Ramdev launches indefinite fast against corruption

Jun 4, 2011

Brushing aside government''s persuasion, yoga guru Baba Ramdev today began his indefinite hunger strike demanding repatriation of black money stashed away abroad as thousands of followers joined him in the protest here and elsewhere in the country.

After a two-hour yoga practice and ''bhajan''session that started early in the morning, Ramdev began the protest along with thousands of his followers at the Ramlila Maidan where he was joined by Sangh Parivar''s firebrand leader Sadhvi Ritambharaand leaders from Sikh, Jain and Muslim communities.

Before launching the fast, Ramdev told his cheering supporters during the yoga sessionthat the protest was intended to save the country from corruption and ensure that the poor get a good life.

"Nothing is impossible, everything is possibleand we are not going to be defeated," the saffron-robed Baba seated on an elevated platform on the dais, told the gathering, referring to bringing back of black money stashed in tax havens abroad.

Sources said that backchannel talks were on between the government and Ramdev''s sidebut there were no signs of any scheduled dialogue between the ministers and the yoga guru.

46-year-old Ramdev, who shot into prominence a few years ago with his mass yoga teaching sessions, spurned the government''s last-minute overtures to go ahead with the fast.