A new book on india’s most happening Godman, The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon captures the incredible journey of school drop-out Ram Kishen who became the irresistible Yoga Guru Ramdev, and a business magnate with ambitions for Rs 100,000 empire in just five years.
In August we had reported a Delhi court restraining Juggernaut Books from the publication and sale of Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev.
The book had not gone down well with Baba Ramdev. In his petition to the court, his main contention is that the book associates him with cases of murder and mysterious disappearance of certain people who were, at some point, associated with him, and were even considered his teachers and friends. Ramdev also alleged that the book wrongly conveys the sense that he was benefiting from State governments run by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
‘What I can tell you is that I stand by my book. The matter is currently sub-judice and therefore, I cannot comment any further right now. But I stand by my book’, Priyanka Pathak-Narain told the media three months ago.
‘This order was passed ex-parte without hearing either the publisher, Juggernaut Books, or the author of the book, Priyanka Pathak-Narain, in order to avoid (allegedly) ‘‘the delay which would be caused during the process of serving the notice and hearing the defendants’’’ the publisher’s statement had said.
The law pertaining to prior restraint has a long history in India. Primarily, a case of this nature involves a clash between the right to freedom of expression and the right to reputation.P Wilson, a former additional solicitor general, told Scroll. in injunction orders of the kind given in the Ramdev case happen ‘almost every day’.
Chance opportunities and trivial advantages can convert unobtrusive action into a potential business opportunity. That is what explains the prodigious journey of Baba Ramdev, from a small time yoga guru to a big time business brand, says writer Kaushik Deka in his book, explaining how Ramdev packaged health care and spirituality into a marketable product worth over Rs 10,000 crore.
With a current strength of 10 lakh active followers, brand Patanjali aims to clock sales of Rs 100,000 crore by 2020. ‘Other than astute upmanship and smart business acumen, what was it that worked in favour of brand Patanjali that other leading brands find hard to emulate?’, says a review in HT. The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon publisher is Rupa, the writer, a man. Publisher Chiki Sarkar and Priyanka Pathak-Narain are women. Phenomenon is ubiquitously laudatory, Godman to Tycoon is not. That seems to be the difference between Freedom of Speech and Right to Reputation.

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