December 30, 2010

swamis in different robes: have your pick!

India News has spotted five swamis the news these days: Swami Nityanand, Subramanium Swami, Swami Ramdev, Swami Aseemanand and Swami Agnivesh. Besides the word swami as prefix or suffix to their names, nothing is common to all.

Two swamis have brought disgrace to the highly respected word swami [=religious guru and guide]. Nityanand is a Hindu religious preacher and self-proclaimed man of divine achievements, but has been caught in compromising position in a sting operation. He is in and out of police custody for many more acts that have come to surface.

Aseemanand has been charged with conspiring blast on Samjhauta Express train. However agitated Hindus might be with the support to terror by Pakistan, the religion whose ultimate aim is non-violence and peace cannot sanction a terror ‘tit for tat’.

The other two swamis who wear the traditional saffron robe have taken the path of reforming the society and are no longer gurus in religious sense. Swami Ramdev has popularized yoga and Ayurveda the way none has done before. He is setting up a world-class research centre on yoga and Ayurveda, the ancient systems of healing. He is in news these days for his campaign for clean politics.

Swami Agnivesh is known for his reformist, liberal stand on current issues. Right now, he is supporting release of Binayak Sen, the social activist and doctor who has been judged a traitor for supporting Naxals and is facing life imprisonment.

The last swami in my list, Subramanium Swami, has always been in controversy but mostly for a good cause. This maverick politician has made many enemies by challenging big politicians. He is the one who is relentlessly pursuing the 2G spectrum scam.

It is for you which swami you follow.

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