An Indian yoga guru who claimed the practice could cure homosexuality is to set up a yoga and meditation centre on a remote Scottish island.
Swami Baba Ramdev, whose teachings are followed by millions of Indian families, challenged a recent Delhi high court that homosexuality should be decriminalised by claiming that homosexuality was a “disease” but could be cured by yoga.
“It can be treated like any other congenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises) and other meditation techniques,” he said in his petition. He has previously made various claims as to the benefits of yoga, saying it can cure diseases such as AIDS, cancer and leukaemia.
Ramdev is now working with a Scottish millionaire couple to open the centre on Little Cumbrae, off the Ayrshire coast. Sam and Sunita Poddar, who bought the island for £2 million last month, plan to rename it Peace Island and will host an opening ceremony on September 27th. The couple own the Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust, which is a sister organisation to Ramdev’s Indian company. Sunita told the Scottish Daily Record: “Our aim is to promote healthy living through yoga.
“The community has given us a lot, now it’s time to pay back. Little Cumbrae is our way of paying back into the community. “It is a fine thing for Scotland. I feel very proud to own this island. “We want a centre to help people live as one with nature. We want to support and contribute.” She added that Ramdev will be in attendance at the opening ceremony.
The guru, whose shows are watched by up to 20 million Indians every day, was engulfed in scandal in 2006 after allegations his herbal remedies contained human bones. Indian MP, Brinda Karat, the leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), claimed tests had found ground-up animal testicles, human bone and powder from human skulls.
Ramdev refuted the claims, saying it was a conspiracy against him. A phone poll found that only four per cent of those questioned believed the allegations.