Baba Ramdev said democracy only moves forward in the right direction when both the ruling party and the Opposition are strong. Speaking on Aaj Tak’s flagship show Seedhi Baat, he said that after four years of the Modi government being in power, India’s strength has finally been recognised by the world.
He hailed the speed at which road networks were laid in the country and named the ‘Ujjwala scheme’ as the Modi government’s best scheme.
Replying freely to questions by Aaj Tak’s Sweta Singh, Baba Ramdev admitted there was some resentment among farmers and the business class in the country, at the same time a portion of Dalits have also drifted away.
Regarding the prices of petrol and diesel, Ramdev said the government should think about providing some relief to the people. On the issue of black money, he said that many steps have been taken to bring back black money into the country but a lot more needs to be done to get back the black money hidden abroad.
Goyal, Jaitley among Modi’s star performers
When asked about the government being involved in yoga, he said, “This is Rajyoga, Rajyog also have some Rajrog.” Ramdev praised Nitin Gadkari for laying road networks in the country. He said Piyush Goyal and Arun Jaitley were among the well performing ministers in the Modi government.
Talking about the Modi government’s achievements in its first four years of power, Ramdev said, “To sum it up, this government has garnered glory for the country from across globe through yoga. Heads of all countries – be it US, Russia, Japan or China – today respect our Prime minister.”
As I mentioned, this government has laid vast road network, gotten rid of ‘tax terrorism’, implemented ‘One Nation, One Tax’ despite it being a critical exercise. I would say that the first phase of economic transparency has been completed. No big scam has come to light from anywhere.”
When asked whether he was worried by GST he said, “When a new system is implemented, then it’s obvious to have a few problems. Many traders are a bit unhappy, and they have to bear that.”
Ramdev also spoke about his recent meeting with BJP President Amit Shah. He said Shah told him villages were benefitting from seven schemes of the government’s.
When asked if he would campaign for Modi in the upcoming elections, Ramdev said, “Not exactly, I am not campaigning for anyone. I have said that Modiji has policies, the leadership skills and intention to develop the country. Maybe the public’s expectations of Modiji is far greater than what he thinks. It’s a mountain of hopes. Now how he can meet up to that expectation? I pray that he can reach the expectations of the people. He is definitely trying his best.”
Nothing is bigger than national interest
Responding to a question on whether he will support anyone, Ramdev said, “I have always supported good people and I will continue to do so. Since I believe there is no religion bigger than rashtradharm, I fell there is no bigger interest than national interest. If every person stopped thinking about the country, then how will it progress?”
Ujjwala is Modi government’s best scheme
Ramdev hailed Ujjwala as the Modi government’s best scheme.
Yogguru Ramdev said, “The number of votes they get is altogether a different matter. Whatever may be the reason, Dalits have drifted away slightly. I used to see my mother cook roti on mustard stalks, there used to be tears in her eyes as there was so much smoke. Seven to 8 crore people are being benefitted through the Ujjwala scheme. The Ayushmann Bharat scheme has not been implemented yet but once it is, 50 crore people will benefit from this. This is a very ambitious scheme.”
The government should have brought the ordinance related to Dalits immediately Ramdev was quite critical about the Dalits distancing themselves from the government. “Even farmers to some extent are also upset. PM had promised them he would increase their income by two or three times, now it has to be implemented,” Ramdev said.
“As far as Dalits are concerned, I don’t blame Modi for that because it was the decision of the Supreme Court. The government should have brought in an ordinance immediately on the judgment. Perhaps there was some delay in it but if it was tackled properly, then this misunderstanding wouldn’t have happened. People have now created this illusion that Modi is anti-Dalit. He was not successful in creating proper awareness about his schemes that would benefit Dalits and the deprived classes.
Government should think about fuel prices
When the yoga guru was asked about one of his tweets from 2012 about recovered black money reducing fuel prices, he said, “Yes, It is true and I had told Modiji as well. Indeed, the price at which petrol and diesel is sold is much higher than the price of crude oil. I think the government has made it the biggest source of revenue. They need revenue to run the country. Most of the revenue comes from two things – one is alcohol and other is petrol and diesel. But the government should think about it.”
Since the public can’t raise its voice to the government, Ramdev said that on their behalf, he speaks to Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Rajyavardhan Rathore. “Whenever corrective measures are required, the PM takes necessary steps. He listens to the matter.”
‘Need to take big steps to bring black money from abroad’
On bringing back black money from abroad, Ramdev said “It is justified that a lot of steps have been taken on black money inside the country. But there is a need to take bigger steps on black money outside the country.”
Democracy moves forward in the right direction when both the ruling party and Opposition are strong. “You know that I have distanced myself from politics. Today I am an all-party independent. I can see one thing in the country – on one side there is Modi and the whole Opposition on the other side. This is good for a democracy because a democracy only moves forward in the right direction when the ruling party and the Opposition are both strong.
“In today’s day and age there is no place for straight forward answers. I think your programme Seedhi Baat is very dangerous. You can’t be diplomatic in it. It is good to be diplomatic in this case. If I name one of them (chief ministers of BJP rules states) then others will say – Swamiji, even we are doing a good job too,” Ramdev said.
Why did Google Play Store remove your Kimbho App?
“No, we removed it. Actually we had a trial for 5-10,000 people who were basically our volunteers but they became so viral that millions of hits were coming in together. Over 25 crore hits were recorded. I think this can be the father of Whatsapp, since it has better features.”
Yoga Day is celebrated every year, what’s next for yoga?
“The next step should be that yoga is made part of the system. Whether it is education, health or other institutes. Yoga should be honored so that everyone is doing it in the morning even if it is for 10 or 20 minutes only.”