Babas and their millions!



Seeing Asaram in police custody reminded me of his innumerable visits to Lucknow and the tantrums he threw wherever he went. Once he wanted his stick to bypass the baggage x-ray, the next he wanted a special road temporarily built for him to the venue of his ‘pravachan’.

Somehow, I was never impressed by him, even though for the sake of a close colleague who was his big devotee, I gave him some coverage in the newspaper, especially the one-liners that he delivered for the school-going children. I wish I knew his mind then.

But there was something in the manner in which he danced, walked and talked which used to completely put me off. I often argued with that colleague of mine, “What does he think himself to be, he is not God.’

And my colleague would always say, ‘Meet him once; his blessings would make life easy for you. He has done some ‘siddhi’.”

However, I never got tempted to meet him as I always read viciousness on his face. I also felt that for someone who has supposedly attained salvation, pomp and show should matter the least while he revelled in that. But as crowds thronged the grounds where he delivered his sermons, I often wondered if I was alone in my dislike for him.

But today I stand convinced while I am sure my colleague is either shell-shocked or stands among those who are trying to tell themselves, more than others, the conspiracy theory behind the ‘entire drama’.

But my dislike for the self-styled godmen (he is not the only one) got into my head from the days when my mother used to warn me to stay indoors in the evenings or else the baba with a ‘big jhola’ would carry me away.

All of us, as kids, have read or have been told tales about ‘Baba with a big jhola who kidnapped children.’ But Asaram and his kind of Babas have proved to be worse than the imaginary ones – they should be punished for the crime they have committed, not only on the teenagers but on the psyche of young girls who would think twice in having faith on saints that this highly spiritual nation revers.

The counter-argument is why paint all with the same brush. But the question is: how to distinguish between the real and the fake babas? Only they themselves will have to identify and expose the black sheep among them or the empires that they have built from donations would start collapsing .

I was just wondering, can’t the government at least look into the millions amassed by these so called babas? A fit case for the Income Tax department which is often wasting time in chasing the salaried class.

The question here is which government? The Congress ministers would demand probe while they can order investigations. As for the main oppositiom, the Bhartiya Janata Party, they love the saffron so much that they get blind to acts of those who wear them.

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