When Firstpost ejaculated prematurely over Ramdev

A certain Sandipan Sharma wrote an article for Firstpost where he argued that a Padma award to Baba Ramdev was wrong because he had a business empire built on “blind faith”.

I became aware of existence of this article after I read ‏@bhak_sala‘s post on OpIndia.com where he rightfully defended Yoga. Curious to know what was written originally, I went through the article on Firstpost.

And I am not sure whether the followers of Baba Ramdev are “blind” or the author is.

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The author starts off his smart, well-researched, well-thought, unbiased article with this line:

A casual reading of his website can make you believe Ramdev is a rare mix of Patanjali, Freud, Sushruta, Vatsyayana, Kautilya and an embodiment of all the marketing wisdom of the world.

Note the term “website”. He hasn’t mentioned which website he’s referring to, but we’ll come to that later. It is clear that this “website of Ramdev” has helped the author form his opinions.

He claims that Baba Ramdev has cures for “psychological, sexual, emotional” problems AND *wait for it* “premature ejaculation”.

This time, we are provided with a link of this miracle drug for premature ejaculation. It takes us to this page on a website called “www.swamibabaramdevmedicines.com”. There are no other links in the article that lead to any other website related to Baba Ramdev, so I assume that this entire article and the intro line, are based on the above website.

If this is so, I am very sorry to say, the author has prematurely ejaculated his blind faith in anti-Ramdev propaganda, because THIS IS NOT RAMDEV’S WEBSITE!

rm

If only he had used his scroll wheel and come to the bottom of the website, he would have seen the above disclaimer, which clearly says the website has no connection with Baba Ramdev!

Even last year, The Hindu claimed that Ramdev had found a cure for Ebola, based on information from this very same fraud website. This had found mention in my post “Top 10 lies spread by the Indian media in 2014”.

I really wonder at this stage, are these mistakes by incompetent dolts sitting in AC offices who go about doing their work as if they can never be wrong? Or are these deliberate attempts at misinformation mixed with a set agenda? You know, the Goebel’s strategy to repeat a lie till it becomes the truth?

Surely there are many more points to take on Baba Ramdev, like his views on homosexuality, but using such cheap tricks to deceive readers is pretty stupid, in fact, it is unethical, if at all there is any concept of “ethics” in journalism.

The next part of his article deals with how Baba Ramdev has a successful business. He almost makes it sound like making money from stuff that helps people is criminal. SHAME ON YOU ALL YOU HOSPITALS, DOCTORS, PHARMA COMPANIES.

Here again he mentions that Baba Ramdev has remedies for “growth of hair and various other parts of human anatomy”. No links this time, but pretty sure Sri Sri Sandipan checked these products here & here. Both these links are from the same website as mentioned above.

Further, the author says:

For, most of what Ramdev sells or promotes, like the benefit of yoga, was already there. But, like a shrewd curator of heritage, Ramdev just packaged it and turned all the daadi-naani nuskhas into profitable products.

Well, again, some of these “daadi-naani nuskhas” are from fraud websites. Coming to the other part, I don’t know under which law it is illegal to “package” stuff which already existed and sell it? I guess Flipkart is doing all sorts of illicit activities then.

And yeah, Firstpost also does the same. Packages stuffs that already exists and publishes it! They call it “curation”, and we at OpIndia.com too do the same inspired by them. Sandipan must be wishing that OpIndia.com, if not Firstpost, should be shut down?

Next comes some more hilarious, no-links, only “sources”, anonymous bullshit:

One of his disciples, for instance, brushes his teeth daily with petrol to get rid of paan masala stains. “They shine like pearls,” the gentleman, who is a senior journalist, says triumphantly

Till the last paragraph we were told that Ramdev was manufacturing mumbo-jumbo medicines and selling them to disciples. Now, the author also claims Ramdev is an authorised seller for Petrol! After all, if this person is brushing his teeth with petrol, it must be helping Ramdev earn money in some way? When I last checked, Ramdev baba has nothing to gain from higher sale of Petrol, although Ambani does, so I guess Ramdev is also an Ambani agent?

But seriously, I don’t know who this “senior journalist” is. I also couldn’t find any links where Ramdev has actually prescribed this.

Sandipan then goes on to say that Ramdev’s medicines (not sure which medicines he is referring to, from the fraud website or the real one) don’t need testing and or follow other regulations:

Ramdev’s products wouldn’t have been such best-sellers if they were to come under the purview of drug controllers or their trials had been mandatory. Trials, tests and approvals cost millions. Many companies go bankrupt if a medicine they have invested in fails to clear regulatory hurdles. Also, popping his prescriptions is safe. Unlike medicines, they do not come with written warnings of reactions and side effects.

For this, I finally reveal, the world’s biggest secret. This secret has been guarded for centuries by a secret society, from the time India had Vedic Planes with monkeys flying them while solving calculus with a gel pen in their tails. The main mission of the society is to hide this piece of information from Journalists so that they keep repeating the same mistake for Yugas. This vital piece of information is: the link to RAMDEV’S official website.

Besides this society, only google knows this link, you just have to prove to Google you are a Virat Hindu and it will share the link with you. Ramdev Baba’s official site is “www.divyayoga.com.”

It contains all the audited financials etc. of his trust and also mentions here, all his R & D facilities. A quick glance shows all the detailed testing carried out by Ramdev’s organizations. Whether the medicines are effective is debatable, but indicating that there are no tests conducted is pure slander.

To be clear here, I am no Ramdev fan. I appreciate that he has brought Yoga to the masses, and I know a lot of people who have benefited from the same.

I have no clue whether his medicines are effective, but there are agencies to test this, and if in 10 years of UPA rule, in which Ramdev flourished, no evidence of fake medicines was found then I guess we should leave it at that.

And yes, Mr. Sandipan’s article could indeed be a case of “premature ejaculation” because the news of Ramdev getting Padma award in not even confirmed, as this press release by the PIB says. But why wait when you are feeling orgasmic to write something?

There are many valid points to criticise Ramdev, his salwar kameez escape leaving behind his supporters at mercy of Delhi police, his views on homosexuality, his alleged tax frauds, etc. but using a fake website and building a fake propaganda is not the right method.

As for Firstpost, I hope they First Research, Then Post, rather than the other way round.

P.S. I couldn’t find any medicines on Ramdev Baba’s official website which claim to cure the ailments mentioned in Mr Sandipan’s post.

co-founder, OpIndia.com

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