can over a lakh of people be wrong?

This was the question I was asked by a senior friend, when I said something critical about Yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

I agree he’s got some very valid points, and the cause he’s taken up of uprooting corruption is undoubtedly a very valuable one. But being in such a prominent position, he shouldn’t be making irresponsible comments like “lets hang the corrupt politicians” because while corruption is unwanted, hanging is a really stupid solution.

He replied “While Ramdev is uneducated, he has over 1 lakh supporters a lot of whom are highly educated. Can 1 lakh people be wrong?”

Inspite of so many supporters having full faith in him, he could still very much be wrong, for example one of his recent misadventures

“As a camouflaged Ramdev tried out make his way out, his supporters fought pitched battles with police, throwing bricks and flower pots forcing the men in uniform to respond by exploding tear gas shells”

The core issue here is that “can so many people be wrong?” is a very powerful argument. In this specific example of Ramdev Baba, clearly he and his followers can be wrong. But they would be as convinced of their belief, as we are convinced of various other beliefs we ourselves hold.

Socrates had said: an unexamined life is not worth living. It highlights how each person, each of us, has a set of beliefs, which need not be right just because lots of others share the same belief! Identifying them is difficult (and eventually uprooting is even more difficult 😉 ), but of utmost importance for a better quality of life.

2 Responses to “can over a lakh of people be wrong?”

  1. mohan Says:

    My take is quite limited

    The 1000 supports irrespective of their education or not, oppose corruption.

    Ramdev, hazare are only protesting the supply side of the corruption. Meaning – for corruption to thrive, there are 2 sides – demand side and supply side.

    There is a giver and a taker.

    The root is the give demand. Why do people bribe?, look into any place which earns lots of bribes and unwanted procedures / red tape smiles at you.

    The firt thing govt should do is (” if serios of removing the party funds aka corruption”) to simplfy all procedurs and remove such red tape. AM sure 80% of demand side would be cut down by that.

    Automaticaly the supply side then would dry off!

    People today are forced to give bribes for not following impossible rules/regulations.


  2. Sanjay M Says:

    The main point was not *everything* that Ramdev says is right just because he has lots of followers 🙂

    No doubts about the views on corruption. That’s a really good approach Mohan!

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