In the middle of heavy security, CBI court on 25th August, has announced Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh convicted in rape case. The decision of his sentence will be announced on Monday, reports say.
Well, apart from this, I have something else to share with you.
From a Dera chief to a movie actor, a singer, a writer, director, and a social reformer Ram Rahim or the self-proclaimed Godman (as he likes to call himself) has always been in the news in some or the other way. His series of movies MSG, MSG: The warrior and MSG 2 have been a power packed laughter shows.
His movies show him wearing fancy colourful clothes, riding a motorcycle, performing heroic feats and thrashing bad folks with some indescribable weapons. But there is much more to his self-mockery and utterly talented side. There is a dark side too. His socio-spiritual organization Dera Sacha Sauda has been involved in some very serious controversies.
Singh has been alleged of molesting a female follower of the Dera. Not just this, he has also been groped in cases of castration of around 400 followers of his. Though he has portrayed himself as a person who lives for his people, his organization has been involved in several social programs, such as cleanliness campaigns, blood donation drives, tree planting, disaster relief, and support for transgender people. Might be a cover up or good approach, who knows?
Following are the some brought in light controversies of the Guru, and what happens to them later on. Read ahead to know more of them.
A controversy triggered when an advertisement was aired wherein Gurmeet Ram Rahim was shown wearing an attire resembling the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, that left the community fuming. Taking the cue of his decreasing followers, Ram Rahim tendered an apology to highest Sikh body Akal Takht.
A case was also filed in the Sirsa court in 2009 and Bathinda court in 2014 but was later dismissed as per his apology.
In 2016, comedian Kiku Sharda also known as Palak or Bumper or Baccha Yadav, was arrested in Mumbai by the Haryana Police for mimicking Singh on a show. He had to spend 14 days in judicial custody in Kaithal, Haryana, even as he maintained that he was merely following the script. The case was filed by a Dera follower.
Dera Sacha Sauda was founded in 1948 by Shah Mastana Maharaj in the Sirsa region of Haryana. Later on, it was passed on to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, through following generations.
Another case was filed by Hansraj Chauhan, a sadhu in the organization pertaining to alleged castration of 400 sadhus of Dera as per the orders of the Dera chief. This was done under the name of God saying that it was a way to the union with the Lord. A petition was filed in the High Court on July 17, 2012. Chauhan also alleged that on the dictate of the Dera chief, the team of doctors at Dera Hospital impregnated the sadhus, and were said to be seeing God.
The self-styled Godman was charged with rape accusations of a female devotee in 1999. It was under the Haryana and Punjab police, but it was the CBI who later on took over the investigation in 2002. On 17 August, the special CBI court of Panchkula concluded hearing in the case and on 25th August, court announced his conviction.
The Censor Board refused to pass Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan's movie MSG: Messenger of God claiming that it is just an endorsement of the self-proclaimed God-Man. After a series of revisions, the movie was finally released with an altered name as MSG: The Messenger.
Former chairperson of Censor Board Leela Samson had resigned after Gurmeet Ram Rahim's movie MSG: Messenger of God was given clearance. Following Samson's resignation, another board member Ira Bhaskar also resigned from the board. Did you get the clue? The connection seems nasty.
This case is also related to the sexual exploitation of Sadhvis. Ranjeet Singh was a member of the management committee of Dera, due to which he was aware of all activities. He was found missing but the facts state that he was assassinated on July 10, 2003. Since then, this matter is still pending in the court.
In Punjab, various Sikh organizations came out to protest against the movie's release. The Akal Takht sought a ban on the movie by the Godman who had earlier hurt the sentiments of the community when he had allegedly dressed up like the Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
The movie was then released amidst various protests and tension in the state of Punjab and Haryana. Where tight security was spread all over the alerted areas, the police also tried hard not to let these protests turn into a bigger tornado.
According to sources, Dera Sacha Sauda has about 5 crore supporters who are known as 'premis'. There are more than 35 lakh Dera devotees in the state, 70 per cent of them are in the Malwa region.
If you think you now know enough of his deeds, then you might want to read further. The Guru is no saint and that he has enough statements against him. After some of his secret deeds were leaked out by a journalist, the chief very cunningly got the dirt swept under the carpet.
Journalist Ram Chandra Chattrapati, who was an editor of the local newspaper 'Pura Sach' from Sirsa, started publishing news related to Dera Sacha Sauda in his newspaper. An infuriated Rahim ordered his men to take care of the matter and the journo was found dead later. His son then filed a case and it was handed over to the CBI. The decision was on hold but the CBI held Guru, accused.
Protests and rallies erupted soon after the news of MSG being cleared for release flowed in the market. The protesters etched that the Dera chief was projecting himself as God through his movie misleading his followers and the masses.
May God bless him!