Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who has threatened to field candidates in every Lok Sabha constituency in 2014, has stopped the Union government in its tracks with a set of demands, ranging from the serious to the bizarre.
The demands of the jet-setting Baba — whose acolytes recently bought him a little Scottish island to open an ashram — include:
- Tough Lokpal Bill, with a provision for death sentence for the corrupt, especially corrupt officials
- Immediate return of all black money stashed away in tax havens abroad to the country
- Declaring all wealth in foreign countries being held illegally by Indians as national property and charging those with such accounts under the sedition laws
- Abolishing Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 currency notes
- Disabling the operations of any bank which belongs to a country that is a tax haven
- Replacing the British-inherited system of governance, administration, taxation, education, law and order with a swadeshi alternative
- Reforming the electoral system to ensure that the Prime Minister is directly elected by people
- Ensuring that all citizens declare annually their incomes
- Bringing income-tax details under the Right to Information Act
- Increasing substantially the Minimum Support Price of grains
- Making wages of different categories of labourers uniform across the country
- Revoking the Land Acquisition Act, as farmers should not be deprived of their land for industry
- Promoting Hindi at the expense of English.