June 2017 Baba Ramdev: Reviving the ideals of swadeshi Even though the concept of swadeshi has its roots in the Indian freedom struggle, the word represents the idea of a holistic approach to life. As Gandhi had said, “Swadeshi is that spirit in us which restricts us to the use and service of our immediate surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote.” Swadeshi not only enables one to make conscious choices but also be more sensitive towards the impact of one’s choices on one’s surroundings. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali products couldn’t have emerged in the Indian milieu at a better time. Riding high on the bandwagon of swadeshi abhiyaan, this brainchild of Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishan is storming the Indian FMCG market like a tornado. In a press conference titled ‘Prosperity to Charity’, held at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, on May 4th, the dynamic duo of Baba and Acharya announced the future plans and projections of Patanjali Ayurved Limited (PAL) in aspectacular gathering of media. Confident of turning his swadeshi movement into a blitzkrieg against foreign MNC’s, Baba rattled off huge numbers that were Patanjali’s turnover and market share in the 2016-17 financial year. From gathering a turnover of Rs 2000 crores in the year 2015 to reaching Rs 10561 crores by the end of 2016 financial year, this Indian-born company is taking over the FMCG market by leaps and bounds. “Patanjali has infiltrated the gigantic fort of Indian market share which is occupied by several foreign companies. They have been looting the country economically and have turned the masses into their mental slaves. Our aim is to cleanse this system through swadeshi. ‘Swadeshi se desh ki seva’ is our motto,” he said. In his trademark sweeping manner, the hugely popular yoga guru reiterated his mission of serving the nation by retaining the country’s money within its borders and devoting 100 per cent of the profits to charitable initiatives, while also announcing a probable of generating five lakh vacanciesin the near future. He also busted the rumours surrounding Patanjali products and clarified the recent controversies regarding their work ethics and product quality. Baba Ramdev announced his plans to further the outreach of Patanjali’s products by estimating an additional 6000 distributors by the year end, taking the number to a total of 12000. “Patanjali is not a MNC or a global brand. It is an Indian brand for the people of this country. Our motto is not money making but to help people get in touch with their divinity. For that, we are diverting all the profit that we earn into education, research and cow protection,” he said. Keeping in line with his motto, the yoga guru also announced that after him and Acharya Balkrishan, Patanjali will be inherited, not by a businessman, by someone with a holistic vision. If Baba continues to move at the same pace, the time is not far when Patanjali products would storm the whole world. A good time indeed for ayurveda and indigenous Indian knowledge systems to make their presence felt globally.
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