Thursday, June 01, 2006

Update: Rancorous Ravdev's Security Scare

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars and The Siddhi of PR

A 21-year-old man named Gaurav was arrested after he managed to get on board a helicopter carrying famous Indian tele-guru Swami Ramdev. Ramdev's people and Indian political officials are at a loss to explain exactly how the guy got on the flight in the first place, but they suddenly decided he was acting suspiciously and so they had him canned by the cops.

There is still a bit of confusion as to what exactly had happened and what the kid wanted to do. His mom says he's a harmless journalist with a few local papers who was given access to Ramdev by his people, yet the owner of one of those papers says he never worked there. Since Gaurav has apparently given the police conflicting stories, folks are concluding he was a militant terrorist on a mission to slaughter the Swami.

That's all sounding like a bit of a smokescreen to us. Since the kid managed to snag a helicopter ride with the rancorous guru, we believe it's likely he was invited. It could be that once the flight was underway, Gaurav may have started asking the hard questions. Or perhaps Ramdev made some kind of unwanted advance that was rejected by the kid. The dilemma posed by either scenario could have been mitigated by simply crying wolf and calling the guy a terrorist. With the media and politicians falling all over themselves to curry favor with the popular TV personality, it would have been quite easy to spin the spunky reporter as a deadly assassin bent on mayhem instead of a smart kid with balls and a desire to expose a name and fame-seeking and money-collecting Swami.

Update: It turns out Gaurev's mom was right. It makes one wonder what the poor kid said to get Ramdev and his powerful friends so pissed off, since they obviously felt comfortable enough to allow him on the helicopter... until they got into the air, that is. We may never know what the problem was or who was more offensive, but Ramdev got to play the almost-martyred in the press for a few days, so at least he comes out ahead in all this.


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