Thursday, June 09, 2011

Baba Ramdev Debunked

Self appointed National Saint Baba Ramdev Swamiji is all over the media space following the interruption of his so called crusade against corruption and black money. The legacies of Mahatma Gandhi, Shivaji and the Jalianwala bagh massacre have been invoked by the self proclaimed Swami himself to justify his actions.

After preparing to agitate for at least 20 days, he had to end his fast in 9 days, as his body tempered with yoga could not prove any stronger.

Is Ramdev a Saint?

Here are some of his claims, debunked.

Claim 1:

Baba Ramdev claims that he suffered from paralysis of the left side of his body during childhood and that his life changed after he read Rishi Dayanand and autobiographies of many great people. [ See ] Great!

Have a close look at his video.

His right forehead has no wrinkles and his right eye does not wink as much as the left side. (Another video of the same problem is also provided here for comparison)

These findings are suggestive of lower motor neurone paralysis of the right facial nerve, also called Bell's palsy. It varies in severity and in many, it recoveres spontaneously, fully or partly. The lower motor neurone paralysis of the facial nerve is an isolated,. local problem, not associated with paralysis of the other parts of the body. (Paralysis of one half of the body, called hemiplegia, is associated with an upper motor neurone type of facial palsy, wherein the forehead wrinkling and closure of eyelids remain unaffected). In Ramdev's case, the right LMN facial palsy appears to have recovered partially. He DOES NOT have any evidence of left sided paralysis. His claim of a left sided paralysis is a lie and it also shows his total ignorance of simple medical facts.

Claim 2:

Ramdev claims that he luckily met Ācārya Balkrishna, 'a kindred soul and a schoolmate', at the Gangotri caves of lofty Himalayas, where both were on a 'similar quest'. [See 1, 2]

Balakrishna instead is alleged to be a criminal on the run from Nepal and is being investigated for procuring a fake Indian passport and for violating the Arms Act.[See 1, 2]

Claim 3:

While Ramdev claims that he has earned a postgraduate (Ācārya) degree with specialization in Sanskrit Vyākarana, Yoga, Darśana, Vedas and Upanisads, Balakrishna goes further by claiming to be a simple and unassuming versatile genius who is a great scholar of Āyurveda, sanskrit language and grammar, and the Vedas with a postgraduate (Ācārya) degree from Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi.[See 1, 2]

In India, formal education in Ayurveda involves four and a half years of training followed by one year of internship, leading to the award of BAMS degree. Neither Ramdev nor Balakrishna have any such qualification. Yet they have been allowed to prescribe treatments for various ailments and also to manufacture, market and dispense several products which they claim are based on Ayurveda.

The Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi does not offer any post graduate courses in Ayurveda [Sources: SSV and my discussion with the PIO, SSV at +91-9415201031]. It is not clear as to what post graduation did the 'great scholar' Balakrishna do at this institute.

Claim 4:

Ramdev and Balakrishna duo claim of post graduation and such expertise in yoga that they have taken upon themselves the 'onerous responsibility of demystifying and popularizing Patañjali’s yoga and ayurveda' through television channels and camps that are attended by thousands. [See]

But the self proclaimed scholar appears to be clumsy in performing even a simple asana as is evident in this video grab of Vakrasana. [See]

Compare it with another video, showing the correct method of performing the same Vakrasana.[See]

So much for the Gurus' Yoga Vidya Parinati!

Claim 5:

With their self proclaimed genius and scholarly knowledge in Yoga and Ayurveda, they claim to have cured lacs of patients [See Balakrishna's claim] (or crores? See Ramdev's claim) of a 'number of stubborn, chronic and incurable diseases like diabetes, rheumatism, osteo-arthritis, gout (rheumatism and arthritis), migraine, cervical spondylitis, respiratory disorders, asthma, cancer, nervous disorder, heart disease, brain diseases, etc!' It is also claimed that 'these successful treatments have been documented by Ācāryaji in his renowned book: Yoga In Synergy With Medicial Science.'[See] The duo also claim that whatever experiments they have done so far prove that yoga can be a solution for all the problems of the world and that there will be heaven on earth. [See]

But where is the evidence? No where in the above mentioned book or in the lists of the so called research publications of the duo one would find any evidence supporting such grandiose claims..[See 1, 2 ]

And the duo have no respect for numbers: lacs or crores simply do not matter!

Claim 6:

Baba Ramdev claims to have 'a vision to make a disease free world through a scientific approach to Yoga and Ayurveda, to establish a new World Health Organisation, to fulfill the resolution of making a new world order free from disease and medicine, to propagate Pranayam as a "free" medicine for the treatment of diseases round the globe, making the world a peaceful and tranquil place by using Yogic techniques to eradicate fatal effects of medicines' etc. [See]

But his Divya Pharmacy manufactures and sells about 285 drugs and other products at nooks and corners of the country! [See]

The total turnover from these sales, as per his own admission, is about 1100 crores! [See]

And there have been reports of immense suffering and even deaths following the use of his drugs and remedies. [See 1, 2]

Claim 7:

Baba Ramdev claims to tread a path of transparency! [See].

But several allegations of amassing assets worth thousands of crores and grabbing land have been levelled against him [See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and the enforcement directorate and income tax dept. are now probing these issues.[See 1, 2]

Claim 8:

Baba Ramdev claims that non-political life is one of the norms of good conduct.[See].

Yet details of his close association wth RSS/VHP/BJP are fast emerging![Video - Ramdev VHP Secret meeting; Report ].

Claim 9:

Baba Ramdev claims that always staying calm and being devoid of an arrogance as his Work Philosophy[See] and that daily practice of yoga not only gives good health but also develops healthy thoughts, attitude, positive mind and develops good qualities and that a healthy and sensitive mind and body will be free from all kinds of violence, casteism, regionalism, communal differences and gradually there shall be more of harmony, love, peace, humanism, sense of service, empathy and tolerance in this world. [See] Moreover, as a Yoga Guru he is expected to have attained Chittha Vritthi Nirodha as well.

But he has now warned of violence and threatened to train an army of 11,000 followers! [See 1, 2, 3]

And his demand for death penalty for offenders of corruption is also indicative of his violent mindset. [See 1, 2]

Claim 10:

Chittha Vritthi Nirodha with yoga?

Both Ramdev and Balakrishna broke down after being shunted out of Ramlila maidan. [See 1, 2]

The Duo, who swear by Yoga and Pran as the be all and end all of everything that humans do, had booked the Ramlila grounds for 20 days, probably hoping to continue their fast for at least 20 days. But after being evicted from there, Ramdev continued his 'fast' at his Haridwar facility and had to be hospitalised in a modern medical college hospital, as his health deteriorated and had to break his fast after 9 days (for 2 days during this he was supported by intravenous fluids). His yogic power and his special pran were probably not as strong as he thought! [See 1, 2,3]


Sahamatha Film Society. Mangalore said...

Dear Dr.
Not only Ramdev,s actions are funny but dangerous too. that he is frontal face of Sangh Parivar is a well known fact.Fanatic rightist forces also drew strength from JP's movement and now Anti Corruption Movement, strangely these civil society or Baba,s never even mention Yeddiyurappa's corruption !
Ivan D'Silva

Naveen said...

Good Observation done Sir.

Janmar Delicana said...

Dear Dr. Srinivas ,

It’s a great pleasure to read your blog. I find your posts very interesting. Baba Ramdev had a fair share of media exposure lately and I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad. Based on what you have written, I may still not know whether he is saint or not but what I am now sure of is that he has a very strong faith which cannot be denied.

As a reader, I consider your writing to be a great example of a quality and globally competitive output. It would be a great thrill and honor if you could share your genuine ideas and knowledge to our community, Physician Nexus. With this you can gain 1000 physician readers from over 62 countries on Nexus.

We would love for you to visit our community. It's free, takes seconds, and is designed for physicians only - completely free of industry bias and commercial interests.

Janmar Delicana
On behalf of the Physician Nexus Team