Haridwar: Professor GD Agarwal aka Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand broke his 53-day-old fast and was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, on Monday August 13, 2018.
The Swami had thus far stuck to his decision to end his life if the government did not get a separate legislation for holy river Ganga passed by the Parliament. However, the bill [National River Ganga Ji (Conservation & Management) Act, 2012] was not tabled in the just concluded monsoon session of Parliament as was demanded by the Swami. Union Drinking Water and Sanitation minister Uma Bharti, who had called on the Swami as an emissary of Union Ganga Rejuvenation minister Nitin Gadkari on August 4, had pleaded him to end his fast. Later she had tweeted seeking 45 days time for the enactment of the separate law for Ganga.
However the Swami had thus far adopted an adamant posture and had told Bharti that he would break his fast only once he Act was made. However, his supporters were worried about his deteriorating health and there was a strong feeling that Swami should give Bharti the required time that she was demanding. Concerned over his failing health — the 87-year-old Swami was sustaining only on lemon water — they persuaded him to shun his rigid posture as the government had already conceded his demand and had sought time to fulfill it. Renowned water activist Dr. Rajendra Singh, known as Waterman of India, who had earlier come forward in support of Swami’s demand, to jagritbihar.com over telephone that it was after much persuasion by his associates and officials that finally the Swami yielded and ended his fast and gave his consent for hospitalisation. “His life is too precious for us. If he dies now, there will be a big vacuum. We need him to lead us in future too. He should be there to lead us if the government fails to bring out the promised legislation within the stipulated time,” he said.
In fact anxiety was writ large on the faces of the followers after Swami’s health deteriorated to critical levels today.
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Dr. Singh said that he too strongly felt that the words of the minister should be honoured and that if she was asking for 45-days-time, she should be given that much time. “But till now the Swamiji was not listening to us, but today finally he yielded” he said.
Water activists felt that being rigid only weakened the Swami’s position and they took this logic to the Swami and finally succeeded in persuading him to to give up his fast for the time being and convalesce. Given his poor health, his followers now want him to be taken to AIIMS, New Delhi for a thorough medical check up.
Corrigendum: The date of Prof GD Agarwal’s hospitalisation was inadvertently mentioned as Monday, August 8, 2018 earlier because of typographical error. This error is regretted as is corrected now as Monday, August 13, 2018. — Editor