Friday, August 7, 2015

The Fake Baba and Chit Fund: Only the fools follow the God Men/Women...

I have kept myself away from commenting on the crazy affair that has been going on in our TV channels and newspapers in relation to a Fake Baba (Godman) called 'Sarathi Baba.' However, the obsession that is now visible in this connection for the last few days forces me to write a few lines. Sorry, it may be a longer post than usual.

How it all began? A self styled God Man was caught in CCTV of a Hyderabad hotel in an unusual attire. He was wearing a jeans, a shirt and a sun glass unlike his 'Baba avataar attire' that people (his followers) are accustomed to see him in. One particular TV channel got the images and it became a 'sensational news' running almost 24x7. The channel claimed it investigated and found out that the Baba had checked in the hotel with a girl whom he claimed his wife. The hotel bills were also obtained which showed that the Baba supposedly drank foreign brand liquors, chicken and all that he is not known for in his public life.

The news spread like communal riot from one channel to almost all just in a day. People started protesting on streets, in front of the Baba's ashsams, in social media and in all possible places. Activists were seen spitting on car of an office bearer of Baba's organisation who was in Bhubaneswar to do a press meet, facebook and whatsapp got loaded with N number of photohopped images of Baba in different positions: sometimes holding a girl on his lap, sometimes with the girl who was seen with Baba in that Hyderabad hotel and all kinds of derogatory slogans/messages written over them. The protests have taken political colours and the police action against advocates, workers of political parties and protesting common people have been inhuman and illegal.

People have come up with several theories to establish the Baba's link with the ruling BJD, the local SP's (Superintendent of Police) involvement in extracting money from the Baba to protect him against all his illicit activities, so on and so forth. Media investigations have claimed that the Baba has been involved in chit fund, in illegally holding property, having black money and all that one can attribute to such dhongi (hypocrite) people.

The Baba it seems has been arrested last night owing to public pressure. The media is still abuzz with Baba news and several important news are now hiding from the screens and papers. Of course, we are now used to this phenomenon.

Now let's try to dissect this media and public trial with some logic. At the first instance, as far as my knowledge goes, any citizen of India can go in any presentable attire and stay in a hotel by paying the charges. Baba did that. I don't know what made the girl to accompany him to stay there but am deeply saddened by the way the girl's name and photographs have been used in both mainstream and social media. It is out and out derogatory and abuses her right to life and privacy.

Some media houses are claiming to have unearthed a great evidence by showing that they have obtained flight tickets that confirms Baba in fact flew to Hyderabad with the girl. What a great Khulasha (discovery) that!!! But they forget that the Baba has every right to buy a ticket and fly in an airplane.

Now coming back to the girl. Are we raising legal issues about her being seen with the Baba or we are just behaving like moral police? Let me make it simple. At the first instance, did the girl raise a complain that she was abducted, hypnotized, forced into a sexual relationship or anything of that sort? What she says now(post this episode) in defense or to avoid being harassed by such trials is a different issue. Initially, as it is seen, she had no complaints. And she is no minor either, as we can see from media reports.
So, legally in this case, Baba has not committed any crime. At least I believe so. However, the issue is about faith. The Baba has played with sentiments of lakhs of his followers for sure. But who follows such Babas? The fools!

The agitation and obsessed media activism has made another khulasha about the Baba. He has been involved in many illegal activities including perhaps chit fund scams. But do we believe the authorities did not know about it? All such illegal dens of our God Men are well protected by the authorities (throughout the country). The chit fund scams flourished due to fool investors and because the scamsters got protection from the govt. authorities including police. But we keep silent until some such incidence happens. In fact many so called intellectuals maintain a criminal silence even as such frauds flourish in their neighborhood for years. So the media trial has a positive angle.

One good thing this episode has done is to bring the Baba's illicit doings under scanner, for the moment though. All the complaints against him, that were conveniently ignored and suppressed by the govt., may get a new lease of life post this episode of khulasha. However, will it be the end of road for such Dhongi Babas and to the foolishness called 'blind faith.' A big NO!

I only feel sorry for the way the girl has been treated...

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda

No comments:

Post a Comment