Statesman News Service, PATNA, March 21. —
When a treasury bench member recently made a rude gesture at Mrs Rabri Devi, leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, she promptly got even by showing him one of her pair of slippers, provoking an uproar in the House.
That was business as usual.
Bihar’s legislators roll up their sleeves and scream in full-throated ease whenever they consider such a performance necessary. They had their sleeves rolled up all right today, but in obedience to health tips given by Baba Ramdev.
Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the members behaved like disciplined schoolboys, attentive to the Baba and practising whatever he preached, with the proceedings being filmed. Whether it was the simple “butterfly” or the rather difficult anulom-vilom, bhramari or the kapal bharati variety of pranayam, they tried to get everything right.
They inhaled and exhaled and clapped whenever told to do so.
Such reverend elders as the speaker, Mr Uday Narayan Chaudhary, and the council chairman, Mr Jabir Hussain, were united with young ones as Mr Bulo Mandal (RJD) and Mr Munna Shukla (JD-U), in closing their eyes and chanting Om shanti and reciting Tum karo prabhu se pyar amrit barsega.
For two hours, the dividing lines between the ruling and the Opposition parties, the young and the old and men and women seemed simply to have disappeared.
The Mairawa (Siwan) MLA, Mr Ramayan Manjhi, stood up to describe how he had been able to control his diabetes by following the Baba’s yoga tips.
Mr Rameshwar Chaurasia, BJP legislator from Nokha (Rohtas), claimed that he had lost considerable weight by attending one of his training camps.
The BJP’s Mr Rajkishore Kesari offered to promote and market his CDs and medicines.
The Baba told the members how they could get the better of stress, blood pressure and diabetes and hoped they would all be very fit in due course. He urged abstinence from tea and a controlled diet.
The yoga guru said that the common people, instead of abandoning Bihar to criminals, kidnappers and muscle-flexing leaders, should condition themselves in such a way — with, of course, the help of yoga -— that the unwanted sort felt obliged to clear out of the state.