Mumbai: Yoga expert Ramdev's remarks on women has sparked a raging controversy in the country with furious political, social, women and farm activists brutally slamming him.
Speaking at a free Yoga training programme for women on Friday in Thane, Ramdev blurted out without batting an eyelid: "Women look good in saris, they look great in salwar suits, and in my view they look good even if they don't wear anything."
Apparently getting carried away by the huge gathering of women, Ramdev Baba was flanked by Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena Thane MP Shrikant Shinde, the son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and singer Amruta Fadnavis -- wife of Bharatiya Janata Party's Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and other prominent personalities.
Ramdev, 56, had conducted a Yoga Science Camp & Women's Meeting through his Patanjali Yoga Peeth and Mumbai Mahila Patanjali Yoga Samiti in Thane.
The bearded yoga master interacted with the women who could not change from their yoga attire to saris, which purportedly caught his eye and resulted in the verbal debacle soon afterwards that snowballed into a huge row.
Ramdev also urged the people to remain happy and smiling, similar to Amruta Fadnavis - as he glanced and complimented her - to live a long and healthy life.
Expressing shock, farm widows' leader Aparna Malikar from Vidarbha said Ramdev's statement was nothing short of a 'revelation' of what goes on in his 'filthy mind' and serves as a warning to all women going before him to remain 'extra-alert'.
Senior Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders like MP Sanjay Raut, MLC Dr. Manisha Kayande and National Spokesperson Kishore Tiwari pounced on Ramdev for his "outrageous" remarks that insulted all the women of the country.
"Why could not Amruta Fadnavis just get up and slap him there? This is my question," an agitated Raut asked.
Kayande also attacked the Dy.CM's wife demanding "she should have kicked him and walked out of the programme" but shockingly she was laughing, giggling, enjoying Ramdev's remarks "as if he was doing an honour to womanhood".
Calling Ramdev "a disciple of the jailed perverts like Asaram Bapu and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh", a fuming Tiwari said the government should take suo moto action against him for his brash words.
"I am asking Amruta Bittiya... Why did you keep quiet when you witnessed all this? Did you also get carried away after he started praising you? What's your stand now for all your sisters... And why don't you strongly condemn Ramdev Baba," Tiwari asked gently.
"The whole country had seen years ago how Ramdev had worn a sari and ran at night to escape the police in Delhi.... How will he run now from the angry women? Will his relative and the crusading Amravati MP Navneet Kaur Rana care to react to (Ramdev's) obnoxious behaviour," demanded Kayande sharply.
Nationalist Congress Party's Chief Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said Ramdev's statements were clearly 'vulgar and anti-women' and asked why the state government was keeping a deafening silence instead of acting on the issue that has enraged womenfolk all over.
Social activist Trupti Desai said she and the womenfolk were "aghast" at Ramdev's public statement which indicates how his mind works towards women.
"We strongly denounce him. We want the state and national commissions for women to take suo moto note of it and initiate action, otherwise we shall storm his next programme," Desai warned.
Demanding an unconditional apology, an irate Malikar also threatened to take a morcha at Ramdev's next yoga camp in Maharashtra where they would "catch him, tonsure him and chop off his beard" as a punishment.