The recent uproar and violence after the Baba Ram Rahim verdict of rape show us once again how Godmen in India and, indeed, around the world have exploited their followers for their selfish gains and pleasures. These men who parade around the country wearing the garbs of babas gloat at the fact that they are helping and uplifting the poor and the downtrodden of our society. They act as if they are doing a great service by providing the word of God to the man on the street. This mask has fallen off once again as revealed in Baba Ram Rahim case. Why just him? There is an endless list like Dhoni baba’s Asaram and Nityananda who were accused of sexual misconduct. On the other hand are Baba Ram Dev and Ravi Shankar who have been accused of destroying the environment and bribing the government for not letting Maggi sell its products in the country. Babas have always graced the headlines as they are the darlings of the media forever giving interviews and attending functions.
The Media and their bed fellows are in search of TRPs and so, they promote these shameless babas. The strength of these people is their large following with political and financial muscle. Ram Rahim proclaimed himself as the messenger of God in his films and sang at festivals and concerts to increase his following amongst the youth of Punjab. He says he is eradicating drug addiction amongst the youth and encouraging them to gain employment and not to sit at home and drink all day. But on the other hand in his den, he is raping women devotees at gun point and telling them that this is their punishment for not obeying him. This man has even been accused of murder and moves around with his private army with guns and ammunition. Even in Asaram’s Case, witnesses have been killed and threatened. These men make a mockery of the law of the land. Their political clout comes to their rescue all the time as ministers and MPs offer them patronage in return for their support and followers.
As a nation, we feel helpless when we see such things openly in the Media like politicians carrying Ram Rahim’s bags as he is escorted to jail. The common man feels hurt and enraged by these bullies who in the facade of doing public good, end up doing the opposite. Even Sai Baba and Shankaracharya of Kashi has been accused of murder and Sai Baba was even accused of having oral sex with his devotees. In our devotion towards these men, we put them on a pedestal from which they inevitably fall and the only one who gets hurt is us.
As commoners, we have to understand that these men are just as ordinary as us and are open to all sorts of temptation like sexual needs, greed and all the other vices. They are mortals after all and thus, it is easy for them to fall from grace. Politicians and, also, the media should keep a distance from such extortionist babas and not promote their words or talks. Politics should be delinked from God and should not be allowed to form partnerships with babas. Only then can we avoid such travesties. Otherwise, as a nation, our Godmen will keep failing us. We, as the masses, will keep being victimised by these monsters who pay on our sorrows, insecurities and vulnerabilities.