Sadhu Nigamanand breathed his last after being on a hunger strike for 115 days. Nigamanand went on a fast unto death to protest against illegal mining on the bank of the Ganga in Haridwar. Baba Ramdev’s deluxe ward at Dehradun’s Himalayan Hospital was not far from that of his ‘fellow faster’ Swami Nigamanand. Yet, while the camera bulbs wouldn’t stop flashing as Ramdev broke his fast following nine days of going without food, hardly anyone batted an eyelid as Nigamanand breathed his last after being on a hunger strike for 115 days.
He started his fast on February 19 from Haridwar. On April 30, the district administration forcibly shifted Nigamanand – a seer at the Matri Sadan Ashram – to the Haridwar District Hospital as his condition started to deteriorate. But even then, he refused to touch food. On May 2, he entered into a coma. He was then shifted to Dehradun’s Himalayan Hospital and put on life support. Nigamanand, 34, finally died on Monday – almost four months after he gave up food.
Nigamanand was on fast to force the state government to issue an order to immediately stop quarrying in the Ganga. He also wanted the works of Himalaya Stone Crusher to be shifted from the Kumbh Mela area. But even as one fasting seer died, another Baba Ramdev sunk his teeth into food and made plans for international tours as his ‘crusade against corruption’ reached a tame end.
Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth, meanwhile, announced he will fly to Russia next month along with Acharya Balkrishna to conduct a week-long yoga discourse. They will then head to Mexico from July 24 to 31 for another discourse.