Monday, June 6, 2011

Baba Ramdev’s new international base in Scotland

Tuesday, September 08, 2009, 16:21

London: A Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s plan to set up his international base on a tiny Scottish island is generating a positive response. 

Little Cumbrae, a small island in the Firth of Clyde, was bought recently for about two million pounds by two Scottish devotees of Baba Ramdev, Sam and Sunita Poddar. 

The Poddars, who run the Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust, a registered charity and sister organisation to Baba Ramdev’s movement in India, insist that their venture will be an asset for Scotland. 

“The response has been very positive. We want to celebrate the glory of the island and for people to come and learn to live with nature,” The Times quoted Poddar, as saying. 

The couple, which has made a fortune running care homes, are renaming it Peace Island. 

Within 18 months it is hoped that Peace Island will start welcoming pilgrims to retreats, where they will practise strict vegetarianism, stretching routines and circular breathing exercises. 

Also on offer will be traditional ayurvedic treatments, which range from having warm oil drizzled over one’s body to induced vomiting. 

“The details are to be finalised, but we want to make this as affordable as possible. People who come should pay according to their means,” a spokesman said. 

This month, one of India’s most charismatic and controversial gurus, will attend a ceremony on Little Cumbrae to mark the start of the creation of an “international base” for his expanding yogic empire. 

Baba Ramdev’s current headquarters, a 500-acre site in Haridwar, is likely to provide the model for Peace Island. 

But the extension of Baba Ramdev’s influence is likely to anger his ideological foes. 

Rationalist groups have branded his assertion that yoga can treat HIV/Aids and that his breathing techniques can cure cancer as “quackery of the highest order”. 

The Indian Medical Association blasted him for giving “false hope [to] ill people”. (ANI)

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