Thursday, August 20, 2009

I don't blame Baba: Manvendra

I don’t blame Baba: Manvendra


There's one thing about Baba Ramdeobaba! He has this endless penchant for getting into controversies.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil

After calling homosexuality a 'mental and psychological disease,' the yoga expert has now gone ahead and publicly claimed that 'this disease can be cured through yoga and pranayam.' As these statements cause a lot of furore in different quarters, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, country's first royal to go public about his sexual preferences, tells NT that he's ready to take up Baba's challenge head-on!

‘I don’t blame Baba, but his ignorance’
The prince of Rajpipla, who has also been featured in Oprah Winfrey show, blithely refutes the "tall claims made by Ramdeobaba." He reiterates his point, saying, "I'm also a trained yoga teacher and have been practising it for almost 25 years now. The first yam of Ashtangyog is satya, which means acceptance of truth. Asanas are the fourth step of this ancient science. When Baba is faltering at the first step itself and rejecting the basic principle, obviously his foundation is weak! Moreover, he hasn't done any study on homosexuals, whereas I have been closely working with the community for HIV/AIDS awareness for the past 10 years through my NGO. In fact, initially I was surprised to know that even doctors weren't aware about the problems and issues of the homosexuals because our education doesn't equip them with this knowledge. So, I don't blame Ramdeobaba, I only blame his ignorance!"

‘Cure me if you can!’
Ignorance or not, but now that baba has thrown down the gauntlet, Will Manav (as the prince is popularly known) take up the challenge? He answers without a moment's hesitation, "Of course! Anytime! I am ready to stay at Baba's ashram for even one year if need be! Let him cure me if he can!"

It's time to steer his thoughts to some happier incidents, the recent gay parade in Mumbai for instance, where his presence attracted a lot of attention from the world media. Manav immediately perks up and says, "Despite the swine flu fear, at least 2000 people walked in this parade and many of them were our 'straight' supporters. It was heartening to see the parents walking with their gay children and doctors, engineers, lawyers supporting us. With Delhi High Court endorsing our cause, the social support is coming our way in abundance and we are no longer the criminals!"

My boyfriend's from Nagpur’
The prince has another reason to smile these days. The royal, who has been longing for love for years and even went to the UK in search of love, has finally found his soul mate. He surprises us with his revelations, as he says, "I have found my true mate and boyfriend in Prajwal, and he's from Nagpur. We are in a relationship for the past few months and Prajwal, who's working for a well-known pharmaceutical company, has also told his family about us." Now that the congratulations are the order of the day, is he also planning to adopt a child anytime soon, as he had declared sometime back? "I will adopt a child eventually because our centuries old lineage requires an heir to carry out special social and religious duties. The question of adoption will arise only at the time of my succession," says Manav.

Celluloid calling!
Succession issues may not be imminent on his horizon, but what about the film that was being planned on his life? To this the prince says gleefully, "There are plenty of films coming up and all have been inspired by my life. There's an English film, an American film and also a documentary film by an Italian filmmaker coming up based on my life story. I'm waiting to see how they are presented."




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