The new victim of Indian judiciary’s unsparing penance was the self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sacha Sauda. DSS is a religious organization based in Sirsa, Haryana. It boasts a follower base in millions. Such claims are truly flabbergasting, given the huge turnout of his fans and followers in the city of Panchkula, where the CBI court was to give the verdict. Although the charges of offense on Gurmeet Singh were reprehensible and of heinous nature, it took CBI fifteen years to finally get him booked. As the date of the case verdict was announced, crowds of lakhs swarmed into Panchkula. The police and public administration apparently allowed easy inlet of these people although Section 144 was imposed and there were clear signs of violence looming large over the beautiful city adjoining Chandigarh. With a cavalcade of around 200 vehicles, the Godman’s entourage looked no less than that of an emperor leaving his palatial space. To everyone’s astonishment, Baba was until recently provided Z-plus security cover, which is tantamount to Prime Minister of India.
As the verdict of his indictment was pronounced the assimilated crowd unleashed their monstrous violence in that region. It was evidently well-planned and astutely anticipated. Hundreds of vehicles were burned, media OB vans vandalized, police forces were attacked including high-ranking officials, anything and everything that came in the way of these so-called ‘bhakts’ were decimated. Such egregious and diabolical actions were committed by paid goons of Dera Sacha Sauda whose criminal intentions have now been completely exposed. Sitting on large piles of cash, unabashed political indemnity, and unashamed felonious crimes, exoneration to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was out of the question. Indian media lashed out heavily at the Haryana and Punjab government for letting the arson unfold and not taking adequate action, paralyzing northern India that extended up to Delhi NCR. The whole nation witnessed this condemnable abdication and dereliction of duty by both police officers and political circles.
This brings us to the question as to why does the State let such malefactors grow so powerful that it becomes a crisis, unmanageable and irreversible. Gradually, the print and visual media have exposed the affiliations and endorsements Dera Sacha Sauda has received from almost all political establishments. Under the patronage of every ruling party, DSS maintained a huge vote bank and in return received impunity. Embezzlement of funds in this religious trust is unimaginably high and there have been reports that Indian Army in 2010 had warned the Centre of arms training being provided to the DSS cadres. Lawlessness to that extent and of that scale is signs of dangerous conspiracies that are shrouded in mysterious sponsorship of politics. Problem with leaders of our country is that they create a crisis, allow it to blow out of proportion, and then try to solve it.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim was accused of rape of two women. Further investigations revealed that his Dera consisted of caves where women were frequently raped. In fact, he has been accused of murder and castration of his followers. How in the name of God, can someone commit such heinous crimes and remain absolved? Most of us are left bewildered over why he was considered as a reincarnation of God in the first place. He is probably the first self-sustained Godman who is a film star, rock star, singer and lyricist. A short trailer of Messenger of God where he plays the protagonist can be a testimony of how despicably phony this man is. Answers lie in the rural culture of India and abandonment of governments. Most political parties turn to rural areas for a vote but remain consciously committed to the development of the urban landscape. Rural folks don’t have diversified sources of entertainment and relaxation like that in urban areas. A scintillating and sensational Dera Saccha Sauda which functioned with larger-than-life drama was a major point of attraction for most villagers. On the top of that, even a false allegiance to God becomes a touchy issue in India, which still houses millions of Orthodox people. In the name of baseless purification, such religious organizations function as a charade. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh masquerading as a son of God consistently fooled millions. He is considered as a divine figure for many given his charitable activities, climbing on the farce he created.
It’s high time for authorities and civil society to come forward and obliterate existence and references illicit ‘babas’ across the nation. As PM Modi said violence in the name of faith can never be tolerated, due attention has to be given to the forestalling any such moral or religious institutions before they snowball into something as obnoxious as Dera Sacha Sauda. Godmen who flagellate innocent women in the name of rituals and traditions must be punished. Gurmeet baba has become quintessentially the benchmark of a façade that exhibits a mockery of not just his followers but the entire nation.
Article by mausam.