India and Indians have triumphed worldwide. We are a proud country with powerful resources, rich cultural diversity, intellectual human capital, we are the fastest growing economy, and have the third largest army in the world. 21st century Indians have top space programs, eradicated polio, penetrated into almost whole world and called for a broad global strategy to tackle terror, while at the same time, some illogically notions co-exist parallelly in our society.
Despite being accelerating on various foot holds, our society seems to be in nascent stage. Here I am talking about the self-styled godmen who continue to mark their strong presence in Indian social setup. Some of them have played a negative role in undermining the authority of ‘Dharam’, moulding it as per their convenience and also keeping themselves above it. If need occurs, they never shy away in unleashing their power and terror using their private army, absconding a large number of their followers. In recent years, some of them have tried to keep the state administration at bay using guns, Molotov cocktails, and even human shield, at times; hence, completely disregarding the law of the land. The issue here is that when at one point of time the world is recognizing India as the next superpower, why such pirated’ babas’ still enjoy a larger-than-life image in the eyes of their followers.
A well-known western scholar- Fred Riggs has talked about a social model- ‘Fused-Prismatic-Diffracted Model’ i.e. the under-developed, developing & developed societies respectively. Indian society is a Prismatic society, i.e., a society- in – transition which carries with it the elements of both fused (underdeveloped) and diffracted (developed) societies. The success tales of India in the field of science, IT, Space, defense etc. are the features of a advance/progressive society whereas the fanatical attitude of the people for their ‘dharma-gurus’ is certainly a disturbing element of underdeveloped Indian society.
Since ancient times, Indian soil has been seen as a land of ‘sants’, ‘mahatmas’, ‘dharma gurus’ which can be confirmed by revisiting the histories of different religions of Indian origin. It was popularly quoted that ‘Guru Bina Gyan Nahi’ (without guru enlightenment is not possible). So, it seems to be backing the successful existence of various self-styled godmen and religious cult leaders in Indian society. Off-course, there are a lot many factors responsible for it. The poverty, which is perhaps the biggest reason for dragging poor people in the trap of such ‘babas’. In addition to it; illiteracy, unemployment and disturbed mental health or depression can be largely linked to increasing strength of followers of these ‘babas’.
In our society the ‘Satsang’ ie. The company of a saint has been seen as a tool for the removal of all sorrows, pains, ailment which people adopt as a shortcut for their happiness. They believe that only ‘chamtkars’ of ‘babas’ can help them get rid of their problems and the fake ‘babas’ took advantage of these things and through their agents, they get successful in their mean motives.
All this shows that our society is really in rough waters. Our development model is certainly not doing well evenly. Such uneven development becomes a catalyst in mushrooming of self-styled godmen. The need of the hour is not to impose westernization or any western model of social restructuring & reformation on Indian societies but to study the social environment of India and frame an indigenous model for our own development.
The historical journey which Indian society has traveled is totally different from the west and the ideology and philosophy of people at our home turf cannot be totally ignored. There is a need to give a scientific outlook to the Indian masses. It is a high time to tell them to see ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ behind any false notion or practice. The role of government and youth, in eliminating these social evils, has the upper hand who not only for themselves but for their near-clear ones can create some good examples for social reformation. Law should be made in place to create deterrence among such ill notion beliefs and practices in society. Likewise, our government must ensure its strong enforcement and implementation.
No society is perfect, almost all societies have to pass through the same stages of development. If tactfully handled and given the right direction to these prismatic societies; the diffracted colors displayed by it can certainly bring out a beautiful rainbow.