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Sri Sri Ravishankar to visit Dehradun hospital for third time, convince Baba Ramdev to end fast

Jun 12, 2011

sri sri ravishankar and baba ramdev

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev may be in hospital, but is not giving in to demands of breaking his fast. All efforts are on to convince Baba Ramdev to end his fast which has entered its ninth day today.

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is expected to visit Ramdev for a third time today to try and convince him to end his fast. Sri Sri paid a visit to Baba Ramdev yesterday but couldn't convince the yoga icon to break his fast.

"He is adamant... I am adamant that he will give up his fast. I will stay here as long as it takes for him to give up his fast," Sri Sri told mediapersons after meeting Baba Ramdev for the second time on Saturday.
The spiritual guru also expressed his willingness to mediate between the yoga guru and the government.

"I am always ready for reconciliation, the issue is sensitive. If the government wants to do something, then I am always ready to talk", Sri Sri said.
The Uttarakhand government has already appealed to Baba Ramdev to end his fast.

"We have asked him to break his fast, his well being is very important for India and for the world as he has established India's identity in the world in all spheres. Everyone is looking upto him and it is important for him to recover to fulfill his efforts for our country," Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Trivendra Rawat said on Saturday.

Many other political leaders, especially from NDA-ruled states like Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, also tried, but failed to convince Baba Ramdev to give up his fast-unto-death.

In the midst of the debate on whether Ramdev's agitation was organised by the RSS, the organisation's chief Mohan Bhagwat issued a statement asking Ramdev to give up his hunger strike.
But the yoga teacher is adamant he won't give in until his demands on black money are met by the Centre.

Ramdev was admitted to the Himalayan Hospital in Dehradun on Friday after his condition deteriorated following his fast against corruption. There were also some concerns regarding Baba Ramdev's health as his blood pressure had dropped despite treatment. However, doctors briefed the media on Saturday and said the condition of the yoga guru is improving.

The yoga teacher was carried out of his ashram in Haridwar on a stretcher on Friday afternoon after doctors attending to him said his liver had been affected and his blood pressure was worryingly low because of his hunger strike. Ramdev was given glucose en route to the hospital, but he has refused to end his hunger strike.

The yoga icon whose followers run into lakhs started his fast last Saturday morning in Delhi at the Ramlila Maidan. 65,000 people were in attendance on Saturday night when the police broke up the camp with teargassing and a lathicharge. The Baba was evicted and flown back to Uttarakhand.

The action at Ramlila Maidan ended days of negotiation between the government and the Baba over his suggestions for how to tackle the problem of crores of untaxed money that have been shipped abroad. The late-night violence united Opposition parties who accused the government of violating citizens' right to peacefully protest. Civil activists who have declared Gandhian Anna Hazare their leader pounded the government too, with public criticism and a one-day fast at Rajghat on Wednesday.

The government has disclosed that various tax inquiries are being conducted against the Baba's business empire whose reported turnover is more than a thousand crores. Yesterday, the Baba retaliated by declaring online the balance sheets of the four trusts that he runs for charitable purposes. However, he did not share the financial records of the 34 companies that are linked to him and are run by his close aide, Acharya Balakrishna.

The Baba has also been forced to defend a controversial remark he made earlier this week - that he would recruit 11,000 young men and women who would reciprocate if attacked. Yesterday, he said his remark had been distorted and misreported. "The words should be used in the right context... I said I will make a force who will not beat anyone but they will not get beaten either," the yoga teacher said, adding, "what is the harm or wrong if I speak about shaurya (valour)".

The Baba's remark - seen as incendiary by his critics - had also provoked criticism from other social activists and a warning of legal action from the government.