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Civil society members divided over Ramdev's fast

Saturday June 04, 2011 05:08:58 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Even as yoga guru Baba Ramdev Saturday drew thousands of supporters at the Ramlila Ground here for his fast against black money, some civil society members present at a similar fast by social reformer Anna Hazare in April either delayed their decision to reach the venue or distanced themselves from Baba's fast.

Hazare, who was in Kochi in the morning, told reporters that he will take a final call on participating in Baba's campaign after reaching Delhi in the evening or Sunday.

Asked about the criticism about the lavish arrangements at the fast site, Hazare avoided comments.

"I can make any comment if only I see the place," Hazare said about the complaints by critics that "it was a five-star satyagraha". Earlier, Hazare had said he would attend the fast.

Swami Agnivesh, a leading member of Hazare's anti-graft movement, told IANS that he did not participate in Ramdev's fast as there were some "hardcore communal people on the dais".

"I would not have been comfortable there," Agnivesh said. "There were some persons known for their avowedly communal views and record," Agnivesh said, indirectly criticising the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara, an accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.

Agnivesh said that corruption was a serious malady and all people, including religious leaders, were welcome to join the fight against corruption. "But those with controversial or communal past should not be allowed to take credit for the movement," he said.

Civil rights activist Medha Patkar said the arrangements for Ramdev's fast "appeared to be expensive and extravagant". She said the setting of the fast did not reflect the spirit of the anti-graft cause.


 


 

 

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