Baba Ramdev unwittingly seems to have become the target of ire on social media. The Yoga guru’s biopic, which has launched on February 11 became a talking point after the first episode was aired. Ramdev, who has promoted the show launched by Discovery Communications India on its new channel Discovery Jeet has been criticised and mocked by certain sections.

Much to the chagrin of conservatives, Baba Ramdev’s first episode chronicled his struggle in the early years to break caste barriers in the pursuit of spirituality. The episode begins with a young Ramdev who on Janmashtami breaks the cordon separating devotees on the basis of caste at the local temple in order to secure the offering of the local Guru and touches the idol of Lord Krishna. Ramdev’s innocuous act has purportedly defiled the sanctity of Lord Krishna’s temple and is severely denounced by the local Guru who declares that the young boy be punished by the local panchayat for this transgression. The next scene shows a young, wailing Ramdev tied to a tree as mud and water is flung at him before he is let off at the mercy of the Guru. The Guru while letting him off adds that the sin of having transgressed the caste barrier has cast a curse upon his mother’s unborn child.

The opening episode and its theme has not gone down well with orthodox elements on social media who have incessantly targeted the Yoga guru since the channel aired the show. Vexed over the portrayal of Brahminism in the opening episode of the biopic, Baba Ramdev’s show has been called worse than Pakistani propaganda!

The above tweet is by Sanjeev Newar who is the founder of the pro-Hindutva website ‘Agniveer’.

A customary search on Twitter revealed the extent of disapproval with Ramdev. It was alleged that the episode was anti-Brahmin, stereotypical or inaccurate in its portrayal. Baba Ramdev, speaking at an event in Vrindavan, U.P on February 17 had advocated equality of castes.

This trend was visible even on Facebook, where a large number of people criticised Baba Ramdev, going to the extent of insinuating a link between the Yoga Guru and Rajiv Dixit, deceased social activist.

There is no lead in Patanjali noodles because Brahmins poured all the molten lead in Ramdev’s one eye !!!

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The reference to caste-based discrimination with regard to temple entry has emerged as a sore point with certain sections who see this portrayal as either an attempt to divide Hindu society or besmirch the Brahmin community. The issue of access to temples for so called lower castes is highly symbolic with a strong historical legacy, and continues to evoke strong reactions. That this social reality is sought to be swept under the carpet by certain sections is not surprising and is reflective of a tendency to gloss over inconvenient truths.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.