PIL against Ramdev’s magazine for calling Buddhist monks ‘cowards’

A write-up eulogising Baba Ramdev's role as a crusader against corruption in the monthly magazine, Yog Sandesh, published by the yoga guru's Patanjali Yogpeeth, has irked Buddhists and members of the Kushwaha and Maurya communities who claim to be descendants of Emperor Ashok. They have approached the Allahabad High Court with a PIL seeking the removal of words 'coward' and 'corrupt' to describe the descendants of Ashok and Buddhist monks.

"The PIL will come up before a division Bench on July 1. The aggrieved party has prayed that they are anguished at the unpalatable comments and the same should be removed. They have prayed to stop the publication from being printed till the case is decided. A complaint in the lower court seeking registration of a criminal case against the publishers is underway," said R K Vaishya, lawyer for the aggrieved party.

G S Shakya, managing director of aggrieved party Bauddh Commune International, said the article terms Buddhist monks as cowards as they follow the principle of Ahimsa or non-violence. It says the rulers of Mauryan empire after Ashok were "coward", "corrupt" and "ghor vilasi" (used to luxury), he said.

The article by Radhey Shyam Shukla, published in the May edition, compares Ramdev with Pushyamitra Sung, Maharishi Patanjali's disciple, who killed king Vrihadratha. The article uses these objectionable words to describe Vrihadratha, a descendant of Ashok and Buddhist monks.

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