Controversial Indian guru ends corruption fast


Members of Mahila Patanjali Yog Samithi and Bharath Swabhiman trust participate in a rally in support of Indian spiritual guru Baba Ramdev's hunger strike in Hyderabad on June 11, 2011. An Indian yoga guru holding a hunger strike against corruption was hospitalised June 10 after not eating for nearly a week in a protest that has put pressure on the government. Swami Ramdev, whose popularity stems from his daily TV yoga shows, had continued fasting at his ashram near the holy city of Haridwar after baton-wielding police broke up his protest in New Delhi.



Controversial yoga guru Baba Ramdev ended his nine-day-old fast against corruption on Sunday without winning any significant concessions from the government that unceremoniously drove him from Delhi at the end of a police baton earlier this month.

Both the Congress and opposition parties reportedly heaved a collective sigh of relief that the guru blinked before the threat to his life grew any more serious, as a face-saving appeal by popular spiritual gurus Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Morari Babu and other Hindu ascetics prompted him to break the fast before it killed him, the Indian Express reports.

Reading out a message from Ramdev, the guru's assistant said that his agitation against black money and corruption would continue. “I will continue my struggle till my last breath,” Balakrishna quoted Ramdev as saying. The Baba's supporters also claimed Ramdev had achieved the objective of spreading awareness about the issues of black money and corruption.

Whatever face-saving measures that Ramdev takes, though, it's clear that the Congress has managed to pull out of the dive begun when the government ordered police to evict some 40,000 Ramdev supporters from Delhi. And with an ongoing probe into allegations that Ramdev is engaged in money laundering of his own and the increasing politicization of the anti-corruption struggle by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, it looks as though (despite themselves) Sonia Gandhi & Co. just may have brought the engines sputtering back to life.