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Why Did India Allow Asaram”s “#ParentsWorshipDayOn14Feb” To Trend On Twitter, On The Eve Of Valentine’s?

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By Rigya Singh:

I will start with a confession that this article has been written in rage. It might constitute a rant. Twitter is my preferred platform of social media, so when I logged in yesterday, the top Indian trending topic was #ParentsWorshipDayOn14Feb. Those who are not familiar with the microblogging website, a Trending Topic is generally the most talked about subject in a particular area/city/country.


Now, I had observed banners and billboards last year in New Delhi and was cornered by some people who shared this belief at the International Book Fair; but my reaction was that of amusement. So why am I incensed this year? Basically, it is an effort by Asaram “Bapu”, who possibly views Valentine’s Day as an “immoral” and “sinful” day to indulge in lust. I have my problems with the day but I really don’t care what others get on with, on this day. As if 14th February is the only day one can let the passions out (euphemism alert).

Asaram Bapu has been in news for the sexual assault of a minor girl. On August 20th 2013, a 16-year-old accused Asaram Bapu of sexual assault at his ashram in guise of exorcising “evil spirit” out of her. He was subsequently arrested by the Jodhpur police and charges have been framed against him under sections 342 (for wrongful confinement), 354A (sexual harassment), 370(4) (trafficking), 376(2)f (rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509/34 and 120 (B) (Criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. He has already been denied bail twice. His son, Narayan Sai has disclosed that he has raped a woman. The icing on the cake is that Surat police has files a charge-sheet on him in a bribery case. The apparent bribe was to weaken the rape case against him. He has assets worth 5,000 crores while his father stands at 10,000 crores.

This very man is the spear head of this Parent’s Day on Valentine’s Day celebration. I am not against loving and respecting one’s parents, don’t get me wrong. But need I point out that we have exclusive and popular days to thank them? And if one wants a Parent’s Day, why only on Feb 14th? There are 364 days to choose from. But it is not so much about respecting and loving parents but about curbing the “menace” of young people expressing their love for their significant others outside wedlock. It is an attack on a person’s sexuality and individuality and that it what troubles me. Some of the enlightening tweets from Asaram’s followers have been mentioned below:







India has gained a notorious reputation of being a regressive and unsafe country for women. Foreign nations are advising their citizens, especially women, against travelling to India. We were the witnesses to a gruesome rape in December 2012. Remember how bloodthirsty our nation was for those six perpetrators of rape? We took to the streets to protest against injustice, demanded death penalty for them and showed no mercy. So why are these double standards being exhibited in this self-styled god man’s case? Why am I seeing this overwhelming support for this person? The accuser is a minor girl, are we forgetting her age? If the charges are proven, he would have taken advantage of a child. Children need to be protected, not assaulted. Wake up India, you have been hitting the snooze of hypocrisy for a long time now.

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  1. Karthika

    Nice one

  2. Himanshu

    BBC news (London) compliments Asaram Bapuji’s unique initiative of “Parents Worship Day”! #HappyParentsWorshipDay

    1. The Superstitious Atheist

      Again, I don’t have a problem with Parent’s worship day. As I wrote, and if you read, I pointed out that if it has to be taken seriously mark some other day for Parent worshiping. Educate people on the cons of unprotected sex and such. Calling courtship an evil western influence is pure nonsense.
      This is a propaganda, a ploy to exert his power. Need I keep reminding that this “Bapuji” is in jail for sexual assault on a minor and his son has confessed to raping a woman? Are these the people who’ll teach me about “morality”? They can’t respect a woman, I hardly think they are on a ground to sermonise.

      And I don’t crave for BBC’s appropriation. Just because an international media house picked up on it, doesn’t make it right. Isn’t that what his followers are supposed to be fighting against? Evil west? This is loaded with irony.

    2. Himanshu

      Dear,it is not about who started what..we all know no one needs a day to express love for their parents or girlfriend, boyfriend friend etc . And you agree that love needs no specific day to tell someone that he or she loves you… BBC covered not only this story…but they have a research done which says that many teens get pregnant on valentines day across globe. So if youths spent a day with their parents, than why not call it a parents worship day and save themselves from sexual involvement.
      your forum says youth Ki awaaz…. I am also a youth, so are many millions across globe who believe in teachings of bapuji, then isn’t that awaaz ..a “youth Ki awaaz”.
      regarding confession of Sai admitting to crime,better ask police which later said nothing such statement made by Sai…although electronic media kept itself away frm broadcasting this part.
      and unless a court of law proves guilty, remember no oneis guilty… It is us all followers who want justice and truth to come out.
      do you know that Siva, who is made a partner in crime by FIR has produced proofs, CCTV copy from govt that he was not at the so called crime scene….
      anyway this is all courts duty to find truth.
      if you do not subscribe to concept of parents worship day, then so be it, you are free to follow whoever’s principles you want. But why unhappy if we say that celebrate parents worship day on 14th February….

    3. The Superstitious Atheist

      Of course it is Youth Ki Awaaz, no body is stifling your voice. You are free to refute my point and I am sure Anshul will publish your article. These are my views, YKA is giving me a platform to voice them.
      I’ll take the case of Teen Pregnancy, and if I am correct, it isn’t widespread in India. Don’t you think condoms should be distributed instead of trying to curb something. Teach them about safe sex.
      I don’t really like Valentine’s Day but there are people who do. Let them celebrate. If he isn’t guilty, he isn’t innocent either. What is a “godman” doing with crores of rupees? The issue isn’t just about the sexual assault, it is about assault on a kid. As you choose to believe in his innocence, I chose to believe in his guilt. I’ll happily issue an apology if I am proven wrong. You see, my views aren’t set in stone. I don’t like being didactic. Also, I would actually prefer if that little girl hadn’t been sexually assaulted. I have read too many cases of child abuse to wish it on anyone.

      Tell me, did you wait for the verdict of court before you had made up your mind that Nirbhaya’s rapists were guilty? Did you demand for their death penalty along with the rest? So why are we giving this man a space? You know, truth is relative. Castigating the media when they don’t agree with you, and hugging it when it does is a case of double standards.

      Let’s be honest, rich do not go to jail. We give them sympathy. This man is loved by a lot of people, I can’t understand why because I loathe him.
      Also, I have already answered what I have against V-Day being termed as Parent’s day. I’ll repeat it, it’s a power ploy, and we already have Mother’s Day and Father’s day. If I am not wrong, Parents do constitute one’s mother and father.

    4. Himanshu

      Well, regarding sexual assault thing, I would like to say that FIR do not mention rape and is supported by the medical report. Now I am more than happy to question the law protecting police department on what basis did they applied section 376.
      And suddenly if one of your colleague, friend or even an acquaintance comes out after a gap of 10, 12 years and says he/she got raped.. would you submit when you know that nothing like that happened? Well that is what’s happening in case of Narayan Sai.
      And regarding crores of rupee with a god man, we donate and donate generously because ashram and ourselves (all youths who are associated with yog vedanta sewa samiti) go to villages, tribal areas and try to provide them with shelter by building one room kitchen houses – we distribute blankets all around year to all those homeless – try to provide basic ration (rice+dal+oil and all food stuff) to those who cannot earn or are too old to go to work and earn AND remember ashram and associates have been doing it for many years now (more than a decade since i joined the movement). Dear, we never asked media to come with us when we go out and help those needy in villages/tribal areas etc. neither we were doing it to grab attention of media or be a hero organization doing good deeds, we did it because we all believed in it and were guided by Bapuji all through these years.
      Although it is tough for you, and you have your own views for anyone, but would request you ti visit and know what we are doing out little bit for the society.
      Judging someone as bad or culprit just because he/she is been accused, is not a good idea. I am also on side of that girl and would really want justice delivered, but evidences and all circumstances speak away from what media mentions on her behalf.
      And a man just cannot have millions following him, for nothing. Ashrams are open for each religion and you can go any time to observe its activities, but don’t jump to conclusions without experiencing it and going by what electronic media says.
      I again say, that we all followers sincerely hope that truth comes out and justice is delivered.
      Thanks for putting forward my voice on this forum.

    5. The Superstitious Atheist

      I’ll correct myself there and say that it was sexual assault on a kid. How is it any better than rape?
      Tell me more about section 376? I have linked the article I got it from, and I am not well versed in IPC.

      As for your second question, you do know the social stigma attached with rape cases right? And you refused to answer my question about Nirbhaya case. Does the fact change after a decade? Why won’t I believe her? Yes, I will. Narayan admitted himself that he raped, I can’t see why there’s so much confusion over it.

      Those are the records of their personal assets, I am not accusing them of corruption (though Surat police has charged them for bribery). I am accusing them of greed. If he just wants to serve, donate the whole amount. I am sure you are doing a good work and keep it up. Just don’t be so blind that you overlook the facts. Devotion is good, thoughtless devotion is not. We should be open to questioning our own beliefs, that’s how we evolve.

      Oh, millions can follow a person and still be wrong. Millions followed Hitler, they were still wrong. Number alone isn’t veracity of the truthfulness of a person.

  3. Rajiv

    What’s wrong with YouthKiAwaaz? Article has no head no tail. As you said in the beginning, you indeed are ranting!

    1. The Superstitious Atheist

      Even if I am ranting, I am talking enough sense to make up for the lack of sense in his followers.

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