Monday, April 23, 2012

Hindutva propagation the Swadeshi way

“Use country made products and shun the use of imported products from foreign countries,” said a yogi in a white dhoti who received tremendous applause from the audience for his statement. 

For a moment, you may think you have been transported to the era of freedom struggle where freedom fighters made aggressive speeches, persuading people to use ‘Swadeshi’ goods. But wait, this was no freedom fighter’s speech, though the set up and the people dressed in white ‘symbolising’ peace’ give you that impression.

This was at the launch of products by Patanjali Ayurved Limited, run by Yoga guru Baba Ramdev. From the green-coloured (sweet tasting) Amla juice being served to guests who were sceptical to accept it to the middle-aged women in pristine white cotton saree with golden border  (Kerala saree) welcoming Swamiji with flowers, everything seemed more like a mini-spiritual meeting at an ashram.

The cacophony of mobile ringtones and mic disturbance assaulted people’s ears. While tiny tots, on one side, showered praises on their demi-god Acharya Balakrishna ji with their melodious songs, irky ringtones and random disturbance filled the air. 
Though members of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. managed to make the already ‘spiritually- hallucinated audience’ hate the West for entering the Indian markets, they were also entertained at the very sight of a Western product. The Flower Gun! They kept shooting flowers every time Acharya ji lit a lamp, smiled, moved or even adjusted his dhoti. Yes, we could see quite some hate for Western products there!

And, this was being thoroughly enjoyed by media persons who shouted ‘replay’ for the Flower Gun’s thundering act that almost deafened them. Though every cell in their body was screaming to stage a walk-out, this flower gun’s held them back and cheered them up. However, some of them frantically flipped pages of their notepads to shoot questions while some began scorning the PR guy for taking up such “pathetic and sad” events.  

What raised eyebrows the timid voice of a lady shouting “Bharat Mata Ki jai and Vande Mataram” during the launch while others, unhesitantly, followed suit. As if the patriotic feeling oozing out of everyone was not enough, Achraya began his speech with “Om”, only to be followed by “Bachna Ae Haseeno” song in the background.

Meanwhile, children looked like mannequins dotting the hall, displaying Patanjali’s products while their moms were successful in making the photographers for spoiling every “beautiful” picture. 

This apart, lunch was totally different from what was expected out of Baba’s followers. While everyone assumed green vegetables, Amla juice, Aloevera juice and herbs to rule the menu, the trademark Hyderabadi (veg) Dum biryani, hogged the limelight.

Well, we do not know if the products would be a hit among people. But what we do know is that the Yoga guru makes an event appealing even without his presence. Is that “Power Yoga” now?