Patanjali founder Ramdev on Sunday found himself in the line of fire as Dalit supporters took to social media to demand his arrest for allegedly making insulting remarks against Periyar and followers of noted Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar on Arnab Goswami’s show. In a public speech, Ramdev criticised Periyar for his moolniwasi ideology and called him and the supporters of Ambedkar ‘intellectual terrorists.’
Dalit supporters, who trended hashtags such as #Ramdev_Insults_Periyar and #ArrestRamdev have shared videos of Ramdev’s criticism for Periyar and supporters of Ambedkar calling them ‘intellectual terrorists’. In one interview to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, Ramdev is heard saying, “In the name of Ambedkar, some people are propagating the moolniwasi (claiming Dalits are the native Indians and rest having come from outside) concept. Some people from BAMCEF (Dalit group founded by Kanshi Ram) are trying to create a rift. I have coined a term for them and that is ‘intellectual terrorism.”
In a separate video, Ramdev is seen addressing his followers while criticising Periyar by disparagingly calling him an atheist and criticising his moolniwasi ideology.
No sooner did the videos of Ramdev allegedly insulting noted Dalit icons emerged, social media users took to Twitter to express their outrage with many demanding the arrest of the Patanjali founder.
Here’s how they reacted on social media:
Ramdev himself is not educated n may not be aware of
contribution of Periyar n Ambedkar. #Ramdev_Insults_Periyar
— Animesh Kumar (@1animeshkumar) November 17, 2019
— Nitin Meshram (@nitinmeshram_) November 17, 2019
साथियों ! आज हम #मानगढ़शहीदोंकोनमन करते हुए सौगन्ध खाते हैं कि बाबा रामदेव (@yogrishiramdev) या तो माफी मांगेगा वरना हम चुप नहीं बैठेंगे। बाकी इनके अड्ढो को बंद तो कराना ही हैं। इन्होंने मूलनिवासी अस्मिता, खासकर आदिवासी ज़मीर पर छुरा घोंपा हैं। शर्मनाक। #shutdownPatanjali
— Hansraj Meena (@ihansraj) November 17, 2019
Surely should be arrest him #ArrestRamdev
— Muhammad Perwez (@mdperwezansari) November 17, 2019
Ramdev has insulted our great Periyar Ambedkar Birsa . We must boycott him and his products. We should sue him too. We want #ArrestRamdev .
🙏जय भीम जय पेरियार जय बिरसा 🙏#BoycottPatanjaliProducts#shutdownPatanjali #Ramdev_Insults_Periyar
— Dr.Sunil Kumar Meena (@Drsunil0198) November 17, 2019
👉🏿 #ShutDownPatanjali 👈🏿
👉🏿 💯% Follow back 👈🏿
— Sudhir Yadav (@SudhirRTI) November 17, 2019
Dhikuu Ramdev calls Periyar a terrorist. That’s so true. Periyar caused such terror and fear in the hearts of fragile upper class people that they called him terrorist. Good to know that fear still exists in Brahmins even today.#shutdownpatanjali pic.twitter.com/YNc9l2tU05
— Praful Bhalerao (@PrafulBhalerao1) November 17, 2019
Periyar, often dubbed as South Indian Socrates, was an atheist and helmed social reforms by working against the caste discrimination. The noted Dravidian patriarch had famously said that those who invented the notion of god were fools.
As for Ambedkar, he’s arguably one of the biggest Dalit icons and was the architect of the Indian constitution.