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Will train nationalists, not Maoists: Ramdev

New Delhi/Haridwar, Jun 9 (IANS)
Published on 10 Jun. 2011 12:10 AM IST
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Defending his statement about building an army to tackle any future police crackdown, yoga guru Baba Ramdev Thursday said his statement was taken in the wrong context and that he was not training Maoists, but nationalists. “I am not training Naxals or Maoists but people who will fight for this country,” Ramdev told reporters in Haridwar. “People should not take my statement in the wrong context.” “Twenty youths from each region (of the country) will come forward for the fight against corruption,” he said. In a statement released in New Delhi, Ramdev clarified that a force of 11,000 people he intended to build would not be an armed force but a group of “non-violent nationalist youths” capable of defending themselves and people from corruption and the evil system. The yoga guru said that the media’s description of his proposal had created confusion.  “We neither support nor intend to take law in our hand. We don’t mean either training of guns, bombs or practice of killing someone or being violent at any point of time or situation. Our constitution is supreme,” he said.  “But we have a right to self-defence. Only a strong person can do it. We will continue to defend ourselves, society and the nation in a peaceful and non-violent yet proven method used by Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle,” he said. Ramdev’s announcement Wednesday that “dedicated young men and women will be imparted ‘shaastra’ (vedic education) and ‘shastra’ (arms training)” drew a sharp reaction from the government. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that Ramdev had “exposed his true colours and intentions”. “Let him do so, and the law will deal with that,” he said. On Thursday, the yoga guru said that “we should refer to the word in the right context and as per our ancient vedic language”.  He said, “It has been our ancient tradition to worship both ‘gyan’ (knowledge) and ‘shakti’ (power). We have been advocating and propagating to build a strong nation through our strong physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual power by being ‘yogi’ and ‘yoddha’.” Ramdev described ‘shaastra’ as knowledge and ‘shastra’ as power. He said that the programme of training for the youths will include yoga and traditional arts like wrestling, exercise and judo-karate, among others. The non-violent and nationalist force would protest and defend on Gandhian principles like non-violence, fast, satyagraha, prayers, non-cooperation, march and prayers, he said.  Thursday is the sixth day of a hunger strike Ramdev began in New Delhi to protest mounting corruption in the country. Police evicted him and his supporters from the capital’s Ramlila Ground after June 4 midnight.   

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