Baba Ramdev struck a hawkish note, while Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev cautioned against war-mongering after the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February, while speaking at the second edition of the News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Monday.
The two spiritual leaders took diametrically opposite positions on how India should respond to the attack that has claimed the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers.
Jaggi Vasudev spoke about the nature of Indian spirituality to suggest alternative ways in which India and Indians can frame their response to the attack. He said that any response by India should keep its tradition of peace in mind. He said India should consider ways of resolving the problem, referring indirectly to the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
“We can feel satisfied by calling it (Pulwama blast) a terrorist attack; but it is in fact their (Pakistan’s) planned agenda, not a terrorist attack,” he said. “This is not an agenda that they are keeping secret either — in fact, they are actively trying to fulfill it.”
Ramdev, on the other hand, said, “Pakistan, which has become impure (after the killing of jawans in Pulwama), needs to be purified.” The yoga guru, advocating strong action against Pakistan, said that change never comes unless there is a revolution. He referred to historic and mythological figures, saying they had all pursued war-like tactics. “Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, our ancestors, Acharya Chanakya, all had to go into war,” Baba Ramdev said. He, however, said that going to war does not imply the killing of innocent people.
Ramdev strongly criticized Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, saying he is a “puppet” of the country’s army and terrorist groups. “But India will have to take some big steps to counter Pakistan to honour the tradition of its ancestors.”
Yoga and yuddha, or war, he said, are connected with one another and not mutually contradictory. One who does not protect his dignity is considered a coward, he said. “Indians always wish for peace, but Modiji must think about what India should do about Pakistan.”
Their in-depth conversation was moderated by ad filmmaker and songwriter Prasoon Joshi. It took place before a packed audience, barely two weeks after the Pulwama attack which shocked Indians everywhere and led to people taking to the streets in protest against the attack.
Jaggi Vasudev reflected on recent Indian history to recall the partition of India in 1947, saying, “...not long ago, we have seen one million dead and fifteen million being forced to move from their roots. Those who had to migrate have not even settled properly yet. Two generations of Indians have been held hostage to that division.”
Striking a note of peace, he said that Indian people should not remain indefinitely ambiguous about the geographic extent of their country.
Referring to the suicide attack, Jaggi Vasudev said, “They (Pakistan) are doing what they believe in. Obviously, they believe that the actions they are taking are worth it and are correct. Otherwise, nobody would kill themselves...India must decide what its agenda is, spell it out, and work on it."
Remarking that sovereignty of the country is critical, he said, “It would be fantastic if we can be, each of us, global citizens, but we have not reached that state yet.” He said that 1.3 billion Indians are nevertheless “a world in itself.”
The most important thing, he said, is that in protecting our geography, we try to respond to those who have been cruel. “...(But) retribution and revenge is not in our nature.”
Jaggi Vasudev said that soldiers ensure that our borders are peaceful, and remarked, "We need a stable situation in our country. However, we must also ensure that we are not being naive."
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Feb 25, 2019 23:34:41 IST