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Politicians, seeking to expand electoral base, pay obeisance to godmen, promote crime in the name of spiritualism

By Adv Masood Peshimam
Faith has its own logic and discourse. Faith can’t be judged on the touchstone of science. Faith is subjective as well the concept of superstition. There is an extremely thin line between faith and superstition. However superstition can never be justified and acquire legitimacy. What is one’s faith may be blind faith for another . Followers of one faith may invite ridicule from others and vice versa.
However, notwithstanding the subjectivity forming the basis of faith what is of significance is to note that faith is stigmatized and besmirched when it is experimented with fraud, cheating, physical, exploitation, debauchery, lavish and licentious life style. Spiritualism and vulgarity can never reconcile. 
People with a view to derive solace and peace approach the spiritual personalities but saddening is to note that in many cases at the end of the day what remains is the moral chaos, variety of criminal activities , unbridled violence breeding an environment of insecurity attendant with all the vices leading to the deep-seated frustration. 
This ugly phenomena is applied to certain ashram’s which are found to be hotbed of unimaginable criminal activities. Mentioning ashram doesn’t mean giving clean chit to other religious places. Certain ashrams have come into focus involving host of criminal and immortal acts where debauch and licentious life style is at its worst.
UP Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi is obsessed with the funding of madrasas as madrassas are always for surgical strike in the name of nationalism forgetting the bare fact that madrassas or Islamic seminaries played a very vital role in governing the freedom movement. Madrassa’s role in challenging the mighty British Empire cannot be ignored. Adityanth Yogi is never bothered about the funding of ashrams, some of which are involved in clandestine activities which never occupies space for concern with the blinkered vision. 
Certain ashrams with no respect for law and morality have never been the area of concern for Yogi. Such thoughts can never occur to those guided by hidden agenda which is no more hidden. However, financing of the ashram occupied with murky and shady behaviour is not the subject at the moment.
Against this background, the unmasking of the notorious and licentious lavish kingdom of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh can’t escape the share of attention. An insight in the murky affairs of the Dera culture can be illustrated with the occurrence of umpteen rape scenes, castrations, and so on.
The gory and horrifying culture prevalent at the Dera Sacha Sauda can well be illustrated with the deposition of certain sadhvis. In their deposition on oath before the CBI Judges, the sadhvis had given the sequence of events, narrating horrifying tales of how the “powerful Baba” used to rape them and other women of the dera inside his gufa, or the customised underground chamber that was his personal residence. Baba’s sexual acts were carried on in the so-called gufa which had all the material of luxuries living.
Interestingly, it is equally alleged that his own adopted daughter was the object of his sexual gratification. The skeletons keep thumbing out. It is not the sexual orgies alone which came to light, but also a large chunk of castration cases. The gruesome murder of a sadhvi’s brother and the journalist exposing the black deeds is much more wild and inhuman.
It’s not that someone committing the sin out of lust some lascivious desire or passion but here is the case of full-throated audacity to commit the crime and draw pride out of it which is much more macabre and gruesome. His hawkish behaviour in the absence of accountability and fear of consequences experienced no let up over the years.
It was in 2002 the two sadhvis wrote a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee which triggered the inquiry. It is equally interesting to note what is stated by the retired DIG of CBI M Nariman. He said that a lot of pressure was brought upon the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to relax the investigation against the Baba Gurmeet Singh. But he did not yield to the pressure; instead he summoned the then CBI Chief Vijay Shanker, directing the latter to progress the investigation without any fear or favour. Vijay Shanker has referred to the mounting intervention of the political bigwigs to soften the investigation.
It is welcome to note that the bigwigs failed to influence the independence of the investigation under Vijay Shanker due to the courageous stance of Manmohan singh. It nails the lie of the BJP stalwart that the Congress looked the other way when Ram Rahim amassed wealth and indulged in all the criminal activities.
It is thus the efforts of the CBI inquiry which culminated into the bold and courageous judgement of the CBI Court that Gurmeet Singh was convicted. While the CBI court was to give the verdict the Khattar government of Haryana allowed people to congregate in Panchukula where the CBI court was to deliver the verdict. The trouble was in the store. 
The Haryana government, despite sensing disturbance, allowed the Gurmeet Singh supporters to gather in vast multitude. As expected, the supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda lost no time in unleashing the large-scale violence. It’s all done to appease the vote bank politics, very much indulged in recently, which has led to lot of chaos and instability in the country, on one pretext or the other, more so in the name cow protection.
As usual with the large scale violence claiming heavy toll of life Prime Minister Modi gave the statement that violence in the name of religion would not be tolerated. Such statements in the absence of any concrete action to demolish the escalating lawlessness in the country failed to produce any impact as witnessed in the case of murderous lynching mobs mostly targeting Muslims in the name of cow protection.
In the context of Baba Gurmeet Singh it is to be noted that a minister in the Khattar government of Haryana allotted a plot of land to the controversial Baba. Was the minister unaware of the criminal activities of Ram Rahim Singh? Is it not guided by the vote bank politics? What equally needs to be noted is that a day after the followers of Dera Sacha Chief Gurmeet Singh went on rampage Haryana Minister and BJP MLA from Rohtak Manish Grover said that the violence was natural and it was an expression of their natural anger. 
Isn’t it a sympathy card played by the BJP veteran for Gurmeet Singh? No crime can be justified by sheltering anger of the people. The devotees should have introspected their allegiance as it is not concerning their belief but the matter is concerning a person who is pronounced guilty of committing the heinous crime.
Another BJP stalwart R Balashankar said that the Dera Chief supported the BJP in the 2014 election, further stating that the Dera Chief was not then a convicted person. He should be kind enough to note that the conviction is a long drawn process. Can the alleged criminal be protected or nurtured as there is no conviction? Even after the conviction there is scope for appeal. Absence of conviction does not define the criminal as the paragon of virtues.The BJP man also said that no patronage or protection was extended, though the Dera had supported the BJP in the 2014 election. 
Such statement is not realistic as no politics is done without the quid pro quo. Only interests count in politics. Whatever pieties politicians of various hues may mouth, but the fact remains that pieties have little or no space in power game. Politicians with a view to expand their electoral base feel no compunction in paying obeisance to such godmen and in the process such so-called spiritual persons emerge all the more powerful with the growing clout and sway. It is the political obeisance which promotes crime in the name of spiritualism. The situation has gone much worse with the ever-growing communalisation of polity. Such so-called spiritual personalities are made to bask under the glow of political favour.
Baba or so-called spiritual persons have a free hand in the teeth of the escalating electoral communal politics, the perils of which cannot be ignored.

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