Shameful on govt's part to call Ramayan a novel: Ramdev

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Castigating the government for its ''myopic outlook'' on issues of national importance, yoga exponent Baba Ramdev today said giving up ''our cultural heritage and age-old values'' just for the sake of development would take the country nowhere.

Addressing the media on his return from the five-nation tour of the US, UK and Africa, he said even as the world was appreciating India's values and age-old traditions like yoga, and Indians abroad earning laurels with their achievements, our own rulers were bent upon obliterating what all had been gathered through ages of toil and hard work.

''The act to deny the very existence of Ram and calling the Ramayana a work of fiction was an insult on India's cultural heritage, its beliefs and the faith of millions. It was a blot on our face, our sentiments and our age-old value system.'' Reacting to the government's response in the Supreme Court-on the 'Ramsethu' issue, where it stated in its 400-page affidavit that there was no Ram-Ravana 'yudh', no kidnapping of Sita took place, and the Ramayana was a 'novel' -- a work of fiction, the yoga guru said it was a shame to perpetrate the colonial mentality of Britishers, who tried hard to denigrate Indian culture to push theirs, even after 60 years of Independence.

''It was equally shameful to see that no one -- whether the learned class or those who profess secularism -- protested this abominable move of the government.'' Calling the government's move an abuse on India's pride and a slap on the people's tolerance levels, the Swami asked whether the government could dare to do the same with the religious figures and symbols of other faiths in the country. ''The whole country would be in flames.'' ''Should we just give up our traditions, values and beliefs to adopt development, about which the government swears while pushing its case to demolish the Ramsethu off Tamil Nadu shores?'' he queried and added that this way we would wipe out our very own history and existence one day.

UNI

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