Iftikhar Gilani


From the view point of medical ethics, every single concoction that  Ramdev’s pharmacy makes and sells  is a fraud and in many countries would be treated as an unethical, if not a criminal act. Because  many others  do things like what Baba Ramdev does,  it is  ignored on technical grounds. But for a person who makes false threats of fast unto death against some kind of corruption, his shady charity but otherwise a business has come to light as this article in Tehelka   shows.


Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s activities have come under probe in the United States too as a “preliminary fact-finding investigation” has been mounted by the authorities into his non-profit organizations set up there, including PTP Yog Foundation Inc.


The US Department of Justice has launched the investigation on a private complaint by an India-origin American citizen into the activities of his organizations that are unlawful in the United States, though its spokesman declined to say anything pending the inquiry.


The Virginia-based Bharat Chovatiya had filed the complaint that PYP Yog Foundation, an American branch of Divya Yog Mandir Trust and Patanjali Yogpeeth of India, was “involved in activities prohibited in USA for non-profit organisations.”


The complaint lists the prohibited activities of the organisations and their founder and head Ramkishan Yadav alias Swami Ramdev to assert that they are engaged in commercial activities that are for-profit business but registered as non-profit organisation to evade taxes.


More serious, Chovatiya says, is that Divya Yog Mandir Trust is selling an array of health care and food products through online and on-store re-distributors around the world which is a for-profit commercial business and that it is selling these products by making false claims.


In support of the charge, he points out that DVDs on the multi products of Divya Yog Mandir Trust make false claims, and the DVDs are being sold in the US by re-sellers.


He has also attached some of the DVDs that make claims of curing diabetes, cancer, jaundice, polio, arthiritis and what not.


He also cited that the organization is involved in political campaign in India, as Swami Ramdev uses his Yoga camps throughout the year under Bharat Swabhiman Yatra to deliver political lectures in favour of his semi-political body Bharat Swabhiman Trust which is also located in the premises of Divya Yog Mandir Trust.


Iftikhar Gilani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com .


(Tehelka, 14 June 2011)

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