The cult of outrage

Posted by Vijay Srinivas
August 31, 2017

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I was awestruck by the fantabulous verdicts from the courts: striking down the practice of triple talaq, making privacy a fundamental right and stating ‘Godman’ Ram Rahim guilty. The states of Punjab and Haryana were not at normalcy during the pronunciation of verdict of this Baba Ram Rahim. The day was simply a chaotic mess. Thousand of Indians went on rampage in support of this so called Guru Ram Rahim.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, an ostentatious, self proclaimed spiritual guru was found guilty and sentenced to 20 year jail term for raping two of his sadhvis in 2002. The hands of the law are longer and even this case took 15 years for justice to come.

Ram Rahim, the one with long hairdos is not a typical Guru as such. He loves riding bikes and wearing funky shiny garbs. He even loves being called the “guru of bling” or the “messenger of god”.

The Dera Chief is filthy rich and has a lot of political connections across the country. The congress party once even adorned him with Z plus security which is the India’s highest security cover. He was even one of the key main supporters of BJP during the Lok Sabha polls. This rapist is also suspected in a case of mysteriously killing a local Journalist who reported the rape complaint against Ram Rahim. Worst of all is that the guru had even convinced 400 followers to cut their testicles to be closer to the almighty. In simple words, Ram Rahim is extremely dangerous and this verdict of stating him guilty itself is a courageous and powerful act of judicial courage.

There were lots of dramatic events that took place after the verdict. They were really outlandish. Though it was a sheer abdication of duty by the BJP government in Haryana, it was weird to see how people were emotionally carried out and supported this rape convict. The godman arrived in luxurious car with a cavalcade of more than hundreds of cars and violence broke soon after he was pronounced guilty. Barbaric attacks on the media persons, outdoor broadcasting vans were set on fire, police stations were burnt, the army was called in for flag march and high alert was made across three states including the capital city Delhi. More than 30 people were dead and many were severely injured.

Marched in support of a rapist? How senseless could that be in this world’s largest democracy? Let’s think about the woman who expressed her bravery on her letter to the then prime minister Vajpayee in 2002. She described how the so called ‘guru’ laid on the bed raped her watching a pornographic film. This happened multiple times and she even documented the lives of other women at the Dera Sacha Sauda. Masses of people led candle marches for Nirbhaya, the girl who was gang raped in a bus in Delhi and now the mob marched in support of a rapist. More than 60 children died on the auspicious day of Krishna Janmashtami but did we ever march for those innocent minds? How worse could that be to come forward in support of this fraudster?

This phenomenon of synthetic godmanship did not start nor is it going to end with this Baba. But exposures of fraudsters like Ram Rahim makes us realize that there is a hope for future. I think it’s high time that Indians should stop believing in these cheats who inject venom in the holy name of spirituality.

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