Allegations of rape on Dera Saccha Sauda chief has once again brought the spotlight on India’s numerous self-styled godmen and their violent legacies.
In 2002, an anonymous sadhvi wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, claiming Ram Rahim sexually exploited her along with a few other sadhvis of the ashram. The sexual exploitation case has been registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI.
The 50-year-old faces the charges of murder as well. Ram Rahim has been accused of murdering a journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who had allegedly brought to light the sexual exploitation of sadhvis on Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Dera 15 years ago. Chhatrapati was shot dead in October 2002, months after the report of an anonymous letter claiming sexual harassment of sadhvis at Ram Rahim’s hand surfaced. There is another murder case against Ram Rahim. He has been accused of killing a Dera member, Ranjit Singh, in July 2002. Singh had highlighted the wrongdoings inside the Dera headquarters in Sirsa.
That’s not it, however. He has been accused of castrating around 400 Dera followers claiming castration would help them meet with God. The Punjab and Haryana government ordered a probe on the matter in 2014.
it’s not just Gurmeet Ram Rahim though, the list of godmen with a close tie with controversies is pretty long.
High drama ensued in an Ashram in Haryana as Sant Rampal allegedly locked his followers in the ashram to act as a shield against the forces. Rampal was arrested after a 30-hour-long standoff by police in November 2014. Consequently, sedition charges were slapped on him.
In August 2013, a minor girl accused Asaram of raping her on the pretext of exorcising her from evil spirits. She also alleged that the self-styled godman asked her to perform oral sex on him. The girl’s parents had filed a complaint in Delhi.
After the December 16, 2012, brutal gangrape in Delhi, he gave the world a regressive piece of his mind by saying that instead of struggling that victim should have pleaded and asked her rapists to let her go. She should have also called them ‘bhaiyya’ and asked for mercy.