Surrey rally to press for action against Indian yoga guru Ramdev’s alleged offensive remarks towards Dalit women

Published: May 5, 2014

Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev performs yoga at the ‘Yoga Mahotsav’ in New Delhi on March 23, 2014. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey residents will rally Tuesday night to call for the arrest of an Indian yoga guru who allegedly defamed Dalit women and Indian Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi.

According to Surrey’s Avtar Gill, a well-known Indian yogi named Ramdev has outraged Dalit and Indian communities across the globe for his alleged suggestion that Gandhi visits Dalit colonies to “honeymoon.”

Dalits are one of the levels in India’s caste system, also referred to as “untouchables” and Ramdev’s remarks, which he made last month, have since sparked protests across India.

“He used very bad words,” said Gill. “We want to show our resentment against Ramdev.”

The rally, which will be held at 7 p.m. in Surrey’s Holland Park, will also show solidarity with activist Vidya Gautam, who is currently fasting in India in an effort to seek action against Ramdev’s remarks.

Both Gautam and the Surrey protesters are calling on the Indian government to arrest the yogi.

According to DNA India, action is already being taken, as Indian political candidate Bhagwan Singh Chohan has offered a reward of $180,000 to anyone who produces Ramdev to police.

It seems this isn’t the first time the yogi has offended an Indian community, though, as a First Information Report already exists in his name for an entirely separate incident.

According to the Press Trust of India, Punjab police have issued an FIR against Ramdev for allegedly insulting India’s Sikh community. The FIR stems from Sikh organizations’ complaints that the yogi placed a photo of a Sikh guru by his feet while practising at one of his camps, PTI reported.


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