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Originally published June 14 2011

Yoga guru calls for civilian 'army' of 11,000 to fight against government corruption

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Increasing police brutality and government corruption in India has prompted popular television yoga guru Swami Ramdev to both go on a hunger strike, and call for 11,000 men and women to rise up and join his new "army," which he plans to train in combat skills to defend against police or other government authorities that try to attack him or his followers.

"They must be dedicated, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice," said Ramdev, concerning the caliber of soldiers he hopes to recruit. "They will be given arms training. We will build an army of 11,000 men and women," he added, noting that measures of violence would only be taken as an act of self-defense, rather than offensive aggression.

Ramdev's announcement came after police recently drove him and many of his followers out of the Indian capital for protesting against various government scandals, including a recent telecommunications licensing scam that ended up costing taxpayers as much as $39 billion. Other protest issues include escalating food and fuel prices, greed, and general disregard for the interests of the people.

Recent reports indicate that Ramdev ended his hunger strike "until death" after spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar convinced him that it was not the best course of action to take. Ramdev is currently being hospitalized for dehydration, low pulse rate, and other serious health problems, after completing seven days of his death fast. Medical officials say he is stable, but very weak and unable to sit or talk.

"[H]is well being is very important for India and for the world as he has established India's identity in the world in all spheres," said Trivendra Rawat, Agriculture Minister of Uttarakhand, to reporters. "Everyone is looking up to him and it is important for him to recover to fulfill his efforts for our economy."

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