Notwithstanding its association with yoga guru Ramdev, the RSS is planning to launch a year-long campaign with another yoga guru, Dr H R Nagendra of the Bengaluru-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhan Sansthan (SVYASA). Incidentally, Nagendra was part of the 2015 Padma Awards committee, which did not nominate Ramdev for the honour.
The campaign will be conducted at 1,000 places by SVYASA and coordinated by a senior RSS pracharak.
The awards committee Nagendra was part of received 1,897 nominations, including Ramdev’s name. But the yoga guru was left out. On Saturday, PTI quoted Ramdev as saying, “The entire world knows that all these awards like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan or Padma Vibhushan and even the Nobel prize are given to good people, but there is also intense lobbying and those who have more political influence succeed in getting them.”
Earlier, amid reports that Ramdev could be given the Padma Vibhushan, he wrote a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that as a “sanyasi”, he should refrain from receiving “rewards or honours”. But MHA sources clarified that Ramdev was never shortlisted for the award.
The upcoming yoga campaign will see participation from at least four frontal organisations of the RSS. The focus will be on fighting diabetes.
“We have a scientifically proven method to eliminate diabetes. We will reach out to people in the week immediately after June 21, which is International Yoga Day,” Nagendra said. He added that he had approached several yoga organisations, including Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth, to participate. But sources said Ramdev has not responded so far.
Senior RSS pracharak and organising secretary of Arogya Bharti Dr Ashok Varshneya has been tasked by the RSS to coordinate the exercise.
“The whole programme has been designed and developed by SVYASA. They approached the Sangh to help and we realised that it is in national interest to work with them,” Varshneya said. Sources said the RSS frontal organisation Arogya Bharti was, in fact, created in 2002 when the RSS, seeing Ramdev, realised the potential in the field of yoga.
Nagendra said that yoga camps will be organised at 1,000 places in June and ‘yoga yatras’ will be organised in October. The final details, he added, are still being chalked out.