Vantage point

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Such Fun!

Brinda Karat, rather bizarrely, took up a very page-3-ish cause a couple of days back when she accused Baba Ramdev, a Yoga Guru, of selling medicines that contain animal fats.

I did not really care to find out if she was right, because I have never taken those medicines, and even if I come to a juncture when I have to take those medicines, I would have no problems with their containing animal fats.....though I must stress here that I prefer seafood.

The controversy seems to have snow-balled big time with some allegations that really tickled me pink. It has been alleged, that Brinda Karat, of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is working at the behest of drug MNCs. A CPM office-bearer being accused of working for MNCs. LOL! Can life get any better?

This entire episode has turned out to be most entertaining. The Baba's supporters have reacted rather vehemently, clashing with CPM members. Brinda Karat's effigy was burnt in Kanpur. Chickens coming home to roost?

She also found herself being attacked by fellow-politicians.

The BJP and Shivsena very obviously leapt to the Baba's defence. But funnily enough, two chums of the CPM, the two Yadavs, Lalu and Mulayam and a senior CPM member himself, also backed the Baba.

In fact the CPM member Subhas Chakraborty came up with the best line in this saga - Do we have to remind all that there are cases of people digesting raw meat?

Health Minister Ramadoss, who has so far been obsessed with banning smoking in films, suddenly found himself in the unfamiliar, unexpected and awkward situation of actually dealing with a health-related issue. He hedged his bets by saying that the medicine sample indeed contained animal fats, BUT the samples had been handed over by Karat, and not officially collected by the Health Ministry, so they could not be sure if what was in the samples was indeed Ramdev's medicine.

Meanwhile a reader sent me a link to a blogpost which has some clarifications about Ayurvedic medicine.

While most channels and newspapers are getting sound-bytes from everywhere, and generally trying to gain maximum entertainment value out of this episode, the Indian Express snoops around a bit and tells us that there is a bit of history between Karat and Ramdev, and it does have more to do with labour issues than animal fat. The Express also solves the puzzle of why the two Yadavs ditched the CPM and supported the Baba - turns out Baba himself is a Yadav.

So what should we do? Well, get a bag of popcron, enter "karat" and "ramdev" in Google News and get entertained.