Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Blingy Baba




Our country, dear friend, is a blessed land. Look around and what do you see? Love, blessings and kripa. 
There is Goddess of Love - Radhe Ma, who prances around in faux-ethnic red ensemble and garish make-up (No less than Subhash Ghai is said to invite her for his Mata Ki Chowki). 
There is Nirmal Baba who tells us that if we eat anything sour (chutney), all our problems will be rendered comatose just like the Haryana government during ruckus.
There are Maulvis and Yogi’s in our living rooms 24/7 - showering rose petals, of course. Switch on your TV and you see them spreading love on Times Now and The Republic.

And then we have Huzoor Maharaj Dr Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, who is now convict number 1997 in Rohtak’s Suniara jail. What does his loooong name tell us? That longer the name, longer the list of charges against him. Right? No. no. Of course, not. But imagine the plight of the minor girl who was raped repeatedly, threatened and living under fear for more than a decade!

Okay, so you weren’t expecting a man with such a secular name to be a rapist and alleged murderer (Pop Quiz: How many netas are also accused of the same? Ans: More than 150) If you are still eye rolling at his flamboyant names, know that ex Dera chief named his adopted daughter Priyanka Taneja as Honeypreet and nephews as Sweetluck Singh and Subah-e-Dil. Cute. 

Come to think of it, it’s interesting how the media loves to run with the hare and hunt with the hound. In all the interviews of Gurmeet Singh I saw, they never asked him about the alleged murder, castration and rape cases. Instead, they asked him to sing songs penned beautifully with lyrics like You Are The Love Charger. Once the verdict was announced, they discovered the dark side of the man with enough hair to give Anil Kapoor a complex. Dr Batra, meanwhile is wondering why he didn’t use him as his brand ambassador. 

Now that Love Charger alias Blingy Baba alias Pitaji is behind the bars, many victims will come out with alleged bizarre stories of Baba drinking testicular soup and burying bones under the Dera orchard. Time will tell if they are true but according to the judge, Baba acted like a savage beast. 
Having said that, serious questions remain.

Who gave him Z security in 2007? Why?
Who was funding his extravagant movies? Was he into money laundering for political parties?
Army intelligence had warned about weapons training in Dera back in 2010, why did police look the other way?
If he did not appear before the courts even after 42 summons, what made him appear in the court? Was there a deal which fell out? You emerge out of Dera and we provide you a safe heaven? Because if the police were to flush him out of Dera premises, there could be far more casualties. Who blew his cover? Was it the drug cartel, politician or an insider?

As they say, better late than never. Had this verdict been delayed, we would see Gurmeet Singh strut his stuff in Big Boss 9. He had agreed to be a part of the show, provided he was allowed to go out for a few hours every day. If you think this break was to grant pardon in his ‘gufa’, or if you hear the song, Aaja Gufaon Mein Aa, Aaja Gunah Karle, it is purely in your head. 

Coming back to our news channels, when they are not telling us how all Godmen are frauds or accepting Patanjali as their news sponsor, they telecast shows of Nirmal Baba. Maybe Gurmeet Singh should call Nirmal Baba and ask, “Dude, I’m in trouble. What to do for some Kripa?” 
“Hmm…when did you try Khatta?”
“I had a chocolate in the chopper. Nothing sour. No Khatta.”
“Boss, just add an R after Khatta. Kripa will come your way.” 

So, what is it that attracts people towards spiritual leaders? For one, the poor and the downtrodden are trapped in misery – son’s job, daughter’s dowry, land grab, loans and debilitating disease. The Godmen provide hope. Instant solace and support. Given that most Dera followers are Dalit laborers and marginalized migrants, Dera or any other cult provides a sense of identity. If temples and Gurudwaras don’t allow lower castes, these cults welcome them with open arms. The main attraction is the feeling of equality and dignity. 
Second, not all Godmen are frauds. Many are doing great social service by taking care of the underprivileged. Truth is, Gurmeet Singh was involved with many welfare activities, even though they turned out to be a facade for his nefarious activities. 
Third, many Guru’s teach the practice of meditation and sadhna, which is more peaceful and economical than what hard core Hindu-Muslim fanatics propagate. And also the fact that we are a society of iconoclasts, always looking for a saviour. No wonder, there is a long history of deras and cults in UP, Punjab and Haryana.

As I write, Gurmeet Singh’s son Jasmeet Insan, who is married to Punjab Congress MLAs daughter Husanmeet Kaur has been announced as the legal heir.
That said, politics and religion are an incendiary mix. If you are a politician of any hue, it is natural that you will flock to cult chiefs who control millions of EVM’s. Chandraswami, Dhirendra Brahmachari, Nityanand, Rampal, Ramdev…..the list is long. However, it is time to learn from 30 odd civilian deaths. Political parties have keep an eye on the funding, activities and properties of socio-religious cults to ensure that the marginalized are not vulnerable to the machinations of Pied Piper like cult heads.

29 comments:

  1. This post is pure, unadulterated Alka.

    You know I don't understand why even after having 65 crores Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism (for example) we still look for Babas and their stooges. What level of stupidity do we have to fall to (or rise to?) to make this a lucrative business?

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    1. The marginalized are so insecure and troubled that any solace and social security is welcome.

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  2. Your reference to the hairy ape aka Blingy Baba invoked a swirl of memories from the classic play of the same name by Eugene O'Neill. The classic concludes thus famously:'And, perhaps, the Hairy Ape at last belongs.' How true is that! As for the media, they represent the chattering, wailing monkeys from the same play.

    Alka, you have raised many questions in your post, none of which is any less sinister than this villain's deeds. God knows, this country needs conscience keepers like you.

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    1. Thank you Uma, we just think what the media monkeys want us to think. Time to be vigilant and ask questions before getting outraged by what they tell us.

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  3. Cults like DSS exist because the marginalised feel let down by the state and their God. Nobody minds a rapist spiritual leader as long as he's doing some social work on the side.

    That's the sad truth.

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    1. True. Having said that, some spiritual leaders are doing good social work.

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  4. Dr. Batra will read this and lament for a missed opportunity.

    If temples and Gurudwaras don’t allow lower castes, these cults welcome them with open arms. .....this is so true.

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  5. Dr. Batra will read this and lament for a missed opportunity.

    If temples and Gurudwaras don’t allow lower castes, these cults welcome them with open arms. .....this is so true.

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  6. I hate these swamis. God only knows how they manage to con so many people. Yes, they throw money at them but how do they make their followers so blind that they turn a blind eye to their excesses?

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    1. No easy answers. I have addressed some of them though.

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  7. You know, the other strange thing is how public opinion swings so wildly from one side to the other. Just some days ago, we simply didn't care for this chap. Now he's the most vile person on earth.
    We may not realise it, but someone surely is still playing us all like a puppet master.

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    1. So true. Now they are showing how he built a world class Fantasy Land in Sirsa. Surely, people knew. But no one asked questions about where the money was coming and going, what activities he was indulging in....

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  8. You are right about the downtrodden looking for some hope in Babas. And the Babas know how to make a multi million business based on Faith. It's now almost impossible to differentiate the good from the bad.
    I totally enjoyed reading post... That part about Dr Batra was so hilarious and witty. 😀

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    1. Thank you. Always a pleasure to see you here.

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  9. Sad state of affairs. I don't see respite from this scourge!

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  10. You're right. People, especially those in misery, are constantly in need of some kind of respite - either in the form of financial support or even emotional support.

    Takes me back to a scene from the Tom Hanks movie 'Castaway'. He's left marooned on an island with some stuff, including a volleyball. And because he has no one else to talk to, he makes an imaginary friend (or perhaps a God) out of the volleyball, and calls it by name - Wilson (the brand name). I actually felt bad for Tom Hanks character when he ends up losing the ball during the course of the movie.

    As always, loved reading.

    Cheers,
    CRD

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I remember that scene too. Actually I saw the movie again recently.

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  11. I happen to know 2 to 3 women who go to such deras, belong to these cults! I would listen to them intently and wonder often, what draws them into such faiths, belief systems and I would always think to myself...everyone needs to go high on something, everyone needs a faith, we all create a suit ourselves model of religious belief and we stick to it...what deras give to such women or some men...is an outlet, a hope and events to get out, dance with abandon, esp in our towns or kasbas...villages, how many women get an outlet! Deras do for them what nothing else does! And all the religious righteousness associated with it!

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    1. My dads family follows the Radhasoami sect so I know what you are saying. Faith, family tradition and spirituality - all take us towards socio religious organizations and some of them are doing great social work. But this man was a rotten apple and sadly, there are many. Good to see you here Ritu.

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  12. This is the best article I read so far on Ram Rahim..you nailed it. I also enjoyed the tinge of humour in your post. These babas become powerful only due to political patronage. They are just mascots used by politicians and underworld to hide their actual crime.

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    1. Thank you Balaka. True, politics and religion are a dangerous mix.

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  13. If police was given a free hand,if political patronage was denied to them,these thugs could be controlled.
    What bugs me is-who gave him Z plus security and why.
    No heads roll over such things.

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    1. We don't think beyond what media tells us to think. Thank you for reading Indu.

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  14. This is too interesting and also very sad full story. Too colorfull baba but he has been broken humanities ... thanks for this article.
    Anik Kumer Dasgupta
    Zero Pest
    Pest Control Services in Bangladesh

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  15. Interesting post. The time is coming when all sinners will be in prison.

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  16. Beautifully written Alka! this was pure and honest..very well presented.

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  17. The more I read about this weirdo, the more I get repulsed. And also dismayed and surprised and finally incredulous. Of how so many things could flourish right under everybody's nose and how so many ppl could fall victim to such machinations. That only talks about the level of desperation some of these followers might have had with respect to inequality and marginalization. Makes me wonder whether these Babas are a symptom of a society which couldn't help it's people

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