‘I consider Anna Hazare my dear friend and a senior. No one is ahead of the other. We are together on this revolutionary path’
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In this Idea Exchange moderated by Consulting Editor Seema Chishti, Baba Ramdev speaks about his campaign to bring black money back to the country and his association with Team Anna
Seema Chishti: From teaching yoga and ayurveda, you have now diverted your energies to fighting black money. Why this diversion into the political sphere?
Baba Ramdev: Acharya Chanakya has said that life begins with dharma because every human wants well-being, happiness, pleasure, whether it is bhog or yog. I haven't developed my own philosophy. Dharam is incomplete without arth and since arth is regulated by politics, the government decides all policies and hence the meaning. So it is not a move to protest and oppose, but dharma and arth are complementary.
Coomi Kapoor: Anna Hazare and you started your civil movements together, but people say you have gone ahead of him now.
Baba Ramdev: No one is ahead or behind anyone. Yog means moving together. When I heard such things for the first time, I thought they were coming from the English media, not the vernacular media. It still surprises me, and I do not appreciate it. We have never thought on these lines. I consider Anna Hazare my dear friend and a senior. No one is leading anyone here. We have been walking down this revolutionary path together.
Rakesh Sinha: You have met many leaders of different political parties. What assurances, if any, have people like Sharad Pawar given you?
Baba Ramdev: We have just one purpose—that of bringing about a consensus. There are two ways to change things: one is by elections, the other is arriving at a consensus for change through a movement that has the common man in the forefront. We have chosen the path of the movement. We have held several thousand yatras and sabhas. The number of people attending these has been between 20,000 and 2 lakh—over 11 crore people have participated already. An atmosphere has been created for a revolution and for change. For that, political parties need to arrive at a consensus on the commitment to fight black money and corruption.