A special CBI court on Friday convicted Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the self-styled spiritual Guru, of raping two of his female followers.
It unleased widespread mob violence that claimed thirty eight human lives, led to vandalism of property worth crores, burning of hundreds of private and public vehicles including trains leading to anarchy in five states including the national capital. But for India, the consequent loss of repute before the rest of the world as well as before its own citizens, is beyond gaugeable. It is in a country where thousands took part in a candlelight march condemning the brutal Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012 demanding justice for the victim that buses were torched in solidarity with a rape case convict.
It took sharp criticisms from the court for the Haryana government that provided all the necessary arrangements for the followers of the rape accused to conspire and organise riots using lethal weapons and the country’s Prime Minister who takes pride in his chest size, to even give a thought about the nation’s citizens. The PM didn’t bother to appropriately condemn the incident other than repeating in his monthly radio address yesterday from Red Fort that violence in the name of faith would not be tolerated. The reality is that neither Narendra Modi nor Manohar Lal Khattar could upset the underworld leader who helped them to storm to power. The statements of Modi and Khattar praising Ram Rahim while he was still accused in rape case, haven’t been forgotten. MP Sakshi Maharaj, a strong right wing supporter had overtly expressed his support, in favour of the ‘Godman’. It clearly proved the stance of the government. The union Ministers of the BJP who raised a hue and cry over the deteriorating law and order situation in Kerala unilaterally portraying the political murders in the state for which they as well were responsible, remained silent on Haryana being turned into a graveyard.
How do such criminals attain so much power as to bring to a halt even the government machinery? What accounts for their influence to force even those ranging from the President to the judges to bow down before them? A journalist who exposed Gurmeet’s wrongdoings was killed years ago. Those who testified against another spiritual underworld Guru Asaram Bapu who is jailed for raping a minor, were attacked with three of them shot dead. Although several complaints have been raised against Ramdev who is surreptitious from head to toe, he continues to fearlessly violate laws backed by the power base at the Centre. Such people believe that they could challenge any law using the shield of power if they help in securing votes for the politicians.
In Kerala, where there is no decent number of followers for Gurmeet, the Chief Minister of Kerala as well the Opposition leader sharply condemned the violence. However, the 'enlightened' keralites, despite their political lineage, have no issues with investigation into the mysterious death in the Amritanandamayi Mutt being sabotaged. A few years ago when a local godman was arrested in sexual assault case, the police, youth organisations, and revenue officials had come out in full force to expose the fake saints from Manjeswaram to Parasala. The media also brought to light the illegal wealth and illicit associations. Things then returned to normal. When the exploitations lessened to some extent, it was the actual believers including the religious scholars and saints who were relieved the most. Let Kerala lead in fighting those who exploit faith and bypass the laws.
Even though the government failed to quash the mob violence unleashed, there are a few who proved that the nation and its citizens haven’t failed. They include the woman who initiated a legal battle against her assaulter, a high-profile criminal, who wouldn’t hesitate even to take her life, and the judge who despite being well aware of the culprit’s closeness to the government, delivered the verdict overcoming all the pressures and influences. Every citizen who stands for the law and order and justice are much indebted to them.