CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh deserves Kudos for his verdict of 20 years imprisonment for rapist Dera chief Ram Rahim. Several notable self-styled gurus have faced criminal action or are presently lodged in various jails across the country in numerous sexual assault cases. The self-styled Babas in our country are good for nothing and they want cheap publicity, money power and fame and are looting the gullible followers and indulging in nefarious activities. Singh is one of the several self-styled godmen and cult leaders to be embroiled in scandals in recent years. As India becomes wealthier and increasing numbers of people feel left behind, they turn to gurus for spiritual and material sustenance.
The new generation of guru is more a powerful, flamboyant personality, often with the means to summon supporters on to the streets. Though health, well-being and spirituality are what they all profess, some like Ram Rahim have made it to the headlines for the controversy they create, like financial irregularities, sexual abuse and, sometimes, even murder. These modern-day mega-gurus are nothing like the wandering saints of ancient Hindu religious texts, who meditated and lived on alms, renouncing all worldly possessions. Don’t we think in the past two decades, spiritual life in the country has undergone a transformation as Indians embrace hectic urban lifestyles and move away from their cultural roots of village-based worship.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)