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Commercial angle or compromising with ethics?

I was shocked to see Nirmal Baba’s programme again fooling people on news channels and on the same news channels which restlessly condemned him for the fraud he is doing. Everything is back to the normal with same modus operandi i.e. people asking him questions in so called ‘samagam’ and he is giving weird answers. Now, no one is raising doubts on him. Even one of the reputed news channel has allotted him important slot for his ‘Bewakoofiyan’ and babagiri. What should we call it, is it commercial angle for business or compromising with the journalistic ethics?

Long time ago, I used to work for one of the most famous spiritual channels of India; there I learned the ‘Making of babas’. Most of the spiritual leaders of today are created by spiritual channels. All the aspirants with good oratory and little knowledge about religion have adopted this lucrative business as their way of life. The charm of the babas is illusive and they are nothing but good social engineers. Some can perform hypnotism excellently. We Indians, stressful people, suffering from traumas, dissatisfactions, complaints, grievances, pain and grief are easily taken for a ride by them. A common man lives under one roof with his own family as they are living in a herd of enemies. No one is happy with their life; everyone has gone far away from peace striving to be rich. These are the problems where babas enter in your life and play an important role to make you much poorer than you are. They will extract money from you and become rich.

Offerings to God is imbibed in our culture, offerings in the name of rituals are engrained in the mindset of a common human being. The more you offer the more satisfaction you will get; this is what we have been taught since childhood. The practice of offering has been carried out since centuries then why to blame babas for that? The same principle is applicable to them too. The richest disciple is the most favourite of babas. In a way, it’s you who has created these babas and made their lifestyle lavishing. When we are sick, we need good medication and doctor. Instead of being practical and getting treated by medicines, we depend on our blind faith on the babas to cure all ailments.

Since television explored new dimensions of showcasing divine epics, spirituality became the commercial aspect of it. All aspirants and famous babas became poster heroes of these spiritual channels. It is a global scheme to make all spiritual believers of India to play with faith. Moreover, most of the Godmen are fraud. The most lucrative and profitable business of present time is “Spiritual Prostitution” where God and his existence is encroached by so called falsified souls.

Recently, the sexual assault case involving Asaram Bapu and his son has created lots of headlines. There are many victims of the duo. There are many witnesses too, but his lawyer says the self-styled godman was a victim of “international conspiracy” hatched to defame the saint community in India. Asaram has been targeted as part of this vicious conspiracy as he was a very popular saint of the country. There are many such babas who landed in police trap for all the evil that they did under the name of spirituality. No one knows the fact but ‘babagiri’ has become a big industry.

Remember, the hallway into a fresh storm, Nirmal Baba has been accused by Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti for cheating innocent people and exploiting them financially. In a statement released by Executive President of Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti Umesh Chaubey and Harish Deshmukh, they said that supernatural and spiritual powers claimed by Nirmal Baba are absolutely false and should be considered void. Moreover, they also revealed that Nirmal Baba hires people to ask ‘fake’ questions and later telecast it on TV channels to gain mileage. Yes! This is possible because he pays heavy amount to TV channels for his God-man acting and public appearances. Why TV channels promote these babas? Every news channel has a slot for these spiritual exhibitors. Or in other words, these babas are income source for TV channels. Promoting superstition has become a fashion in TV industry.

Why Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti suddenly started campaign against these babas? Why everyone is reacting on babas issue? Earlier, there were several complaints registered in local police stations of Lucknow and Raipur. Yogendra Shankar Shukla, ex-President, Ravishankar University, and also a complainant who planned a press conference and told media that Nirmal baba is suggesting ‘non-sense’ remedies to the problems of innocent people like keeping bundle of notes in locker, eat samosa, wear expensive footwear, flaunt luxury purse, etc, and is exploiting them financially. Why Shankar Shukla voiced it today? The reason is, even Shankar Shukla wanted extra perks, and he can earn by exposing babas. Also, Nidhi, a junior-artist who has worked in many TV serials, claimed that Nirmal Baba shot many of his programmes in Film City, Noida, UP and surprisingly, the people who asked questions were not the ‘genuine’ ones but ‘fake’ people hired by Nirmal Baba. According to Nidhi, she got Rs. 10,000 from Nirmal Baba for asking questions. Nidhi has come in front of TV Channel to talk against Baba because, he is facing bad times. Where were her codes of moral when she took money by acting in that scheme? She is also responsible as much as Baba is for misguiding the public.

In another revelation, a report in a newspaper claims that Nirmaljit Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba, who is under scanner for his immense wealth, has purchased a hotel using donations from his followers. The popularity of Nirmal Baba has faded after reports in the media about his wealth and assets. At present, the market value of the hotel is worth Rs. 35 crores. Former owner of the hotel, Ashwani Kapoor, revealed that the Godman wanted to open a chain of hotels. Nirmal Baba made payments for the hotel from his personal bank account number 15460001 02129694, which is in the name of Nirmaljeet Singh Narula. A report suggests that over Rs. 123 crores were deposited in the godman’s above-mentioned account between January 04 and April 13, 2012. According to a newspaper, during the same period, Rs. 105.56 crore was also withdrawn from the same account and the balance as on April 13 was Rs 17.47 crore.

We should not blame babas, it is the masses, who consider their blessings as magic and are ready to pay any amount for this. Science tries to capture spiritual power, media tries to confirm these through camera, but they forget that till science has not created medicine for simple cough and cold, it was spiritual power that worked as remedy and its God man that installed the faith in common man. God and wisdom towards spiritual path has got diverted towards the commercial aspects of the world. Today, the same Nirmal Baba is again getting the TV space and fooling people.

Worshipping has become bribery and faith has become the cash. Here, God’s power is a saleable item and the godmen have become pimps in spiritual prostitution. Then who we should blame?

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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