Advertisement
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

'A Hunger For Publicity'

'A Hunger For Publicity'
'A Hunger For Publicity'
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+05:30

Ramachandra Guha in the Hindustan Times:

"...a hunger for publicity is the hallmark of some of the best-known spiritual leaders of contemporary India. They spend as much time on making themselves known, and praised, as on seeking the truth....

Those who heard, in part or in full, Baba Ramdev’s recent day-long discourse at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, would have heard the words ‘kala dhanda’ and ‘bhrashtachaar’ (black money and corruption) as well as the words ‘dharm’ and ‘imandaari’ (morality and honesty). I heard them too, but I also heard words that were more telling. These were ‘mein apne media ke bhaiyyon se kehna chahta hoon’, a phrase that recurred often, perhaps half-a-dozen times an hour. It was characteristic that Ramdev sought to address the media above all (and characteristic also that his social imagination excluded the possibility of women reporters)...

When the police forced him out of Delhi, Ramdev said he would resume his ‘satyagraha’ (sic) at his ashram in Haridwar. But within 24 hours he left Haridwar, in search of closer proximity to his brothers in the media. Externed from Delhi, Ramdev knew that many television channels were headquartered in Noida. So he would go to them, since he knew that, despite their national pretensions, these channels would not send their reporters, still less their anchors, to the benighted state of Uttarakhand. He set off for Noida but was stopped en route at Muzaffarnagar on the orders of the UP chief minister.

The desire to leave his ashram for the arc lights was entirely in character. For Ramdev occupies an important place in the history of publicity, rather than in the history of spirituality.

Read the article in full at the Hindustan Times: Performance Artists

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement

More from

Read More from Outlook

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Cases of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, have not yet been reported in India.

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

1st Test: India, New Zealand Share Honours After Enthralling Day 5

1st Test: India, New Zealand Share Honours After Enthralling Day 5

Needing 280 runs on the final day, New Zealand thwarted the famed Indian spin attack at Green Park to settle for a fascinating draw.

Abhijit Banerjee: Cook Like An Economist!

Abhijit Banerjee: Cook Like An Economist!

Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee in conversation with Outlook about his book ‘Cooking to Save Your Life’.

Advertisement