We may be among the fastest growing economy in the world, we may be militarily strong enough for our enemies, but for vast number of our people, the growth or development or strength is yet to touch them in any meaningful way. Despite making bigger achievements in science and other modern field of knowledge, India remains a land that often seems to be in captivity of so-called Godmen and god-women.
The business of blind faith, which boomed across the country like an epidemic in the last 20 years ,has now turned into a full-fledged industry trading false hopes to millions of innocents. To be sure, it is not uncommon in India for some families to have a guru to turn to in moments of crisis. They will advise members over various matters such as failing school grades to finding a life partner.
Godmen today are making headlines with disastrous frequency. Dera sacha sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim singh has been accused of rape, murder and ordering forced castrations. Spiritual leader Swami Nithyananda’s amorous acts with a Tamil actress were captured on camera.
Similarly, another godman from Gujarat Asaram Bapu was accused of physically assaulting a 16-year old girl at his ashram in Jodhpur on the pretext of exorcising her from evil spirits. Likewise, Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Ichchadhari Baba arrested as he was running a multi-crore flesh business racket involving air-hostesses, college students and house-wives. This tells a lot about the Indian society.
What attracts people to these traders of faith?
Sometimes, Indians can become unbearable. Just let me highlight one area of stupidity; Indians will believe in anything. Tell them whatever nonsense you want with full confidence and Indians will immediately remove brain, and believe the nonsense. Each time a fake Godman stands exposed, every one of us wonders at the blind faith of followers who failed to look beyond the mask of someone who was a conman, a crook, a murderer and rapist. What is even more worrying is the fact that many such swamis and Godmen enjoy support of all political parties. Godmen with their large followings can provide a potential vote bank .One cannot survive in electoral politics without a Godman or two .A godman more than a caste community is a guaranteed vote bank. The godman, especially people like Asaram or Rampal or Ram rahim, see themselves as creatures above the law.
Hard lessons we need to learn from these incidents:·
1.Godmen are popular because of Indian’s extraordinary religiosity. India is home to the world’s largest population of illiterates and a sizable population below poverty lines. The fraudulent gurus create large following of ignorant citizens especially of vulnerable people in the weak moments of their lives; by hypnotizing them with their oratory skills and brain wash them.·
2.But it is not just the poor and the illiterate who are duped by imposter babas. What about their rich followers who are financial backbone of these baba’s empire.
3.The self-proclaimed godmen also act as conduit between politicians and their rich followers, using their smart networking system to help all. These men have all the qualities of good political leaders-they are great orators and good at the art of conning.
4.With a mass following, they openly break the law, grab land and money, extort people and build fortresses sand private armies in the name of ashrams. With the money, muscle power and large followings, by political support they become ‘untouchable’ of our society.
5.There is a religious-political complex emerging around gurus and godmen in India. Infact, the words conman, godman, godfather blend linking religion to crime, politics and false spirituality. This is a menace we need to tackle seriously.
How do we tackle this menace?
This can only happen by awareness and education programs to eradicate blind belief .The challenge here is to understand religion and unmask the role of unholy godman in these religions. A fraudulent godman is as much a threat as Godlessness in our society. Now that the courts have acted, locked away some babas, the next big step should be to strength the people’s belief in systems of justice and address other big standing grievances. Two pillars of our democracy, the judiciary and the media, have taken the lead in these cases to counter threats from self-styled gurus and their followers. Once again we should be thankful to the judiciary for upholding the constitution and bringing these criminals on their knees and restoring faith in the authority of state. Let us all work together to free our society of these dangerous criminal elements & organization and protect true saints & of course the common man.Share on Facebook