India is a country that is inhabited with cultures and religions. Religion in India is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Dharma is indeed a unique and special peculiarity of India. But the recent criminal cases that have been reported on the God men of India are ironical. The religious disciples are so sensitive and blinded that they themselves do not realize what they have been encouraging.
Recent highlight around the issue is the case of self-claimed god man, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, an Indian guru and the head of the social group ‘Dera Sacha Sauda’. Ram Rahim, recognizing himself as a singer and actor too, is claimed to have around 50 million followers and is popular in the states of Punjab and Haryana. He was convicted to a 20-year jail sentence for raping two of his female followers. While this verdict was passed, there was violence in Haryana and his followers revolted. More than 30 people were said to be killed, hundreds injured and many arrested after the incident.
The list doesn’t stop here. Asharam Bapu, another religious leader, was a preacher with numerous followers around the world. He had around 400 minor and major ashrams in India and abroad. In 2008, the death of 2 boys in his ashram led to a public protest and he was accused of carrying out black magic which was later proved false. But later in 2013, Asharam Bapu was also arrested for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Jodhpur. Narayan Sai, the son of Asharam Bapu has also been convicted in a rape case. He was alleged to have physical relation with more than 8 women.
Another famous godman, Baba Rampal, founder of Satlok Ashram, a spiritual movement famous in Haryana was arrested in a murder case where one man was shot dead and many injured after a brutal violence clash between the Arya Samaj and his followers. He was also accused of raping his disciples and subsequently condoms and drugs were found in his ashram.
There are many such god men around the nation who have been involved in unethical activities. Some have been exposed and convicted while some haven’t. Those of us who do not believe and give into such madness wonder who these people are and what exactly is forcing them to blindly follow such fraudulent god men when common sense should make them do otherwise?
A more serious question is why are people ready to die for such dubious men? The relevant answer to it would be that the people in India are known to believe that to reach god they need a higher power closer to God. At times of despair and difficulties individuals turn to alcohol and drugs, but in India people tend to turn towards these godmen. The nation has had a prolonged history of gurus and spiritual guides helping people their way out of dark times. The miracles that the people have seen while following and worshipping these godmen have made them blindly follow and encourage these godmen. Moreover, accusing these babas and gurus isn’t just limited to them; it is like you are attacking the disciple’s faith and sentiments.
All such cases should only reveal one fact that we as Indians are so vulnerable in the name of religion and are so gullible that we ourselves stop thinking about right and wrong and support these godmen even when they are being exposed.
Religion and religious beliefs, disciples and followers aren’t synonyms of being blind and immoral. These people are merely using the innocent disciples to hide behind and accomplish their wrong doings and we, in turn, are supporting them.
It is high time we bring in a ray of light to this darkness and ask are they messiahs or Satan.