Evil doesn't rise in one day. It grows around us like a malignant disease, whose symptoms ignorant and selfish societies ignore till it is too late.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim, like Asumal (Asaram Bapu), Sukhvinder (Radhe Maa) and many others, is yet another instance of a society breeding evil in its own backyard, rearing it on its superstitions, greed, fear and opportunism. The Baba is a product of the Indian mindset that is easily swayed by the cocktail of religion, faith, money, power and celebrity endorsement. He was birthed and raised by the polluted Indian ecosystem.
How did this Baba, convicted of rape and facing charges of murder, become such a powerful menace? The answer is simple: he could offer everything Indians need. For his followers and fans, he was a one-stop solution to their problems, a veritable Santa Claus who could give them everything they wish, aspire for without too much effort or wait.
In India, Baba-dom is like a ponzi scheme. It thrives on the simple formula of everybody trying to benefit at the cost of others down the multi-level chain. Babas benefit from the fear, superstition and blind faith of the followers, disciples benefit from the influence and power of the Baba, and politicians, the ones expected to stop this rotten chain, benefit from it by using the Baba and his captive base for electoral gains.
Ordinary bhakts are essentially fools. They erroneously believe one man has the power and ability to shape the lives of millions, not knowing that our lives are mostly shaped by individual choices, decisions, compromises and efforts. They gravitate towards these fake godmen — and politicians — believing they have the power to give them what they crave or desire with a swish of their magic wands. This could be anything -- job, marriage, child, money, protection, cure for a malady or just some psychological release from the everyday pains and problems of lives. Like dummies sucked into ponzi schemes, they get swayed by stories of beneficiaries of the "miracles and kindness" of these fake Babas and become part of this business of faith, adding, thus, a few more tiers to these multi-level marketing frauds.
As Firstpost had argued earlier, a majority of these Babas/Maas are either service-providers, brokers, networkers or heads of crony clubs that serve each other's interests. Some are more subtle; instead of material desires, they sell yogic postures, natural remedies for ailments ranging from homosexuality to cancer, or peace of mind through lifestyle-mantras masquerading as spiritual wisdom. A rare few, like Rajneesh, offer everything under the sun -- from sambhog (sex) to samadhi (enlightenment/nirvana/peace).
Politicians, celebrities and people with influence lead the gullible masses into the waiting traps of these Babas. For these fake godmen, they act as Pied Pipers and recruiters by giving them moral and social legitimacy with their public embrace of these incarnations of evil.
Consider for instance Ram Rahim's case. Every Indian politician of some significance, including the prime minister, either had a history of publicly praising him or genuflecting at his feet, prostrating in his Dera for votes and other favours. Soon after winning the 2014 polls, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar went to his Dera with a large retinue of legislators and ministers to seek the Baba's blessings. What message does the poor, hapless, uneducated Indian get when politicians and celebrities endorse these cheats and criminals? Obviously, they get influenced by their power and crave to become part of the symbiotic ecosystem, where everybody leeches on everybody.
Unfortunately, when people in positions of power get buried under the burden of gratitude to these traders and brokers masquerading as purveyors of faith, the masses pay a huge price. The Haryana chief minister was indebted to the Dera for publicly supporting the BJP in 2014. There was no chance in heaven or hell he would have bitten the hand that fed him votes in the past and may continue to do so in the future. Khattar has paid his personal and party's debt to the Dera. But, he has the blood of the people killed by Dera followers on his hands. He is guilty of selling his soul to the devil, not once but thrice.
But, Khattar isn't the only one to be blamed. Everybody who endorsed the Baba, everybody who turned a blind eye to allegations of rape, sexual exploitation, murder against him, is equally guilty. By thronging to his Dera, seeking his blessings, falling at his feet, in spite of his dubious past, they not only gave him a clean chit, the verdict of not guilty but also emboldened him by manifesting that morality is nothing, what sells in the market place of bhakti is greed and fear.
Over the past few years, many Babas and Matas have fallen like rotten fruits in autumn. Asaram is in jail on charges of rape and sexual exploitation. Rampal of Hisar is behind bars because of allegations of criminality. A few months ago, Mumbai's Radhe Maa was called out for being a fake fairy manipulated by her patrons. Yet, Indians continue to get swayed by these frauds.
This is primarily because a country that lacks critical thinking, scientific temper, quality education (as against degrees earned by rote learning) and is easily swayed by anything fed to them in the name of religion and faith was made to order for Babas and Maas. Money-grubbing, sex-obsessed, land-grabbing, networkers, blackmailers and criminals mushroom in every corner, wearing saffron robes, claiming sainthood, selling themselves as Maa, Bapu and messengers of God. Each one of them finds hundreds of followers.
As I have argued earlier, taking advantage of our mindset, they run a make-a-wish-and-pay-for-it enterprise. They turn religion into an industry where devotion becomes a euphemism for greed, backroom wheeling and dealing among bhakts a pretext for satsang, and offering to the deity a subterfuge for bribe.
Indians breed these snakes in their bosom. They have only themselves to blame when those they call Ram, Rahim, Insaan, Bapu and Maa turn out to be messengers of evil.
Updated Date: Aug 26, 2017 17:33 PM