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Why do Indians have a blind reverence towards their gurus?

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 India is a land of mystical traditions, it has had its own history of kings, gods and goddesses, as well as the fights between the gods and the asurs (demons).

People follow and perform multiple rituals to please gods and goddesses so that they can live in peace and be wealthy and prosperous. As the God still belongs to the unknown and unseen category, the gap prevalent between the people and the gods is filled in by the so-called gurus or the self-proclaimed godmen.

In the light of the existing beliefs, these godmen assure people to solve all their problems and grant them with perfect solutions. There are the real ones and the fake ones and trust me it is very difficult for the common man to distinguish between the two.

There is another category, “Self-styled” and some of the most popular self-styled gurus are Asaram bapu, Swami Nithyanand, Nirmal baba, Sant Rampal, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who have seized the opportunity and created blind followers, having misused their faith to carry out illegal and antisocial practices like rapes, drug dealings, murders and so on. Most of them are even politically affiliated as their followers are a huge vote bank for the parties.

What is shocking is the fact that despite all these controversies, accusations and even imprisonments of the gurus for disgusting criminal acts, the followers of these fake gurus are ready to leave their brains out and follow their gurus with blind reverence, They hold protest rallies, dharnas, seek for their guru’s release, and hold them as innocent even after they have been found guilty.

Why? What makes these gurus so infallible for their followers?

According to the Throb appa social opinions platform from Throb Ventures, 22% people voted that this reverence for fake gurus is due to the insecurities and lack of self belief, especially when one is lost amidst all problems and finds a ray of hope under the shelter of these gurus. A question was asked with options, on what made the followers persist with their blind faith, most of the people opted for multiple reasons like upbringing and culture, lack of education, following the crowd mentality, communal pressure, etc, as the reasons for developing blind faith towards the same.

Let us understand this, that the relationship between the guru and disciple is of totality and complete submission of oneself, which is exploited by fake gurus. From mahabharata times, where in the shishya is ready to lay his life before the feet of his guru, till date only the modes and the reasons have changed. The idea of complete self submission remains.

One should understand that by blindly following to these beliefs, they are digging a pit for themselves to fall in. Faith is important, but not at the cost of one’s rationale. It is high time that people become aware of these stark realities and stop supporting criminals dressed as sadhus. Take a leap of faith, but then somewhere one has to open one’s eyes and look around. May be you have found a real guru, lucky you, or maybe you are in a swamp. The fact remains, do a reality check somewhere down the road.

Know more and voice your opinions on the Throb App. Get it from the Google Play Store

 

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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