Pseudoscience & Religion

Yogi In Politics: A Rationalist’s Thoughts On Baba Ramdev

The political space in India seems to be as large as the country itself. We have parties advocating everything from communism to capitalism, Hindutva to Islam, though not publicly, since the constitution prohibits it. We have the Manuvadi parties, the Dalit parties, parties of the OBCs, parties proposing an atheistic government and so on. Into this cacophony a new entrant has arrived, throwing his hat into the ring! All beware, the incorruptible, the squeaky clean, unmarried, physically fit superhero is here- step aside all, here is the man for whom the country has been waiting since independence- the messiah has finally arrived on the scene. Ram Kishen Yadav, aka Baba Ramdev who keeps churning his abdominal muscles on the stage, thumbing his nose at people and collecting millions in the name of yoga. If one watches his TV program one can see him jumping about, performing contortions, panting for breath, and as soon as he gets it back, uttering platitudes about everything under the sun,moon and stars!

He has simplistic solutions for all problems. Want to solve the poverty problem? Bring the money stashed in Swiss banks. Homosexuality is a disease and the cure for it is yoga. Its not one or two things that he talks about but, as previously said, he has an encyclopedic knowledge about all matters. He is a text book on medicine, surgery, nutrition, physical exercise, psychiatry and whatever one may need. Do you have a problem? Perform kapalbathi and pranayam. He talks about the good old days, lecturing about the skeleton of a 12 feet tall person discovered at an undisclosed location, and how the good food and clean air back in those days made them grow that big. To hell with medical evidence indicating that a 7 feet tall person can find it difficult to live a normal life because the human body has its logical and mechanical limitations.

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It has been a long climb to the top indeed for a contortionist to develop into a guru with solutions for all the problems facing us. He wants to start with India and make it the healthiest nation in the world. Then he wants to go out and do the same to the rest of the world! When he predicted several years ago that there would soon be a cure for AIDS, obtained from a combination of ayurveda and yoga, Ramdev got into trouble with a Health Minister from the central government who asked him to prove his claims or shut up because such talk could disrupt the campaign for the prevention of AIDS. Ramdev then gave a long-winded explanation for what he actually said, claiming he had been misquoted.

In his TV shows he has patients barging in with so-called ‘medical reports’ which he reads out in a halting manner, mispronouncing many of the medical terminologies. It runs like this: A middle aged lady goes to the stage with a report, which he reads out loud. Then he says- “Well, well what did the doctors say about this?” She answers- “Baba, they told me I would die in six months. Another dose of sarcasm- “Then you had to die”. She- “No Baba, I did not I started doing yoga and now I am fine”. He- “So, this is modern medicine for you, in the grip of the multinationals!” Then another round of contortions, heavy breathing, devotional songs etc. These are called as yog shibirs. On his stage are a few younger people doing the very same poses which he asks all people to do.

He has one more collaborator who goes to gardens, fields or anywhere that has greenery and brings back all sorts of leaves and plants. Ramdev holds lectures on these, listing their botanical names and dishing out advice on what they can heal and/or prevent. Of course, no sort of evidence or clinical trials are needed. You just have to take his word for it. The only proof that is offered is that our ancient texts say these things. When the swine flu epidemic hit the world he had a solution for it- boil a particular root in water and drink its extract to prevent the flu. The prices for that root went through the roof and no one was willing to listen to what we said- that it was like any other type of seasonal flu and would pass off. Now, the statistics has vindicated our stand. Of course, he can claim that it was his combination of yoga and ayurveda that saved India.

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What about his “medicines”? People have to sign an undertaking saying that they knew the “medicines” were not approved, to absolve him of any liability for any possible ill-effects arising from their use! He manufacures them at facilities which employ sweat shop labor. When they went on strike demanding fair wages, he set his goons upon them. When the trade unions of the left parties supported laborers and exposed the formulae of some of Ramdev’s concoctions, he made his usual allegation that they were tools of the multinationals. He was adding human bones to some of the “medicines” after powdering them; he defended this by saying that it was permitted in ayurveda. There are many such controversies about his panaceas, which are very, very expensive. The same allegation of exploitation that he makes against the multinationals is equally applicable to him, if not more! At least their products are based on evidence and clinical trials while his concoctions are marketed on his word alone and the claim that it is a truth found in ancient texts.

Ramdev’s hypocrisy needs to be pointed out here. On stage with a captive audience, he launches into tirades against the ‘corrupt’ politicians. But nothing prevents him from hob-nobbing with them, traveling with them on state helicopters and utilizing millions of rupees given as ‘grants for research’. He conveniently forgets that this money comes from the pocket of the tax payers, 300 million of them being malnourished, poverty stricken and with naturally flat stomachs caused by the years of malnutrition, and hence not impressed by his contortions on stage.

Well, who exactly is Ramdev?

If one looks at the audience at his sessions- for which one has to pay huge donations despite his talk of egalitarianism- the fat cats who pay heftier ‘donations’ are located close to the dais and are given more elbow room to carry out their maneuvering. The others have to lump it out far away from the stage, performing their contortions in cramped conditions. That is equality for you. As George Orwell said, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. That is applicable to the disciples of Ramdev as well. But, for the over weight middle class with their sagging bellies, Ram Kishan Yadav is fitness personified. They want easy solutions to their problems; they would like to have toned bodies, full hair on their balding pates and, in short, quick and easy solutions for all their problems without having to work hard. His yoga classes look like the easy solution that these people seek. That is why we see the tension-ridden middle classes flocking there. Some exercise may work for some of them and these people shout it from the roof tops. Those for whom the exercises do not work, constituting the larger group, will be silent like they are expected to be – the silent majority! Again, he is very clever when offering advise to patients with serious problems; if they have diseases like cancer they will be told to continue with their therapy but also consume his concoctions and do things like pranayama etc. If they are cured he can take the credit- if not the money grabbing multinationals and the doctors can be blamed! In his much publicized ‘public’ debates with some of the branches of the Indian Medical Association, he cleverly wriggles out of tight situations by uttering cliches like you do your job and I will do mine. I recall a few similar instances, like when the Indian Medical Association branch of Goa ‘collaborated’ with him, having themselves photographed at his feet. When the national secretary of FIRA queried the office bearers as to why they were seen in such a position with a person who is opposed to them, the lame excuse was that they were just joining him for his anti tobacco campaign!

Why does this colorful personality wants to enter politics- or rather, why does he want to embrace the “dirty world of politics” as he says? It isramdev-baba the desire for power on one hand and for safe-guarding his empire on the other? Huge grants have been taken for establishing ‘research institutes’ but nothing useful has come out of them so far. Under the right to information act anyone can ask for the details of this funding and also ask for the results. Once these scandals come out there is going to be trouble. Not everyone in India is fat and middle-class- Ramdev’s constituency! He wants to get at other groups of people, for which he needs a larger net. Another factor is the large amount of black money that he must have amassed marketing his useless concoctions. Despite of all his claims to egalitarianism they are really expensive- more expensive than the concoctions of the multinationals whom he derides, but at least the latter are required to be scientifically tested to do what they claim to! Ramdev has forayed abroad and purchased his own island from where he hopes to market these concoctions without the need to satisfy regulatory bodies about their effectiveness.

Ramdev wants to be the ‘C team’ of the Hindutva gang. The A team- the right wing Bharathiya Janatha Party- has undergone a decline in growth, becoming stagnant. The rabid right wing groups like the Shiv Sena that form the B team are divided and losing their appeal. There is a need for one more team with more appeal to a different constituency, and that is what Ramdev is trying to create! While decrying all politicians as corrupt, he does not mind sharing the stage with the likes of Advani and co. While mocking the Congress party, he is not averse to taking grants from states run by that party. He feels that he has an appeal to his community- though he claims to be a ascetic with no caste, he is a Yadav, a dominant caste in many areas of the cow belt. Again, the saffron robes and the halo of being a renunciate may influence the electorate into voting for his candidates, and he hopes to win seats and worm his way into ruling combinations. No sir, he does not want power. He wants to reform the nation! He will not contest for elections but will put up honest, sincere, dedicated candidates who will do the task of nation building. In other words he wants to be a remote control and play the king maker!

Coming to the great personality himself one wonders why the cure-all yogic and the ayurvedic concoctions that he peddles are unable to cure his ever-present facial tic. What yogic quality makes him dye his hair and beard? The vanity of the renunciate?Is he the Hindu version of Benny Hinn? These questions will be answered soon when he enters electoral politics which has an audience that is not quite as captive and will need contortions of a different kind.

Professor Narendra Nayak is the president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations

About the author

Narendra Nayak

51 Comments

  • The pathetic part of our society is that the followers of Ramdev, Saibaba and the like will never see reason. Even after the arrest of Nityananda, his followers are viweing the entire episode as a conspiracy.

    It is not that these people are foolish. Their secret life are as heinous as these godmen so far my exprience with them goes.

  • A simple way to expose this fraud is to ask him to submit financial statements of his enterprise and income tax payments. Next thing you know, he will not be Mr. Clean anymore. Like the Sex Swami, this man will be Black Money Swami.

  • Dear Narendra Nayak,
    I found your article to be very informative and it gave me some points for discussions with Mr. Ramdev followers.
    The real problem is to grow critical thinking and inquisitiveness into the minds of people so that frauds like these are not allowed to gain foothold.

  • This article is very nice. Like any astro/godman/vaasthu experts do, even Ramdev misuse “health concern” of people to earn money and fame and control over innocent people.. Everyone wants health, money,name and fame. Parnts want children to learn and settle in life. These natural urges are tools to make money. Immunity is something entirely different from what he claims to be. And just by altering one’s respiratory pattern, we just cannot improve immunity. By listening to Ramdev’s words about respiratory pattern and immunity, I can very well tell that he is not at all aware of basic molecular mechanism how immunity works in in our body. If what Ramdav claims was right, We could throw out all vaccinations and medications which imrpove immunity. Pr.Nayak is doing a great work being a full time worker against “blind beliefs” (all beliefs are blind!) You are real leader!!

  • If Ramdev is a great patron of Ayurveda and yoga and keeps his body well maintained, I dare him to get six pack abs or eight pack abs.

  • I will suggest you all to keep your words .. and see what India becomes by 2020 under Ramdev’s Governance.

    You all will be able to check your understandings , beliefs and intelligence.

    Thanks!

    • Famous last words my dear boy! “Under” whom? Do you think we are his slaves or something? If it is a democratic govt. it is the other way round! Only 10 years left get going fast!

  • Reporter to Ramdev: Yeh Homosexuality Kya hai?
    Ramdev: Homosexuality dimag ki vikruti hai!!! Jiska ilaj mere Yoga se hai
    Reporter: Yeh Ayappa kya hai?
    Ramdev: Jab Shivji is dimag ki vikruti se bimar ho gaye, tab unhone vishnu ji ko thoka!! Isliye vishnuji neh Ayaapa ko Janam diya.
    Ramdev cont ” Badmeih hamnejake Apni yoga se Shivji ke dimag ke vikruti ka ilaj kiya!!

  • Very well put. It’s amazing how this guy has been able to manipulate such a big part of society. Please see some of the videos they have put on Bharat Swabhiman website, especially by Rajiv Dixit. So many lies and inaccurate information. They sound like Indian version of Taliban. It’s scary.

  • Mr. Narendra Nayak (or so called professor),
    I have been searching for your information for long and now I found out. I have read your article and have read your venom and your one sided attitude. Some of things may not be ok from Ramdev but largely he has revolutionized health consciousness And he should be rightly credited for it. .And yes,Yoga does help in in curing most of ailments and this is coming from more educated and knowledgeable man than your idiotic ill informed brain.
    Next I was actively searching for your comment when story broke out on Prahlad Jani -The yogi who has lived without water and food.
    What do you say about him???
    Before you utter via your vocal cord,mind you he has been investigated by scientists who have more neurons and brain than your idiotic mind. But I would like your comment to be properly published in media and your favourite youtube .Ideally I would like you to go an investigate him. If I remember ,sometime back you were giving prize to disapprove you.I would like to challenge you to prove him wrong.
    Also you have an opinion about some pseudo people which is OK but not all are pseudo, So use your neurons before you evoke anything from your vocal cord.Do research and then blabber. People are not living in 10 yrs back India and now people are more well informed. So your shop will also not go too far 🙂

    • Vivek,
      you are the perfect Ramdev sycophant. It would not occur to you that while you demand that we research and justify our claims, you will just nod at and accept every remark that Ramdev makes about yoga curing cancer and aids, and even “curing” homosexuality and any other damn thing. Your one-sidedness will not occur to you.

      Even if more knowledgeable people say that yoga can cure anything, they need to justify their claim. Have these people given any solid justification? If their justification is based on their own personal opinion, (though it may not occur to you) they may well be lying.

    • Vivek: “I would like to challenge you to prove him wrong.”…obviously you did not read the article before making your ignorance public.

      This baba claims to cure AIDS, cancer and homosexuality by yoga, without providing a single example. Is not it not a good enough reason, given what science says on these incurable-to-date medical conditions, to doubt him!!

      Mate, you need a proper science education before you allow yourself to become so emotional (i.e. gullible) in these matters.

      Do you believe in vaccines? Do you know how do they work? These, gifts of modern science, work in 100% cases with 100% efficiency…..These facts should make you curious to learn about them. On the contrary, you are spewing venom against Prof. Nayak whose transparency and honesty is almost unquestionable.

  • I read you comment on him :
    “..As Ajita says when extraordinary claims are made the onus of proving them is on the claimant!..”

    Hilarious…way of running !! If you are “Not allowed” to reach him,Why dont you have press conference and dispute his claim??Indian media friend like NDTV and CNN-IBN will happily take you claim!

    Then on same note..
    Actually..the onus of proving lies on you since you claim on website that you are knowledgeable and so called scientific.

    And since every time you claim that its Hindutiva brigade you are clearlyu Congressi or Commie brigade!!

    • Count the days before this baba is exposed, the way saibaba was exposed!

      But, i doubt it will be of any significance to faithheads like yourself.

      Ask your baba to make his finances public?

  • In the second video: “People die more because of fear of snakes than snake-bite”!!!

    It made me sick. This guy is lecturing on virology and claiming to cure AIDS without knowing about the AIDS virus!!!

    Critical thinking got to be part of primary-school curriculum if we are to care for the younger generation.

  • “Is he the Hindu version of Benny Hinn?”

    I was not aware of this charlatan! To me Peter Popoff personified the best christianity fraud ever (exposed by famous American skeptic James Randi; youtube video about this fraud is such a fulfilling experience to watch)!

    It was Peter Popeff who showed me how stupid western educated audience could be!!! In India at least we have things such as illiteracy and lack of internet top blame for.

  • Baba Ram Dev has been patient of Fascial Paralysis in childhood .Although cured said disease has adversly affected his left eye which is compartively smaller than right one. Despite having panacea devine drugs for all possible diseases on earth why he has not been able to treat his left eye ? The abnormality in his left eye is easily visible even on television secrean. Ayurveda has got its own logical basis but he is presenting Ayurveda in an highly exaggerative manner .As a matter of fact his loud and tall claims are proving counter productive for Ayurveda itself.There is no perfect par excellence curative system .

  • YOGA IS A HINDU HUMBUG :
    If you want to do deep breathing take a brisk early morning walk (or even run) which helps you take plenty of pure oxygen that will fill your lung. Which medical sciences also supports. But if you fall a prey to the yoga guru humbug you will be huddled inside a closed, congested room and you have to inhale the dirty breath of others. It is advertised as a sure cure to reduce your weight. Nonsense. If you want to reduce your weight the best cure is start running and reduce eating. Simple.

    Yoga is a big business in India and abroad. Being expensive it brings a huge income to the Brahminist gurus/masters besides hinduising (enslaving) the non-Hindu.Don’t believe all the cock and bull stories sold by the Brahminical media papers saying “yoga will upgrade your efficiency”. Nonsense.

  • “Ramdev has forayed abroad and purchased his own island from where”, I would like to ask the readers and the author of this article to go the site linked by “purchased his own island”. The site says “Sam and Sunita Poddar, originally from India but who have lived in Glasgow for 25 years” were the ones who purchased the island and donated it. Ramdev was not the one who purchased it. I am neither a blind follower or critic of him, but people should not falsely accuse him by writing these type of misleading articles. He is not always right but when people pointed that, he has openly accepted it. He has made some mistakes but he is improving. After all he is also just a human being. Does the bad outweigh the good, in terms of the deeds he has done? I ask the author to answer this. Some of his followers may be stupid and naive, but come on, all of 80 million + followers are not idiots. Is the author trying to say, he is smarter than those 80 million + people (they include doctors, engineers, scientists, intellectuals…)?

    • Some of his followers may be stupid and naive, but come on, all of 80 million + followers are not idiots. Is the author trying to say, he is smarter than those 80 million + people (they include doctors, engineers, scientists, intellectuals…)?

      Bandwagon Fallacy.

  • “He has one more collaborator who goes to gardens, fields or anywhere that has greenery and brings back all sorts of leaves and plants.”

    His collaborator is Acharya BalKrishna and he does not bring plants/leaves from anywhere there is greenery. They have developed an entire nursery of herbs believed to have medicinal properties, in the Patanjali Yogapeeth.

    “Ramdev holds lectures on these, listing their botanical names and dishing out advice on what they can heal and/or prevent. Of course, no sort of evidence or clinical trials are needed. You just have to take his word for it. The only proof that is offered is that our ancient texts say these things.”

    This information is wrong. There is a full research unit in Patanjali Yogapeeth that conducts research on the medicinal properties of herbs. The ancient texts are only a guide for Ramdev, but the final conclusions are arrived at only after thorough research. Recently I have been following him on television, hence I know this.

    • The science of diagnosing diseases is a vast field. Even after studying for 5 and 1/2 years during MBBS, one is not completely able to diagnose with great accuracy. Than one has to do specialisation which take around 3 more years. And superspecialisation…
      Even in cancer now the scientists have found out its heterogenous.
      Hetrogeneity in a tumour means , various pathways are activated in a given tumour for example Glioblastoma Multiformae, when the scientists did microarrays and they found out various pathways in addition to P53 mutation and or EGFR overexpression are activated. In many tumours classical P53 is not mutated or EGFR is not overexpressed. Pathways which were previously thought not to be involved in carcinogenesis were activated in the the tumours. Like pathways involved in lipogenesis and other nutritional pathways In short even if the cancer may look externally or histopathologically the same, it differs diversely in genetic pathways being activated.
      Some of the herbs have anticancer properties and may be many may have therepeutic properties.
      The properties are applicable for a particular type of cancer, depending on the pathways being activated.
      One cannot give one herb without diagnosing.
      Thats quackery and exactly this is what Ramdev is doing.
      Like if we give him entire pharmaceutical drugs opf modern medicine, if an individual precribes the drugs at random without diagnosing properly to the patients, the treatment is not only going to be useless its going to be harmful to the patients.

      To sum up does Ramdev have the Diagnosing Capability?
      Ramdev is a big ZERO as far as diagnosing capability is concerned. So when he does not have the diagnosing capability, (Even if you consider herbs have medical properties) how can he say which one is useful in the treatment of which condition?

      I have kept this simple and there are many other complexities.
      Like the amount of substance varies from plant to plant, so you dont know wheather u are delivering the therepeutic level of substance in herbal form.
      Mode of delivery one does not know.
      Also there are other substance in plants and how they interact with one another one does not know.

      • Yes, you are right, Ramdev is a ZERO at diagnosis but Yoga and Ayurveda don’t require diagnosis for treatment.

        I am not an expert of Yoga or Ayurveda, but from what I have gathered so far by following Ramdev, it is like this.

        If one eats a particular kind of food and lives life according to a certain routine(that prescribed in Ayurvedic texts) then one’s body performs as it should perform naturally. For example, one reason for obesity (even in young children) is junk food. If one stops eating junk food (Pizzas, burgers, double roti) and starts eating dal, roti, rice, wheat, barley, maize, milk and fruits and other vegetables (which is typical Indian diet taken in villages even to this day) one will not get obese. Would you say that Indian diet cures obesity ? And, is a diagnosis required for it ?

        Ayurveda basically tells you how/what to eat and live life in order to have a body so strong that you would rarely get ill.

        Allopathy is a symptomatic method in which the symptoms of a disease are targeted. Eg.) If platelets-count in the body decreases then a doctor would simply inject platelets. But this is not the solution since the count would decrease again.
        But if one follows the lifestyle proposed in Ayurvedic texts one’s body functions normally and in a normally functioning body, platelets-count also remains normal. There is no need of diagnosis because Yogic and Ayurvedic methods work irrespective of the disease but allopathy, on the other hand, tries to detect the symptoms and provides specific treatment according to it.

        It’s difficult to explain in detail here in such little space. But, the essence is that Ayurveda and Allopathy are based on 2 totally different philosophies. To see Ayurveda in the light of Allopathy would be wrong and vice-versa. I am not insisting that what Ramdev says is correct but its not illogical.

        I am trying to see whether what he says is correct or not by following his instructions and seeing for myself whether the results come or not. I have started to do Yoga recently and am curious to know if there is any substance in what he says.

        • You are wrong “To say that the allopathy treats the symptoms only and ayurveda treats the cause.”
          This is one of the biggest misconception.
          There are numerous cases where Ayurveda treats the symptoms. Like for example for cough you have Draksharista which is nothingh but red wine.
          But cough can be due to many causes like Tuberculosis.
          Than you cannot just give draksharista for TB Rx.
          You have to start Rifampicin, Isoniazid, etambutol, pyriazinamide for TB Rx.
          Also Ramdev says that western medicine is commercialized, but he himself is commercilizing Yoga, which is against the basic tennets of Yoga and Ayurveda.
          Even Charaka in Charaka samhita had said that even the best medicine can be poison if not taken properly and poison can be medicine if taken properly.
          This implies that Charaka was all out for scientific medicine.
          Whereas Ramdev is not.
          He just says Yoga cures everythingh which is not only misleading, but its also wrong.
          Again one point people previously used to practice yoga in open air or forests, but Ramdev is making lots of people practice Yoga in closed room, making them breathe impure air as Siddhart has said.
          This negates the effect of Yoga and any other exercises.
          I would prefer to walk or Jog in forest rather than do yoga Ramdevs closed chamber and breathe impure air.

          • Ok, the discussion on the thread here will no where lead us to any conclusion. The topic is complicated and has many convolutions.

            Anyways, the best way to find the answer would be to practice. Hence, I will be performing Yoga(not in a closed room, as Ramdev also says to perform Yoga in open places) and see for myself if the results come.

          • One more misinformation.

            He has NOT commercialized Yoga.
            1) One does not necessarily require to attend his Yoga camps and pay money to learn Yoga. One can do it free of cost on TV.

            2) On TV, he also mentions the methods of preparing the Ayurvedic medicines at home. And for those who don’t have the required herbs available OR can’t prepare them for some reason, he makes the medicines available.

            I have prepared the Ayurvedic Tooth powder at home which is also sold by Patanjali YogaPeeth. This is not the case with Western medicine. Hence Western medicine is commercialized.

  • Ssomeone please post a video or the webpage from his official site where he has claimed to cure AIDS. I tried searching for it and found it nowhere.

  • Again there are many flaws in his plans and thinking, but that is the case with everyone. No one is perfect. But, the good he has done more that outweighs that.

  • “he is a Yadav, a dominant caste in many areas of the cow belt.”

    For the information of everyone, Yadav is not a dominant caste, it belongs to the OBC category. So there is nothing brahmanic about him.

  • Hi all,

    I am writing here neither in support nor against of Ramdev. I would like analyze bright and dark side this yogi.

    This account of Ramdev – does not look “critiques view point” or rationalist’s views as it tend to take “one sided view”. How do we know if this or that “one sided view” is correct? How do we explain counter examples in each case….

    Let me attempt to give an account of critical thinkers view.

    Ramdev is a “fallible” human just like all of us. He has done some good things and he appear to be doing something’s that might not be in “right” category in some social sense. Let us look that Plus and minuses. Briefly.

    Good things that he has done

    1. Popularizing Yoga, pranayama – today more people are aware of doing pranayama before whether you do it in a closed room or in a garden. Unlocking the aura around the practice of prayama and making to reach masses is his single most good thing.

    How many here claim that pranayama is not scientific (well.. let us say done in open air) Did Ramdev commit mistake by teaching pranayama to masses thru his camps and TV?

    2. Attacking Fast foods/Colas etc: Teaching today’s kids (rich and of foreign returned parents) how to eat and what to eat is a good part of Ramdev’s teaching. Our (Indian) obsession to imitate western world/culture of fast food and aerated beverages has caused many health problems to teens and mid aged.

    Was Ramdev wrong in preaching – Say No to fast food and colas? (Let us not balance this argument by saying how can he attack multinationals while he himself has great commercial interest in marketing ayurvedic medicines.) Let us give him a credit for starting this. How many of you here contest the belief that fast foods and colas are bad for health?

    3. Popularizing Ayurveda – No matter loads of arguments and counter arguments – there is no single scientifically proven medical system that can guarantee health and answer to prevailing diseases. Homeopathy, naturopathy, allopathy, acupuncture, Meditation, Tantrik healing – all are here to stay. These have lived generations and there are some reported wins and loses. So it is a “tie”. So Allopathy – you can’t run away with winner prize and claim to be the only legitimate and scientific method of medicine and healing.

    Ramdev (of initial years) did his part to popularize (minus the commercial considerations) Ayurveda. +1 to him for this.

    How many of you consider Ayurveda as a pseudo or bad science? How many of you claim the claims of auyrveda as a medicine branch as false? How many of you claim that ancient texts of Patanjali, Shushurata, Charaka are bogus?

    Those doctors and allopathic supports who claim that clinical trials and main line scientific techniques are the only ones to be believed – I would say there is this mysterious mind-body relationship that we (all accumulated scientific knowledgebase) still don’t appear to understand fully. Human body and the way it works – is still mysterious to us. All we do through various medicine systems to try and see if something works for some problem. I will not single out any system of medicine is superior and others (though utterly of bad science and blind beliefs) as Bad. Adopt anything that works for you. If a medicine supposedly cures you from say cancer would you say – that is ridiculous how can this non scientific thing cure me?

    As 20th century Quantum theory makes us to give up “certainty” – our knowledge at the most is mere by hypothesis and fallible. And it is limited. One counter example (Black swan) will disprove 100’s years of scientific theory…..

    4. Popularizing Indian cultural values (very close to being Hindu ideology – a non secular stand) of respect parents, teachers, women.
    Up to a point, Ramdev did good thing by preaching these very Indian values to those influenced by western lifestyle.

    How many of you think this was a wrong thing? Call for returning to our cultural roots bad thing?

    Now let me go to the other side – the dark side

    1. Ramdev started claiming “Too much” – this is a human side of him. sensing the popularity and applause – he started to be carried away and claimed that such and such practice or medicine will claim such and such disease – no exceptions. This is a big wrong thing

    2. Ramdev started giving “shortcuts” everything or especially health problems. That is another problem

    3. For the movement he started – he needed money and support of those with power. Hence he started to be seen with politicians. This is a clear deviation from his mission “making India and world healthy”. This is a wrong thing

    4. Commercialization of Sale of medicines (in addition to claiming too much) and prescribing them without adequate “diagnosis”. This caused by the “volume” problem that he and his organization needed to process every day.

    5. Finally launching formally into politics. It is difficult to consider any one in politics as someone with “all charity” and “making good to everyone” attitude. Politics itself a religion a doctrine that potentially interfers with practice of yoga and medicine.

    So … you decide which Ramdev you want to criticize and which Ramdev you want to praise.

    Does this response qualify to be a critical account or does this warrant response from the author Narendra Nayak. I am listening.

    Shrini Kulkarni

    • Your standards to determine what is true and what is not totally contradict what the standards we use. You seem to be using religious logic. You also don’t understand the philosophy of science as evidenced by your black swan argument. That renders your claims on pranayama, ayurveda and other non science-based-medicine systems entirely moot. As such they don’t warrant a response from any freethinker let alone from Prof. Nayak.

      • Please don’t take me off from here.. I am new and learning. This being my first comment, I might have used a standard that is different from the ones you folks used. I will read and come back. I think I am free and critical thinker and like to engage in a debate here. So you I suppose you would allow me to post and get responses.

        >>> You seem to be using religious logic.
        No, I don’t. I don’t know if pranayama, ayurveda have a religious flavor or religious roots. I am not sure if anyone who believes in these is considered as religious. I am not sure if supporting Indian family or social values (respect to parents, teachers, women) are considered as religious.
        I am not sure if my views on fast food, Indians imitating western culture are regarded as religious.

        I realize now that these issues that I have raised might be on the boundary of being confused to being religious.

        >>>You also don’t understand the philosophy of science as evidenced by your black swan argument.

        Can you elaborate please? I don’t understand if you can draw that conclusion from what said about black swan. May be you understand black swan differently than I do.

        What is flaw in my argument with respect to philosophy of science? This may be a naive question … help me understand.

        I believe that we don’t understand mind-body connection and how/why some one becomes sick and how the diseases get treated. Is my belief correct? I would explicitly state that No religious argument/logic here. We simply have limitations to understand the complexity of human body. Do you agree?
        If you don’t agree, does that lead to “there is no such limitation of our scientific knowledge of human body” ?

        My question then would be – could there be any such limit to our understanding of world around us and ourselves?

        Finally – let me reiterate I am freethinker (my thoughts) and want to excel at critical thinking. To the true spirit of this forum would never intend to invoke religious logic to make my point implicitly or explicitly. If you think I have made a logic that “looks” like religious – please point me that and say why do you think so…may be I have a different premise in my mind to say that.

        Shrini

        • The arguments you used were not evidence based, but rather were arguments from authority (Why is pranayama good? There is no justification other than that some old text says so), arguments from subjective experience (On what basis did you equate science-based-medicine with quackery like homeopathy?) and arguments from ignorance (Abusing quantum physics and now “we have limitations on our understanding of the world” to entertain baseless claims). These are exactly the kind of arguments upon which religion thrives. Science abhors such arguments. Your black swan thing just stated one basic principle behind science. And it is that very science which shows ayurveda and its ilk as pseudoscience at best. You weren’t able to see that logical connection. Hence my observation on your understanding of philosophy of science.

          If you want a debate, don’t expect me to explain everything for you. The arguments you use are nothing new and if you are interested in learning, lookup the terms I used in google or wikipedia, understand them and then come back. And I’m not interested in discussing normative values.

          Also, freethought most likely does not mean what you think it does.

          • Thanks Satish,

            I stand corrected on my main line of argumentation that Yoga, pranayama, aurveda are bad arguments and many on the basis of personal experience but in no way “religious”.

            Is there any place on this forum where beginners (in philosophy, rational thinking, cricitical thinking) can post questions and discuss with experts here?

            In retrospect – I am glad that I posted here (full of bad arguments) and learnt that how such arguments should be analysed and fallacies are pointed out.

            Thanks again for allowing me to post.

            Shrini

      • Mr. Satish, I will particularly comment on your word – “NON SCIENCE BASED”.

        Ayurveda, Acupressure and Ramdev’s techniques have worked for my father and me as well in addition to keeping the general health of the family much better. I havent had fever or cold in last 4 years.

        When you go back in time, why do you stop to believe that all science was developed in the western world a few hundred years ago. This is a particularly “200 year Enslaved Indian” mentality which you have to get over. Great scientists by your standards(including Albert Einstien) have praised Indian ancient Vedic science which was written 1000’s or of years ago or maybe even before.

        Actually Ayurveda and its allies(Accupressure, Yoga, etc) are so old, practiced, and effective, that it does not require scientific verification from labs who know nothing about it.

        The Labs want to sell their chemicals. Its not that Baba Ramdev has invented those Ayurvedic medicines(its been in use since ages, only lost in the last few decades or so). He as much tells everyone how to make those using simple kitchen herbs. Its ancient and certainly I would like to trust a system which has much more experience and is from a time when selling medicines and earning wasn’t the primary goal. By the way Susruta was the first person to do a surgery through Ayurvedic methods long time before Allopathy.
        My father is fit now and so am I and so are so many others, otherwise the popularity of Baba wouldn’t have grown.

        Now you decide whether you want to give it some time and thought yourself or want to wait for lab reports and certifications. BTW : Colgate is certified by IDA as it says. But it contains chemicals that are banned in many developed countries. Now why did IDA approve it ?

        On the other hand I have been using Patanjali toothpaste and trust me, it has removed my plaque in a month, and i didn’t have to brush twice a day, and used only a pea sized dot on my toothbrush. Another example is that a half kg bottle of Dabur honey costs Rs142/- while at Patanjali costs Rs.90/- and Dabur tastes like sugar syrup once you taste Patanjali honey.

        If you ask people why are the flocking to the Patanjali stores, they’ll tell you the truth – that its not coz Baba has told them to or scared them that they would fall ill otherwise, its coz its actually good, pure and cheaper than expected. Note that pure things are more expensive than cheaper chemical mixed stuff. Still Patanjali is cheaper.

        Just get into the mood and leave your bias aside. The ones who give scientific certifications are people(not God) themselves with vested interests in earning also. Plus you don’t even know them. I know a friend’s relative who works in FCI. The friend told me that one Agmark or ISI mark costs about 2 lacs(bribe money)on a production lot of 2 crores.

        Don’t believe in certifications. This is a part of the same corruption that Baba is pointing out. When Governments are being run by MNCs(Food,Pharma,Banking), do you think certifications can come in the way.

        And even if I consider scientifically, I think Allopathy is very good for emergencies and first aid, but for long term uses, there are side effects(because its very harsh and crude), operation being the solution for almost everything and greedy doctors and greedy pharma companies.

        Thank you
        Saurabh Dey

        • Mr. Saurabh, did you know that bloodletting was used till 19th century after which it mysteriously went away? You know why? An ancient, tried and tested, and a method that’s brimming with experience was abandoned because of science based medicine. The travesty!

          In bloodletting, you aren’t dealing with chemicals from some faceless corporation. It is a very personal experience. You know the person who is doing the procedure, the instruments are simple and you can buy them for yourself! No harsh and crude chemicals are involved, and there is absolutely no question of corruption! You don’t need certificates or that stupid science to show that bloodletting works. Also did you know that bloodletting is surgery? You wouldn’t know how sophisticated this ancient surgical technique is! Imagine, all those thousands of years ago, before we even invented clumsy techniques like by-pass surgery people were using such advanced techniques! This could only mean bloodletting is the most efficacious healing system. You should get into the mood and leave your bias aside and definitely try it.

    • Shrini,

      You started off by saying “He has done some good things and he appear to be doing something’s that might not be in “right” category in some social sense.”

      The things that Ramdev does that “might not be in “right” category” is not just in some social sense, but also in terms of actual physical harm to the gullible.

      But let’s go over the good things you say he has done:
      1. Yoga is unscientific (although some claims may be testable and verifiable, the discipline as a whole is as far from being a science as astrology or homeopathy). There may be aspects of yoga that are demonstrably beneficial, but there are aspects that are pure bunk. What do you mean by “Unlocking the aura around the practice of prayama”? That sounds like complete nonsense to me, but perhaps you have a more clear explanation. Check out this article: http://nirmukta.com/2009/01/24/do-we-need-yoga/
      2. Was Ramdev wrong in preaching – Say No to fast food and colas? Do you need a charlatan to lead our masses in understanding this scientific notion that junk food is bad for our health? The problem is that instead of promoting scientific and critical thinking, we are simply following these leaders. You obviously came to the conclusion about junk food because of the evidence, not because Ramdev says so. Why should that standard not apply to others as well?
      3. This is the big one, and was probably what got Satish riled up in his response. Please take this the right way. You seem to have little idea about what science is.

      “No matter loads of arguments and counter arguments – there is no single scientifically proven medical system that can guarantee health and answer to prevailing diseases.”
      Firstly, science is not about proofs or guaranteeing anything. Your statement sets up a false premise. Science is about degrees of confidence after weighing the evidence. The scientific method (also still evolving) is the single most effective way of understanding truths about objective reality.

      There is only one scientific medical system- Science based medicine. The term allopathy is not used in much of the west anymore. It was a term coined by the quack who invented homeopathy (which is unfortunately still extremely popular in India) In the past 3 years of my activism, I’ve heard this term a few hundred times, and ALWAYS FROM AN INDIAN. The science community simply talks about medicine, not about allopathy, which is a term used to relegate science-based medicine to just another place among other medical systems.

      “These have lived generations and there are some reported wins and loses. So it is a “tie”. “

      A lot of organized superstitions have remained with us for centuries. There is no tie. Science-based medicine wins outright. There is no comparison.

      “How many of you consider Ayurveda as a pseudo or bad science? How many of you claim the claims of auyrveda as a medicine branch as false? How many of you claim that ancient texts of Patanjali, Shushurata, Charaka are bogus?”

      Pretty much anyone who really understands science will conclude that Ayurveda is not science. The claims of Ayurveda may be subjected to scientific analysis, but the “discipline” itself is unscientific. Some claims have been scientifically tested. Of course, it would be inconvenient for them to test all of the claims. So they play the tradition and cultural history card, when they are not busy appropriating science. On this subject check out http://www.infibeam.com/Books/info/meera-nanda/ayurveda-today-critical-look/9780143065128.html

      “Those doctors and allopathic supports who claim that clinical trials and main line scientific techniques are the only ones to be believed – I would say there is this mysterious mind-body relationship that we (all accumulated scientific knowledgebase) still don’t appear to understand fully.”

      Do you realize you just countered the claim that evidence is all we have to go by with the assertion that we don’t understand something fully? In other words, you did not really address the claim, but are just pointing at something that we all might not know. Of course there are many things we do not know. The point is, the best we we CAN know is using the tools of science.

      “Human body and the way it works – is still mysterious to us.”

      Not really. Of course, we do not know much about the body, but the common layperson today knows a whole lot more about the body than the geniuses from primitive times.

      “All we do through various medicine systems to try and see if something works for some problem”

      You have to understand that the methods of science apply to all claims about the natural universe. If there is something in a traditional medical system that really works, then science must be able to detect this effect.

      “I will not single out any system of medicine is superior and others (though utterly of bad science and blind beliefs) as Bad.”

      This is known as the fallacy of false equivalence.

      “If a medicine supposedly cures you from say cancer would you say – that is ridiculous how can this non scientific thing cure me?”

      You are confusing yourself here. IF a medicine works, then science is the best way to know that it works. The point of contention is in determining what cures work. Again, you seem to have a misunderstanding of science. Science does not always need mechanistic explanations for its success. This is the point of having clinical trials.

      “As 20th century Quantum theory makes us to give up “certainty” – our knowledge at the most is mere by hypothesis and fallible.”

      No need to bring in misunderstandings of quantum theory here. Uncertainty of “knowledge” is not what quantum uncertainty is about. In any case, science is the first and only organized method of study that dispenses with the idea of absolute certainty, and this is from long before the 20th century. It can be traced all the way back to David Hume. Inductive reasoning, by definition, is about degrees of confidence, not about absolute certainty.

      “One counter example (Black swan) will disprove 100’s years of scientific theory”

      Satish is right here. Please look up what a scientific theory means. Then look up what scientific plausibility means. Simply put, a scientific theory is built upon multiple lines of evidence. There is a difference between the colloquial sense of the word theory and the scientific sense. However, there is a concept in science called falsifiability. This does imply that one should be able to present counter-examples to particular ideas in science (not whole theories, but particular aspects of theories).

      4. “How many of you think this was a wrong thing? Call for returning to our cultural roots bad thing?”

      This is a point about values, and as such is personal. But there is a misleading aspect to this. Critical thinking and skepticism are as much a part of Indian culture as anything else. Going up against charlatans like Ramdev can be seen as something that is essentially Indian in character.

      In conclusion, your initial premise that Ramdev does some good doesn’t hold up if you use reasonable standards of adherence to the truth.

      • Thanks Ajita for your time and your analysis of my post.

        After reading yours and Satish’s responses and many articles on this website, I understand that very things I considered as “good” (pranayama, yoga, ayurveda) do not stand the scrutiny of critical analysis and logic. I can say that my bad arguments were due to my limited understanding of philosophy of science and some personal experiences. I stand corrected.

        I have few questions. (a bit of diagress from the topic)

        1. I can see a great deal of faith and confidence in your arguments about science and methods of science to gain and secure knowledge. Do you doubt science? Can science be wrong? How do we (or do we) apply methods of science to itself? How does science test and itself? what happens if science starts doubting itself?

        (I am not sure if I am commiting fallacies here… Am I?)

        some of these ideas about science being fallible are presented in CBC’s Idea series “How to think about science” that features 24 thinker and philosophers of science. Any views on picture of science as emerges here?

        Look at the opening of this series

        “If science is neither cookery, nor angelic virtuosity, then what is it? Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Everything was subject to science, but science itself largely escaped scrutiny. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years. Historians, sociologists, philosophers and sometimes scientists themselves have begun to ask fundamental questions about how the institution of science is structured and how it knows what it knows”

        http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2009/01/02/how-to-think-about-science-part-1—24-listen/

        Are there any examples on this forum where a scientific truth as doubted and debated?

        Are there any examples where clinical trials were scruitanised?

        How do the folks on this forum beat “confirmation bias” – Tendency look for things that tend to confirm your own ideas and beliefs
        (say look for more on “Yoga is unscientific” as opposed to looking for counter examples that tend to an opposite stand).

        Are there any examples of such discussion on this focum ?

        I am glad that i stumbled on this forum and lanuched straight into highway.

        Thanks again.

        Shrini

        • I can see a great deal of faith and confidence in your arguments about science and methods of science to gain and secure knowledge. Do you doubt science? Can science be wrong? How do we (or do we) apply methods of science to itself? How does science test and itself? what happens if science starts doubting itself?

          There is no faith involved in our arguments. Faith is believing in something despite there being no evidence for it. And science always doubts itself. It knows that it is defeasible, meaning it knows it can be wrong. For those of us who understand science that is a given. The common perception however is not that. Science is portrayed as cocky and religion as humble. It is the other way around. It is religions which are dead sure about stuff like god. They never admit that they are defeasible.

          Are there any examples on this forum where a scientific truth as doubted and debated?

          I don’t remember anything on top of my head, but there should be something of that sort on the forums.

          How do the folks on this forum beat “confirmation bias” – Tendency look for things that tend to confirm your own ideas and beliefs
          (say look for more on “Yoga is unscientific” as opposed to looking for counter examples that tend to an opposite stand).

          We are very much susceptible to biases. I wouldn’t say that I beat them all. But I do make it a point to remind myself that I’m not above being biased and that I could be wrong in believing something.

          Are there any examples of such discussion on this focum ?

          Here’s one that I remember.

        • “1. I can see a great deal of faith and confidence in your arguments about science and methods of science to gain and secure knowledge.”

          We could indeed simply apply the word ‘faith’ to all types of belief, but that would make the word completely useless. Faith is belief without evidence. Science is a process of studying the evidence with as little subjective bias as possible, and as such is the polar opposite of faith.


          “Do you doubt science?”

          Are you asking if I doubt individual scientific ideas, or the scientific method? If its the former, yes, all the time. As for the latter, the scientific method has and always will be changing, evolving, as new paradigms open up.

          “Can science be wrong?”

          Same answer as above.

          “How do we (or do we) apply methods of science to itself? “

          See philosophy of science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science

          “some of these ideas about science being fallible are presented in CBC’s Idea series…”

          Science is the only organized system that we have ever devised that actually takes into account the fact that we are all fallible, and that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
          Regarding the excerpt, its mostly sensationalism. Again, read the page on philosophy of science that I suggested. Start with David Hume, Francis Beacon, and go all the way down to Karl Popper, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell and Daniel Dennett. Science has always been scrutinized pretty hard, and in that lies its strength.

          “Are there any examples on this forum where a scientific truth as doubted and debated?”

          “Scientific truths” will change if the evidence changes. That’s the best we can do- follow the evidence. Of course people debate the evidence and the methodology all the time.

          And yes, we have debated many scientific claims on our sites and social networks. For example, take a look at this story.

          You really have to stop seeing SCIENCE as this big incomprehensible phenomenon, and start seeing it as a method for seeing and understanding the world.

          “How do the folks on this forum beat “confirmation bias” – Tendency look for things that tend to confirm your own ideas and beliefs”

          We talk about it a lot, like on our forums, where we have a section to discuss logical fallacies: http://nirmukta.net/Forum-Spot-The-Logical-Fallacy

        • Dear Shrini,

          Sorry a late entrant into this. I have nothing much to add to Ajita’s point.

          Pl. note, the ‘scientific method’ which has been evolving through ages, particularly since the formation of the Royal society, is a system, not a group. Many theories, sometimes taken as theory and sometimes believed even by scientists, have been proven to be wrong later by more logical inquests. That’s why the discipline of science believes in any theory with a fair amount of doubt. FYI, Fred Hoyle kept on believing in the Steady state theory of universe, despite overwhelming mathematical and physical evidence of an expanding universe. Hawking itself once was near certain that time will move in negative direction after universe starts contracting. He was convincingly proven false. Even before that Einstein had to change his theory of STR into GTR after conclussive evidence against some his assumptions. Einstein is one person who often did not believe his own discoveries because of his ‘faith’ in God. Well, Einstein’s theory served us better than his faith. He was, in a way, the very persson who started particle Physics. Yet he believed in ‘design’.

          In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, most scientists believed in ‘scientific determinism’. After the advent of Particle Physics, and subsequently, unscertainty principle, it failed.

          So, scintific theories ARE DEBATED. The mechanism of Science is such that repeated studies have to prove or indicate towards a certain truth.

          Science is based on inductive inference. That is, coming to a conclusion, after several repeated incidents.
          Again, purely on the basis of logic, despite several repeated incidents, sometimes the conclusion may fail In theory, this is called the ‘Problem of Induction’. Hence, a truth is a more ‘probale’ event, in a given condition.

          Still now, many theories, especially in biological sciences, are debated.

          Medicine is medicine. It is either effective, or partially effective or not at all. How come system is important? Several things considered not ‘Allopathy’ earlier are parts of ‘Allopathy’ now. Say, several herbal medicines …. ginseng etc. Or the effect of mind on body. Any good professional would now tell you that health is not only body. It’s a balance of body, mind and situation.

          The system you refer to as ‘Allopathy’ definitely has proven itself wrong may a times. But it has contributed immensely and added to traditional wisdom in medicine.

          You and I know, being Indians, that turmeric and neem are good for health. But we did not know, traditionally, that which are phytocehmicals in them that make these so effective. That’s where the scientific process works.

          Believ me, BRD (Baba Ramdev) type system wwon’d work with such efficacy.

          As the man-god stands up for erasing corruption in the nation, please ask him with whose money he started his grand venture. We cannnot be certain, but on a scale of probability, that certain famous group based in Lucknow, did not give him the whitest of money.

          BYE

  • So called rational thinkers should first realize that the science we have is so fricking primitive. Rationality should first make you humble.

    If you see something that works, but you cant explain it, blame your inability. Yoga/Pranayama work for so many, so go figure why.

    Religious idiots should stop attributing everything unexplainable to “God”.

    Ramdev might have created awareness, that this country is seriously lacking and desperately in need, but that doesnt make him “God” and you don’t have to believe every word of his and become “blind followers”.

    Nevertheless there is this contradiction. One is entitled to one’s opinion.

    • I feel that this article has balanced views and doesn’t have any outrageous claim about Mr. Ramdev or yoga. I don’t think author has anywhere mentioned that yoga doesn’t work. He is criticizing Mr Ramdev for using yoga for money earning and to push his political agenda, giving false hope to peoples, being money friendly rather than people friendly and hypocrisy about politicians.

      • if yoga is being so useful to all and people are getting benefits out of it. It means their is no false hope what Baba Ramdev is telling. And how can you justify before his any act that he is giving false hope to people..writer is biased and targeted only one religion intentionally by going to an extreme by saying Hinduatva is a Gang…….Atheist are always in dilemma they find some or the other excuses to be with some religious causes either by supporting one or opposing one…..

  • Prasad says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm
    So called rational thinkers should first realize that the science we have is so fricking primitive. Rationality should first make you humble.

    If you see something that works, but you cant explain it, blame your inability. Yoga/Pranayama work for so many, so go figure why.

    Religious idiots should stop attributing everything unexplainable to “God”.

    Ramdev might have created awareness, that this country is seriously lacking and desperately in need, but that doesnt make him “God” and you don’t have to believe every word of his and become “blind followers”.

    Nevertheless there is this contradiction. One is entitled to one’s opinion.//

    Prasad apparently for your level of awareness to improve you need a charlatan like Ram Kishan Yadav. Yoga and Pranyama work for so many? Really? Heck, a walk in the park works for more people! If you are capable of typing something coherent please do so because you are out of depth here.

  • Just realised there’s so much to learn if I have to prove Ramdev as fraud. One look and him and I feel he is a charlatan… very selfish and cunning too. Reading the arguments of “ignorant shithead” like vivek made me realise I need to be educate myself more. I will continue to follow the discussions in this forum to understand science better.

  • Dear Prof. Nayak,

    I have been reading all your post on Nirmukta. It has been a very enriching experience. I have read many blogs/articles/books by many non-Indian authors, and was very eager to read something from Indian thinkers. A sceptic and humanist myself, I find your articles very informative, along with many others who have posted on Nirmukta (Dr.Srinivas Kakkilaya’s posts are very intriguing). I live in Singapore currently and Wish I get a chance to meet you some day.

    Please keep up the good work.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Suresh Burde

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