Ramdev under fire for attending Deoband meet


But the sadhu community in Ayodhya is up in arms against him for attending the meet and “remaining silent” on the “fatwa” against Vande Mataram.

The sadhus of Ayodhya not only condemned Ram Dev for his silence but also accused him of “giving preference to his business interests over national interests”.

The issue will be raised at the forthcoming meeting of the All India Akhara Parishad, an apex body of sadhus, at Hardwar on November 10. “Baba Ram Dev has become a businessman... if he claims to be an Indian, he should have opposed the fatwa against Vande Mataram,” Akhara president Mahant Gyan Das told Deccan Herald from Ayodhya on Thursday.

All India Saint Committee general secretary Mahamandaleshwar Hans Das also denounced Ram Dev, saying his (Ram Dev) silence reflected his preference for commercial interests.

“Ram Dev’s commercial interests are becoming a hurdle in the way of his patriotism,” Han Das said. “By attending the meet where the fatwa against Vande Mataram was issued, Ram Dev has hurt the sentiments of crores of Indians, and he must seek forgiveness,” Mahant Narayan Giri said.

Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board member and naib imam of Idgah, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali, said here that no “fatwa” had been issued against Vande Mataram at the Deoband meet.

“It could at best be termed a proposal... it is not a fatwa... a fatwa is issued in response to a query in the light of shariat and is signed by at least three ulemas,” he said.

The Jamiat in its recent three-day national convention at Deoband had said that reciting Vande Mataram violated the spirit of Islam, and as such Muslims should not recite it.

Union home minister P Chidambaram and Swami Ram Dev had attended the meet on its concluding day, although it was not clear whether fatwa was issued in their presence.

The Muslim clergy said there was nothing wrong in practising yoga, and even announced that Ram Dev would conduct a yoga camp at Deoband later.

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