Ramkishan Yadav popularly known as Swami Ramdev (Hindi: स्वामी रामदेव), also known as Baba Ramdev, is an Indian Hindu swami. He is particularly well-known for his efforts in popularizing Yoga as it is enunciated in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. He is also one of the founders of the Divya Yog Mandir Trust that aims to popularize Yoga and offer Ayurvedic treatments. His camps are attended by a large number of people. Over 85 million people follow his yoga camps via TV channels and videos. His yoga teaching sessions are free for all, for the masses. His stated principle in life is to be of help to all.
Swami Ramdev has raised a number of national issues through his yog camps (yog shivirs). Most of the issues raised by him demand change in governance policies of India and the life style of common people. Some of the most emphasized issues are :
Malpractices in the agricultural sector Swami Ramdev says that the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides has led to increased profits for those in trade, but it poses a big threat to the health of the common man since fruits and vegetables are increasingly becoming contaminated with disease causing chemical compounds.
Consumption of fast food and soft drinks At most of his yog shivirs (yog camps) Swami Ramdev has raised the issue of increased consumption of fast foods, packed foods and soft drinks by common people. He says that these products are disease causing junk and are far from anything to be eaten. He says that soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi are no better than pesticides or toilet cleaners and this is enough to explain what effect it has on the human body.
Exploitation of farmers Baba Ramdev blames the corrupt governance practices for the miserable conditions of the farmers and other backward parts of the society. He says that agriculture is the biggest contributor to India's economy and yet the farmers are the most poverty stricken class of people. He says that for the economic prosperity of the country it is an issue of utmost importance to bring welfare to the farmers.
Poor condition of indigenous industries Baba Ramdev blames failure of government policies for the state of the Indian industries with the Indian market being flooded with foreign made or foreign brand goods. Baba Ramdev says that indigenous industries must be supported and promoted to reduce the dependency on foreign made goods and for this both the government and the consumers have to be aware.
Indian black money in Swiss banks Baba Ramdev has publicly raised the issue of Indian money stashed away illegaly in Swiss bank which is estimated to be between 1-1.5 trillion USD. He says that the government must take concrete action and bring back the money as it belongs to the people of India and has been taken out of the country illegally.
84 Crore (840 Million) People living on Rs. 20 a day Official surveys indicate that at least 84 Crore (840 Million) people (nearly 75% of the population) are living with a capacity to spend Rs.20 or less in a day. Baba Ramdev has started the Bharat Swabhiman Andolan the first aim of which is to bring prosperity to these 840 million people.