New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev today appeared to be backtracking from his controversial remark that if not for the law, he would have “beheaded” people for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, saying he was merely responding to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement that he won’t raise the slogan even if a knife is put to his throat. Addressing a press conference here, Ramdev said insulting religions like Islam or Christianity would be as “idiotic” as Owaisi’s remark. “I believe in non-violence, coexistence and oneness. It would be wrong to say that behead me but I won’t respect the Quran or the Bible.
I take pride in my religion but that does not give me the licence to insult other faiths. That would be as idiotic as Owaisi. “He says at the drop of a hat that behead me but I won’t say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’. So I responded in rustic language that I would have done so but I believe in the Constitution. No one needs to be scared of me…’Woh toh baat ki baat thi’. If someone wants to say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ then let him, what’s the point in protesting against it,” Ramdev said. The yoga guru said JNU and NIT Srinagar incidents are “offshoots” of a crisis of ideology, principles and policy in the country. Asked about Amitabh Bachchan’s name surfacing among the Indians listed in Panama Papers, Ramdev said the Bollywood megastar appeared to be a “good person” but he needs to come up-front and say that he is ready for a probe into the matter.
Answering a range of questions, Ramdev also said he does not have any role in the political turmoil in Uttarakhand. On the black money issue, on which he had been vocal in the past, Ramdev said he has left the issue to “Modi ji” to handle. “I have my full focus on Yoga,” he said. Ramdev also praised the anti-pollution measure ‘odd-even’ enforced by the AAP government and the liquor ban imposed by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, saying other political parties should follow suit.