Baba Rampal has been charged with sedition against the State amounting to death penalty. The long battle between Rampal’s army and the police force has come to an end with people being wounded from both sides. At least, 15,000 people were rescued from within the ashram who were trapped inside by Baba Rampal’s army. Women and children were used as shields against police personnel trying to pacify the situation, trying to arrest the Baba without hurting the followers. Shocking items like condoms, drugs and weapons were recovered from outside. He has been placed in judicial custody till November 28 post which Punjab and Haryana Court will take up the matter for hearing.
However, he is not the first self-styled Godman who has been charged of such grave criminal offences. Asaram Bapu had been earlier charged with murder and sexual assault and now is spending his time in jail. This is the same high profile guru who had passed an objectionable statement on Nirbhaya’s death saying that she could have been spared of being raped if she had addressed her rapists as brothers. Swami Nithyananda was another criminal guru who was caught on camera in an objectionable position with a south Indian actress. He was also accused of rape, a charge which he denied. If we delve back into time, we will find many more ‘gurus’ falling into this category.
India is a country where it is very easy for godmen to take people for a ride just by saying they belong to the lineage of some saint. Indians are eager to put such gurus up on a pedestal and worship them. However, it is impossible for gurus to enhance their venture without political support. The ridiculousness of their preaching can be understood by a simple statement of Baba Ramdev who said he could ‘cure’ homosexuality with yoga. This is the same Baba who ran away in woman’s clothes when the police tried to arrest him during his dharna. Not to mention he has been accused of tax evasion. People have rightly suggested that license should be issued for spiritual practices to curb fraudulent activities in this field.
One should be alert and aware of such happenings. The people who are likely to fall victim to such crimes are the poor and illiterate villagers. Educate them to spread awareness about these Dhoongi gurus. May the nation get rid of such thugs and criminals.