Yet again with shock and despair, I watch as India and ordinary Indians go through another bout of self-inscribed pain caused by their propensity to close their minds to reason and logic when it comes to the dictates of their chosen leader. That leader in local dialect could be a Neta, Thaliavar, Guru, Baba, Ma or Mata, Pastor, Maulvi, Sadhu, Sadhvi,…. the list is endless.
We need two feet to touch and bow down to. Or two saintly hands which can rest on our heads, soothe us and allow us to leave all our worries and chant hymns in glory of the Grand Head above, be it of a Neta, Baba or Master.
Osho recognized this as a global concern for world citizens decades back when he said that men and women never grow up and the child inside never dies. In childhood it looks up to the Papa who takes care of him and in adulthood the Pope or the Pastor becomes the Big Papa whose hand their little fingers crave for to guide them through despair and darkness.
In India, the leader/King/Don/Neta/Baba/Guru/Mata, whom in short let us refer to as the Baba hereafter, occupies that sacred pedestal. Unfortunately the age old belief in superstitions, sacred practices and rituals and at times lack of education or the fears instilled in our minds by the elders, make these leaders become God like for us and we start believing in their miraculous powers to set right everything that endangers our chosen cocoons and ghettos.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim is not the first Baba who would get away with rape to still have millions of followers routing for him. Or even perhaps murder. There are many Babas and leaders who have been more or equally pathetic like him. And these are the motley few who have been caught by the ever shrinking hands of the law of the land. Most roamed free and will continue to roam free in every nook and corner of India. Ram Rahim is also not going to be the last one as there are many more Babas eager to leave their dirty footprints in the minds of common Indians.
I do not despair for the depravity of these Babas. Or leaders of any type. They are not the cause of concern and putting blame on them for the depths we are touching in our lives and would further drop down to in times to come, will be absolutely illogical and wrong. They are not the root but fruits of depravity of a society.
The Babas only play on your fears. YOU are the cause and reason for their existence. YOU and your fears and impotence make them powerful as you transfer your reasoning and power to them and they use the collective to rule over your minds and souls. YOU, yourself are the reason of India’s shame.
I look at Ram Rahim and then at the photographs of leaders including Chief Ministers, community leaders, film personalities, religious leaders and above all ordinary public falling at his feet or bowing down to him and feel how Indians themselves made a megalomaniac out of an imposter.
And this is not about uneducated people.
I clearly remember just about a decade back when I was in Delhi and was invited by an educated family to attend a religious evening being led by another extremely popular Baba. The entire area was alive with thousands and thousands of energetic and happy devotees looking forward to his blessings. My wife told me clearly that all my sins of not bowing down to the nearest idol or Baba as yet would be washed away if I attend that discourse. I would have still let go but for extreme family pressure and the curiosity of seeing how mankind behaves. In the centre of it all sat on Golden seats, the Baba and his family. I would not remember what the words were uttered but watched in shock as every few minutes a thal, a large plate filled with water would be brought in his presence by the devotees and Baba would rest his feet on that and Lo! That water would become ‘Charan-amrit’, the pure nectar to be drunk by devotees to attain salvation. That water would then be circulated to all and with awe and respect, people would strive for it with their stretched hands, drink it in pure delight and sprinkle it on their heads and on their brethren. One look at my eyes filled with disgust stopped my wife from doing anything like that to me when she could fetch her rightful nectar but the children did get blessed on this particular day.
I also remember when I attended Pan-IIT in Mumbai, an event of IIT Alumni, the so called intelligent, cream of the nation and business leaders of various corporate and scientific bodies. A Baba was a guest of honor and was lecturing on spirituality and how to use the power of meditation and religious hymns to purify and uplift our sinful living. Within minutes, the gathering of more than thousand intelligentsia of India were spell bound and following his every word as the golden gospel. When he told us to close our eyes and silently chant a hymn and later asked how calm and blessed we felt, almost the entire complex erupted with exclamations of people who had just experienced spiritual orgasm. Alas the sinful writer was again deprived of such joy and had to face much agony at the site of the present and future of India, the apostles of scientific vision succumbing to the hard sell of a person who was a master of his art of con.
I remember the riots against the Sikhs started after the death of Indira Gandhi in my presence by the local Netas in Dehradun and how a group of mourners became riotous mob in a matter of a few minutes. Neta-giri, Baba-giri and Dada-giri easily transformed into Bhai-giri and gunda-giri in moments leaving to a genocide which is a scar on India’s face till date.
I face vitriol and remember every day in the last few years whenever I speak up against an ordinary person with deep and clearly defined political ambitions for which he is willing to go to any length, who has been converted into a powerful leader, looked up by some as the Messiah, their God or Avatar of the Gods. His army of Bhakths who troll and abuse every single comment and ensure that logic is set aside to hate and fear mongering, ensure that sound of silence and total surrender has become music to the ears of modern Indian.
No my friend it is not Ram Rahim or Asaram or Sakhsi Maharaj who can say or do anything and yet get away with it. It is YOU who have allowed them to become what they are.
They have no super powers which make them rise above all. YOU have feet of clay which fall further down and make you smaller and smaller in their presence.
Twenty nine lives lost and still counting is just a number in India. Heard and forgotten till the next count starts. Property worth Billions of Rupees destroyed, the nation in fear and turmoil, all this has no relevance for the people used to Acchee din, the good days. After all it is back to the Ram Rajya. Actually Gurmit and Rahim’s Rajya too to add credence to it and making it universally acceptable.
Quo vadis India? I don’t know and it is clear that Indians also do not know. Neither care.
Ordinary citizens will cry foul, there would be social media outcry and hot post meal discussions or over a couple of drinks and then the issue will die down. Off course the politicians would remain tight lipped as they would have to run to the similar group of Babas at the time of next election to garner their vote banks. Guess what? You the follower is part of that vote bank.
Gurmeet-Ram-Rahim may become a chapter in history though it is too early to write his epitaph.
But from the ashes would rise another Baba or perhaps dozens more of them who will be our poster boys till the time of next scandal.
After all Indians love their Bhais, Netas and Babas as much as they love their spices and Bollywood!
In the land of Bhakths and their blind faith, there is no place for dissent. It is their way or highway, read Pakistan, for non-followers read anti-nationals.
For the few who do not accept this and want real change, do not look for a Dayanand, Vivekanand or Krishna to take birth and set things right. Or left or centre if you wish to be technically correct! We will have to become our own enlightenment, lighten our lives and see through this darkness and deceit and walk into the world of truth.
Only you my friend, can light your own lamp. Only you my friend can be your own savior if you believe in reason and logic. Not your friendly neighborhood Baba!
Love Babagiri? Be your own Baba of knowledge and truth! Amen!
Posted in Times of India on 26th August 2017. Link below-
Well said. As long as we vote on divisive issues of caste , region , religion etc etc and ignore merit , these Baba’s and vote banks will remain important .We have to be blamed for our state of affairs. People get the leadership which they deserve. I have seen elections from very close quarters in so called highly intellectual surroundings and my experience suggests in India ,even now hardly 20 % people vote on merit of individual, making these people powerful.