Baba Ramdev’s Book in the News This Week

 •  0

By

On August 11, we shared news about receiving a court order to stop sales of our book Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev. We received an overwhelming response from the press and our readers. Here’s a round-up of all the articles and tweets shared about it:

  1. The Hindu

The most noteworthy thing about the Karkardooma civil judge’s injunction on Godman to Tycoon is that it was granted without hearing the writer or the publisher (Juggernaut Books). In an 11-page order, the civil judge stated that he had given the book a “cursory reading”, and examined the “specific portion” produced by Baba Ramdev’s lawyers in court which he found to be potentially defamatory. On this basis, he restrained the publication and sale of the book.

Read More 

2. PEN International

‘The foundational principle of justice is that all parties to a dispute are heard before the court arrives at a verdict. Ramdev has exercised his right to use India’s defamation laws to prevent the publication of a book that he believes will adversely affect his reputation; that is his prerogative. But the granting of an ex-parte injunction before the main defendants in this case – Priyanka Pathak-Narain, the author, and Juggernaut Books, the publisher – are even aware of the complaint or able to make their case, is unfortunate. Its effect chills free speech and prevents serious scrutiny of a prominent promoter of yoga who is politically well-connected and has built a vast business empire. It affects a writer’s right to speak and the reader’s right to know. Superior courts should seriously consider the implications of such injunctions while hearing the appeal against the order,’ said Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee

Read More

3. The Quint

Narain has recently penned a biography on the self-styled godman and now business tycoon Baba Ramdev – beloved of innumerable Indians across the world. Her book Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev has already created a buzz on social media – and it isn’t hard to fathom why. Narain’s book traces the entire orbit of Ramdev’s life – from farm boy to yoga aspirant to television enthusiast to business mogul – something that hasn’t been too difficult for Narain, considering she was a religion reporter for several years.

Read More

4. The Wire

And yet we know next to nothing of how this scrawny boy from Said Alipur, one of the poorer districts of Haryana, became what he has – tweeting about boycotting Chinese made goods from his made-in-China iPhone, preaching bravery to the nation as he dresses up in (suspiciously well-fitting) women’s clothes to flee from a police raid, talking of trust and self-worth while the vast majority of his ads are misleading.

Read More

 5. FirstPost

The more you read this book, the more it becomes clear that Ramdev’s said management skills are similar to his products — he slaps a swadeshi label on mundane objects and routine capitalist practices — because a little bit of sweet nationalism makes it easier to swallow the FMCG product.

Read More

6. Scroll.in

The book has not gone down well with Ramdev. In his petition to the court, he said it makes unsubstantiated statements that are defamatory. The main contention is that the book associates him with cases of murder and mysterious disappearance of certain people who were, at some point, associated with him, and were even considered his teachers and friends. Ramdev also alleged that the book wrongly conveys the sense that he was benefiting from state governments run by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Read More

7. SheThePeople

Journalist Priyanka Pathak Narain’s book Godman To Tycoon: The Untold Story Of Baba Ramdev is amidst plenty of controversy. It has received a court order which prohibits the publisher Juggernaut Books from publishing and selling copies of the book. As we are celebrating the 70 years of Independence, it is somewhat ironic that a work of journalism, which is based on extensive research and over 50 personal interviews conducted by the author, now stands a chance of not being read at all – lest it even remotely tarnishes the meticulously constructed image of Baba Ramdev in front of the Indian populace.

Read More

8. Vogue

“I began the project with a clear intention—I wanted to tell the stories through the accounts of people closest to Ramdev so that my book could be the most detailed, intimate and true story of his life. Getting people to talk on the record is never easy—especially if you want them to open up and if it’s about a famous and powerful man like Ramdev. There were many sensitive stories, some shocking revelations. Many of the people I talked to had never spoken to anyone before—people like Aacharya Karamveer who was Ramdev’s one time mentor, and SK Patra, the ex-CEO of Patanjali.

This may sound politically incorrect, but I think being a woman helped. No one confides in strangers, and so my approach was to be patient, take time in earning their trust, and spend a lot of time chatting before I asked difficult questions. And I have often found that women, especially in India, are underestimated, which can give you an advantage in such a situation. In some rare instances, people can feel more protective or tenderly towards you like Gulabo Devi. Would she have opened her door as easily to a male reporter?” Priyanka Pathak-Narain

Read More

 

Leave a Reply