5.6.11

The Republic of Ramdev

‘Midnight drama’, ‘Midnight drama’ kept flashing on the screen. Since I had not kept up with the news at midnight, I had no clue. Why do the channels not specify what the drama is? Because that takes away from the TRPs.


The news:

At 1 am, the police landed at the Ramlila ground and took Baba Ramdev to his ashram in Hardwar. Delhi Police served an externment order under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which prevents unlawful assembly of five or more persons. The process of doing so resulted in stone throwing, destruction of props and injuries. Should we be surprised? Not at what happened but how it happened and why. My parodic take now seems tragic.

Meanwhile, the Baba is going on and on in a choked voice talking about how the poor, the women and children were dragged and arrested. He is to blame for it. There is no scope for BJP-like self-righteousness here. He bloody well knew what he was doing and when his sly plan to stop the fast after three days was leaked out, he got agitated.One should hope he now realises how it must feel for those who are rounded up and imprisoned for years without a trial for no crime except being 'suspects'.

We are hearing words like ‘blot on democracy’ from the BJP and how he has every right to protest. It is not the BJP’s business to raise a voice now unless they had sponsored this rally. He is a sadhu and this is not a theocracy. No religious figure has a right to protest in a public place on what is a state issue, and that includes Swami Agnivesh and all those mullahs coming out with black bands and white flags or whatever else.

We are playing into the hands of a virulent form of citizen’s movement. None of these people can claim to speak on behalf of the Indian population, not Anna Hazare, not Baba Ramdev. If they wish to, then they should start their own political party and contest elections. That is what democracy is about.

The so-called midnight drama has been likened to the Emergency, which is a most facile analogy.


Here are a few of the characters and their stupidity.


Kapil Sibal, HRD minister, Congress:

“A guru who teaches yoga should not teach politics to his followers of 50,000 people at the site. The permission was for yoga exercises, but he violated it.” 

Why was he walking behind the Baba when he landed at the airport? Was he discussing yoga?

Everybody knew what was going to happen there, so why was it not stopped before it got out of hand? This is a ridiculous argument and Sibal should apologise to the Indian public for misleading us. This is double crossing.

A report says:

An official in the government said that the permission to hold the protest at the site was given for a day and Ramdev and his followers had exceeded it. But the police action has led to a wave of anger among political parties who are now calling for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign.

He has been giving interviews about how he would not end until his demands are met. Manmohan Singh should not resign because it is his job to put things in order. Resigning would be the easy way out. Are we discussing corruption or politics?


Nitin Gadkari, president, Bharatiya Janata Party:

“This government has no moral authority to rule anymore. This government should resign. They let the corrupt go, but beat up people who are conducting peaceful protest.”

How many corrupt people were arrested during the NDA regime? I am not talking only about scams. Corruption is a way of life in India, and it also sponsors movements against corruption. Newspapers bring out duds to show losses and also get additional newsprint; TV channels do something similar. So, what high horse are we sitting on?

Such peaceful protests are pre-planned and arranged by other factions. It happens even within the Congress. All political parties do this and the ordinary people who gather are no different from those who are brought in trucks to vote. If the cops used teargas shells and beat up people, then they should be hauled up and questioned. From what one has read, some people got violent. It is bound to happen when there is such a large gathering. It is also likely that together with the cops there must have been some goons on the ground who caused part of the damage.

There seems to be no stopping BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley who is supporting the right to protest. In that case, the Kashmiris have a right to protest, the Maoists have a right to protest, riot victims have a right to protest. The problem with a democracy such as ours is that not a single political party is concerned about the rights of the people. Baba Ramdev does not have to be given any assurances by the Government of India. The Indian government is answerable to the citizens, not to individuals, unless they have specific problems or certain groups that represent sections of society.

Using the shield of corruption, these movements are tacitly supporting the rightwing parties. Why were they asleep for all these years? Will Baba Ramdev go and park himself outside the mansions of the big guys who pay big bribes to get their deals? Does he have the courage to perform yoga there? Guess what? He just might because the big guys will pay him to come and teach them and their wives and their kids and those society men and women with their arm candies dressed in comfy designer labels to get their taut bodies in the right asanas.

This is a sick game. People like Digvijay Singh of the Congress just make things worse by calling Ramdev a “thug”. Jaitley is really hot and bothered about “this kind of language”. There was no need to call him a thug; he is a shrewd businessman selling his saintliness. However, the BJP should not be too worried about language. Its politicians are not known to use temperate words – recall Modi on Sonia Gandhi, Thackeray on Sonia and Rahul, Varun Gandhi on Muslims, Uma Bharti on just about everyone. Calling him names transforms him into a hero and martyr and he is making full use of it on live television. Yes, he is live, in white robes like a newly widowed woman.

And I do not like anyone, including the media, talking about Sadhvi Rithambara's presence by mentioning her role in the Babri Masjid demolition; she was not alone. Do not ride on this and cunningly convey that they are against her because of it. It gives the impression that Ramdev’s arrest has something do with Muslim votes. Wait a minute. He had some Sufi belting out songs at his camp.

One cannot wish away corruption even with the Lokpal Bill. The manner in which it is being done is also corrupt because they are greasing the government’s palm with vile methods.

Baba Ramdev to his followers after his externment (not arrest):

“Today is the blackest day in history. We will observe black day all over India. The fast is not over."

Your history, Baba Ramdev, has nothing to do with Indian history. Keep your followers, for that is the only way you can be a leader. Ask them to register a case against the government. Get the BJP to be a co-respondent because they had supported Anna Hazare’s fast. You can continue fasting.

Most of India does. Everyday. Not out of choice. Or to protest.

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Updated on new post

34 comments:

  1. A Foolish Article on a Dirty Site written by a Traitor of Dirty minds...nothing more to say!!

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  2. ye daagh daagh ujaala, ye shabguzeeda sahar; tha intezaar jiska, ye wo sahar to nahi....

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  3. Achha Likha hai. Nek Vichar. But what is the message you are trying to convey?
    Thodi samjhadi aur dekhaiye aur kuch solution bataiye. Nai to jitne log uthne vichar,Events ho jane ka baad unka analysis karna TV, Politicians,Analysts par rehne dijiye.

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  4. I don't know from which school and college you have received your education. I always thought our education system was not that bad. But reading your blog has somehow made my worst fears come true. Our so called educated elite keep views like this. This is the reason why India deserves all the problems of the planet.

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  5. Totally agree that its a virulent form of citizen movement.
    Definitely they should seek everyone's support and then try make 1rupee =$50.

    www.moversndshakers.blogspot.com

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  6. I like your article. Its honest. that's more than what can be said for most writing on the subject.

    I am on the other side of your argument. My logic is simple. this shit is not working. Repeating the same thing and expecting results is folly.

    At this time I am happy with absolutely anyone who will shake the status quo - from a resigning government to the Maoists.

    To me, the kind of power this government has to coverup and manipulate is scary. Their ethical stand is non-existent. They have no intention of any change or even blind idealism - anything that says that exploitation should be changed, perhaps in the next century or so. And as long as tehy are in power, they will not allow mechanisms of addressing mass graft to flourish.

    In my eyes, these guys have to go down before anything constructive can happen. I see this as a rebirth. Sure, will not be easy, but its not going to get easier from procrastination.

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  7. SPOT-spitfire-ON, Madam!

    The best perspective of reality one rarely gets to read these days!

    Kudos!

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  8. Excellent bashing for all the parties involved here. Frankly no one deserves any praise in this episode and none was thankfully given. For anonymous asking solutions: I think its fair to not agree with sub-optimal solutions even if clean solutions are not visible to us as yet. The fallacy of 'there is no other option' has so often been used by opportunists to highjack public resentment. Let's beware of the opportunists currently using the public anger against corruption.

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  9. The most childish, pseudo intellectual piece I have read of late. Time to grow up.

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  10. there are thing people do not deserve, like reading your article.not because of what you've written but you've meant for the readers to understand.

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  11. Dont be so cynical!! Dont question the man's motives as long as it benefits the nation!! What have you done to curb corruption as a citizen of this country till date??

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  12. Going by some of the reactions, it seems that you have successfully touched the raw nerve of BJP supporters! I wonder, why can't they be civil even in writing!
    Anyway, I may not agree with some of your arguments, yet I must say that it is a very well written piece and rightly points out that people like Digvijay are making a martyr of Baba by calling him a Thug! Entirely ignoring him would have been the best strategy.

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  13. this is the best writing i have read on this issue....well said this is all about politics but nothing else.

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  14. Comrades of your hue are hellbent on painting the opposition to be as corrupt as the govt while the fact remains the NDA govt. did not experience a single scam of the magnitude of 2G or CWG and others. But let us not digress. You call Baba a businessman. Dear Comrade, wake up, this is 2011 not 1917. If the blog you post, is courtesy a crony capitalist company which betrayed innocents to Chinese gallows. Ramdev's personal integrity remains beyond reproach

    I still remember how your ilk raised a damning damell in distress sob story when a couple of women were pushed out of a Bangalore pub. And here in the dead of night, thousands of Hindu women and children are literally pushed into the streets of Delhi in the dead of night to fend for themselves without food, water or shelter and you have nothing but scorn for them. Is this what your religion teaches you?
    And btw, last time your Kashmiri Muslim separatists were either throwing stones on security forces or making seditious speeches. And Maoists were busy blowing up innocent vanvavis and policemen. Contrast, with the non violent conduct of the yogic practitioners

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  15. tooooo good. just toooo bloody good.
    i'm gonna be a regular on your blog now onwards!

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  16. So u mean to say..its a way of life..and we cant do anything about it. I agree that this ramdev thing was crappy but everyone has a right to protest until things turn violent and if the reason for protest is just then it becomes a mass movement (in case of anna hazare) and it is the only way to make things right rather than sit back for 5 years.
    You can sit back and blame everyone and everything wrong with the system on your blog but that doesnt change anything. This is how things work in politics...a state succeeds when people elect a leader who takes the nation ahead inspite of all these political flaws.

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  17. Pradip Doshi05/06/2011, 18:41

    Sheer idiotic.

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  18. I must have done something to get this...from the "dirty/idiotic" to the "excellent"...I'd say it's somewhere in the mid-range. Posted after a heavy Sunday meal or else I'd have been trigger happier, as is my wont. If you no like, I no mind. If you likey, I says thank you.

    This should give a clue as to my 'education'. Sibal and Jaitley are super educated and look what they do. Not to forget our PM, whose qualifications are so long they mislead you into thinking about possibilities.

    Do I have any solution? What is the use analysing after it is over? Look, I am no crystal ball gazer, although I try. Click on the link on the top side bar (above the shaitan pic) on "People's Movement and Lokpal Bill" and you will see that my views have not changed and I saw it coming. Not bad for a "dirty" person.

    What have I done? I have not bribed nor taken any. I don't make other people pay for my follies, either. I should suppose this is a decent enough act of doing something.

    Also, this is not about anti-BJP (although essentially I am), for there is criticism of the Congress too. It is also not Hindu vs. Muslim. And Kashmir is not 'mine', although if you insist, I'll take it.

    I do not believe one should accept corruption and am not against mass movements on specific issues where tangible results are possible. Please look at the recent campaigns and see who is behind them and what they have achieved. If you have the time, do check out my earlier pieces on the subject, esp the first. "Pitfalls..."

    Finally, since I have never claimed to be an intellectual, I cannot be a pseudo intellectual, just like I cannot be a pseudo man.

    Thanks for the comments.

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  19. In response to the saher verse:

    "subah ro ro ke shaam hoti hai
    shab tadap kar tamaam hoti hai

    saamne chashm-e-mast ke saaqi
    kis ko parvaah-e-jaam hoti hai

    koi gunchaa khilaa ke bul-bul ko
    bekali zar-e-daam hoti hai

    ham jo kahte hain kuchh ishaaron se
    ye khataa laa-kalaam hoti hai"

    - Bahadur Shah Zafar

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  20. Good article. The cause Ramdev espoused is right. But then he is a fraud and hypocrite. But then again the government panicked and over-reacted right from the begining. Comedy of errors? Don't we Indians deserve better? I believe in the cause against corruption and black money. But I don't have a choice in neither Ramdev nor the government or opposition. But I will continue to believe in democracy until someone shows me something better!

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  21. Why do Muslims always have to take an anti position to anything that doesn't touch their 'core' issues: Kashmir, Palestine, etc. Fucking behanchods..

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  22. Before I start my comments on your post; fundamental issue here is the political awareness and mobilization of a class of people who have hitherto been

    not touched by what has been happening around them for few decades now.

    >>>He is a sadhu and this is not a theocracy. No religious figure has a right to protest in a public place on what is a state issue, and that includes

    Swami Agnivesh and all those mullahs coming out with black bands and white flags or whatever else.

    While I share your fear of communal conflagration that this will very likely lead to,

    Shall we ban Dalai Lama from Tiananmen Square or Muslim Brotherhood from Tahrir square ?

    >>>None of these people can claim to speak on behalf of the Indian population,

    I don't know who do people think speaks for them but when they have to live off a dollar a day and they hear of billions stashed in Swiss banks, they

    sure hope someone does.

    I am not even remotely claiming that Baba or his ilk are genuinely here to solve that problem or even that there is a solution to the problem other

    than larger participation of population in nuts and bolt of state (other than just getting elected every once in a while).

    >>> If they wish to, then they should start their own political party and contest elections

    I think that is where Baba is headed unless RSS/BJP co-opts him first.

    >>>Why was he walking behind the Baba when he landed at the airport? Was he discussing yoga?

    Let's list few of the events raising the communal crescendo in the country:

    (1) Shah Bano Case
    (2) Opening of Babri Mosque
    (3) Bhindranwale

    What do they have in common? Congress. Only difference between BJP and Congress is that one is ideologically communal and other is opportunistically.

    >>> In that case, the Kashmiris have a right to protest, the Maoists have a right to protest, riot victims have a right to protest.

    I certainly hope so. Otherwise last pretense of our sham democracy should be buried and mourned.

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  23. >>>Using the shield of corruption, these movements are tacitly supporting the rightwing parties.

    That is where the danger lies. When Aristocracy of Germany failed to provide any direction for its populace, it willingly walked into the arms of a

    frustrated Corporal and he was also a sideshow in terms of popular backing until he seized power.

    >>>There was no need to call him a thug; he is a shrewd businessman selling his saintliness.

    So is Chief Justice of India. Isn't he or his family member charged with ill-gotten gains? He is the final arbitor of all things law. God help India.

    Baba Ramdev more than likely is a crook (given the history of Godmen in India) but in India you don't have to be a Baba to be a crook either.

    >>>One cannot wish away corruption even with the Lokpal Bill.

    It is a dog-and-pony show. Things will change when there is enough participation of various sections of population in various branches of government.

    Currently, vast majority of it is controlled by about 5%.

    One final word on the Baba Ramdev specifically. He is a Yadav from Haryana. Yadavs make up a large voting block also in UP, MP and Bihar (possibly

    other places). Now that Lalu and Mulayam are in the background, Ramdev jumps in the front. But, what do you expect. Indian elites are trying hide this

    highly impoverished and backward community under the rug in preparation for the arrival of "Shining India". The problem is that it will take some giant

    rug to hide few hundred million of them.

    On the matters of democracy, secularism and modern statecraft. Can it be successfully transplanted on to diverse, highly unequal and authoritarian

    Asian societies?

    Kemal Attaturk tried it and now Erdogan is trying to moderate it. Nationalism of Mossadegh was subverted by West and Shah was installed so we ended up

    with Ayatollah. I think these kind of large scale social changes are more gradual than laying down freeways. Japan started modernizing in 1860 and it

    still has "Om Shinrikyo" once in a while.

    I have my own personal biases and prejudices but I do hope peaceful coexistence prevails in South Asia because not much else inspires hope there.

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  24. Bit sad that a guy who claims he is a saint tries to hide and run away in a woman's grab at the first sight of trouble..it is easy to be gutsy in front of TV cameras..

    Also, if you do unsaintly things, what right you have to be treated like a saint ?

    Will narendra Modi - who talked about ravanleela - agree if I do a fast unto death in Ahmedabad wanting justice to riot victims? Game anyone ?

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  25. FV: So, your voice is important. People are listening. Those who like are your choir. No need to preach to the converted. Those who unlike, well, listen to them seriously. Try best to convert them, which you certainly can, one guy at time, dear.

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  26. A command performance. Shame on you.

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  27. Hitesh:

    1. There is no one class of people that has been left untouched. In fact, the corrupt tax evaders are part of the movement.

    2. This is not about communal conflagration but the very basis of the Indian republic – a separation of the state and religion.

    The Dalai Lama can do his thing in Tibet. Why Tiananmen Square? As for the Muslim Brotherhood, ideologically I am against its involvement but Egypt is a Muslim country.

    3. Have you read or heard of any common man earning a few bucks a day asking or even knowing about Swiss bank accounts?

    4. Ramdev wanted to start a political party but he knows that it requires much more and imagine the loss of face were he to lose. Did not Imam Bukhari's son lose his deposit from the 'Muslim-dominated' Jama Masjid area?

    The BJP will co-opt him only because of his saffron robes.

    5. I completely agree with Congress complicity/acts of omission in the list you gave but even so these were specific issues. Isn't it interesting that the BJP and Akali Dal benefitted from the Congress follies?

    6. Re. Ramdev being a Yadav, I have not heard him speak on behalf of the community. He has sanskritised himself.

    7. Yes, the CJI and several others are culpable. Does it make anybody else less so?


    - - -

    General note:

    I have let the cuss word in another comment pass because it confirms the position one has reiterated - that this is not about corruption but fractured people.

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  28. Rafiq:

    It might surprise you but my views are not largely acceptable on any issue. As for those who like me and those who don't it is irrelevant. I am not preaching - unless you see expressing something as such; there is no choir here. I don't run a church. If they happen to have similar views on this topic, then it is important for the topic, not for me. I am afraid I do not think it is necessary for me to speak, or for anyone to be spoken to, one at a time, and most certainly not to convert them. I leave that to sponsored activists of the 'liberal' persuasion. I assume people have their own opinions as is evident here. And, yes, whether people comment or not, I have never had any doubts about having a voice and some people listening to it...and no, it is not an echo!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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    Vidyut:

    I missed your comment and if you are still around, I do not see these movements as idealistic in the real sense or pragmatic. The governments manipulate the system; these groups manipulate the government and try and get what they want at the level of sops. That is not idealism in my book. Thanks for your pov, though.

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    Anon (who mentioned Modi's ravanleela):

    He has co-opted the rich and middle-class Muslims of Gujarat in the name of 'asmita' and economic progress, and they are going along.

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  29. Nice article. One suggestion, if you can place rephrases the title from “The Republic of Ramdev” to “The Banana Republic of Ramdev”. It reflects the mental state more clearly.

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  30. Nice work. Actually, that is what bulk of us have been pleading to Geelani and co: To participate in the democratic process and fight elections. They don't listen to us but you don't support our position either. Funny.

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  31. Farhan:

    Ramdev is enough to convey the 'banana' aspect. Using the word word would be tautology.

    Amit:

    I do not know how you have concluded about the "bulk", but the Kashmir issue is very different. Ramdev is using the system. As regards Geelani, I have criticised him often enough and do not see him as a true representative of the Kashmiri voice.

    That said, I hope you can manage without my support for your position!

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  32. OK,

    I wanted to mention couple of general observations.

    I do believe in right of self-determination for Kashmiris but after 60 yrs of non-stop war and interference, is there such a thing as independent Kashmiri voice (Amanullah Khan was the last one with independent voice in my opinion)?

    Also, we partitioned the place into Pakistan and then further into Bangladesh. What have they to show for that after so many decades? About same as India, then why not just stay in India (or some sort of loose South Asian Federation and avoid all the wars)?

    Also, FV consistently replies to assertions about lack of religious and political freedom in Muslim majority countries with a boiler-plate answer that they are declared theocracies.

    Is that supposed to incite India to declare itself Hindu theocracy and thereby prevent any further discussion of rights of minorities or is it the frustration that India has been running a pseudo-hindu government in the disguise of a secular democracy?

    In either case, to constantly champion the rights of Muslims in various parts of the world (esp. in Secular Democracies, haven't heard too many complaints about Uighurs in China) at the same time, keep the same discussion off the table in Islamic countries by the virtue of them being Islamic!

    It sometimes helps to put one on the other side of the table and see how the world looks from there. Mine is mine and yours is ours can only last so long.

    I believe in the rights of Indian Muslims because they are Indian citizens and they are not responsible for what Muslims are doing elsewhere.

    But if they were to speak for the plight of Muslims in general (say in France) then it certainly is appropriate to ask about the plight of minorities in Muslim majority countries.

    I feel terrible about bringing up this argument because I am deeply aware of statistics reflecting the utter neglect and deprivation of Muslims (esp. the poor, backward and those lacking the all-important pedigree) in India. So, to subject them to quid-pro-quo about something happening in far corner of the world is just patently unfair.

    Oh well, eventually some answer will emerge that will satisfy the elites on both sides so they leave their poor out of this ever-living Jihad.

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  33. Hitesh:

    General observations? Well, you have some answers in my new post.

    As regards Kashmir, the people's voice is independent and for autonomy. A loose S. Asian federation will not stop skirmishes, as we can see in all the three countries.

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  34. Yeh to bas New Delhi Govt.aur central govt. ki taraf shai. e sach ko chhupaane ke liye

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