crusade has no parallel in McCarthyism.

Yes it doesn't. But RSS supporting a campaign against corruption and the corrupt themselves screaming 'communal campaign' has a parallel.

RSM
Delhi, India
53/D-71
Jun 15, 2011
07:58 PM

>> somebody whines here of McCarthyism.

While Communism and RSS may both be evil, the attempt of the RSS to piggyback on the anti-corruption crusade has no parallel in McCarthyism.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
Order by
Order by
PhotosNewsBlogsLatest
Short Takes
click for more
recent tags
Assembly Elections
Baba Ramdev
BJP
Congress
Corruption
Haryana
Health- Medicine- Fitness
Levity
Maharashtra
Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS)
Media
NCP
Shiv Sena
TV
Websites
 
bloggers
A. Sanzgiri
Boria Majumdar
Buzz
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Freya Dasgupta
G. Rajaraman
K.V. Bapa Rao
Maheshwer Peri
Namrata Joshi
Omar Ali
Our Readers Write Back
OWD
Poster
Prarthna Gahilote
Shefalee Vasudev
Sundeep Dougal
Sunil Menon
ARCHIVES
Go
SMTWTFS
1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031
recent comments
AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa who was sentenced to four-year...
Poll Started on: Oct 17, 2014
More...
As if two sitting governors, a high-profile US Attorney...
Buzz
More...


ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISING RATES | COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER | COMMENTS POLICY

OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: