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Asaram takes centrestage

Asaram takes centrestage

Author: Deepak Jha / New Delhi
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: November 21, 2004

The platform may have been unfamiliar but the cause was heart-rending enough for Sant Aasaram Bapu, as he sobbed and prayed that ishwar grant sadbuddhi to jailors of the Kanchi pontiff Jayendra Saraswati. Hundreds of followers gathered at Patel Chowk for the upvaas-dharna on Saturday could not control their tears.

Despite it being a political platform, the sant chose to attend the BJP dharna called to launch a nationwide protest against the treatment meted out to the seer. Saddened by his arrest, the Bapu broke down several times as he recited shlokas from the Bhagwad Gita and led his followers to chanting Om.

That the fight against the shabby treatment to the Shankaracharya has many worthy warriors was proved amply on Saturday evening as the crowd disapproved of the Tamil Nadu Government's "conspiracy" to put the seer in police custody.

Rallying behind Bapu, who observed a day-long fast, his disciple Dinesh Gupta said: "The moment I learnt Bapu was sitting on upvaas-dharna I had to join him. Now that Bapu has joined the stir, the Kanchi seer will be released soon." Gupta came to protest at the behest of his bed-ridden wife.

Asking his followers to rally behind the BJP, Bapu said that BJP iron-man Advani is a Dev (God) on this Earth.

Later, Bapu said he would join the upvaas even on Sunday. Thousands are expected in the next two days at Patel Chowk. "The arrest of Shankaracharya has hurt me . The force that has motivated me to come here is ishwar. I hope the culprits get some 'satbhudhhi' and save the nation from calamity," Bapu said.

"The accusations against the Shakaracharya is a conspiracy and the result of the rivalry between two political parties," he added. The sant who heads the Yoga Vedant Sewa Samiti and has a large following in the world, was confident that wisdom would prevail among "those who are behind this conspiracy" and Jayendra Saraswati will be freed".

He expressed apprehension that delay in the case would threaten peace in the country. "Hamara desh is waqt ek nazuk mod par khada hai. Sankarcharya ke saath koyi khilwad na ho," he said in a choked voice.

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