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Swami Nithyanand: Founding of a Hindu Rashtra

Ram Puniyani 18 Dec 2019

Swami nityananda

Religion is probably the most complex human phenomenon. For centuries, philosophers have tried to understand and define it. Different commentators have emphasized on its many facets. Probably one of the most comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon has been put forward by Karl Marx, when he writes “Man makes Religion…This state, this society produces religion, a reversed World consciousness, because they are a reversed World…Religion is the reversed theory of the World, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in a popular form…religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless World, just as it is the spirit of the spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”

From its last sentence, the phrase, ‘opium of the people’ has become very popular, but it does not give the total picture. The richness of this formulation has remained untapped, particularly its ‘sigh of theoppressed creature’ has not been explored much. All this comes to one’s mind when one is witnessing the intervention of religion, in an aggressive form, in most spheres of life. On the one hand, we see that the politics to control oil resources comes up in the name of ‘Islamic terrorism’, nationalism has been mixed up with religion, there is an intensification of blind faith, and at yet another level, we have the proliferation of godmen, a phenomenon just a few decades old, becoming stronger in last three decades, in particular.

While religion did have multiple roles all through, the major one had been that of the clergy on the one hand and saints on the other. The clergy was with those in power (King-Pope, Raja-Rajguru and Nawab-Shahi Imam) while the saints, like the Bhakti and Sufi saints in India, stood with the common people, talking about practicing humanism and opposing social inequality. The present phenomenon of godmen is unique in more ways than one. In the changed political scenario, their role is not exactly that of the clergy of the previous centuries. They have a support base among the rich and the not-so-rich, both. While they talk in moral and spiritual terms, most of them do have an underbelly, where a lot of suspicious activities can be discerned very clearly.

Taking recourse to various means to dodge the law for their illegal activities has been the norm with many of them. We see a new process in Swami Nithyanand. He was born A. Raja Sekharan and adorned the saffron robes to become Nithyanand. Hehas a large following, both within and outside India. He was involved in rape and murder cases, like many other of his ilk. Unlike others, who first tried to escape the arms of law, he chose another path, founding a new country. Nithyanand bought an island, near Trinidad and Tobago, from Equador, on the West Coast of South America and declared it to be a ‘Hindu Nation’ named Kailassa, a place where persecuted Hindus can buy citizenship with heavy fees and will be able to practice the Hindu religion.

It has already made its national flag, chosen its national languages and other symbols, with website to boot. It has named its Prime Minister and a Cabinet, which will take decisions about the affairs of this Hindu nation. One is not very aware of godmen like tendencies in Islam or Christianity, barring the likes of Benny Hinn, while politics in the name of Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism and Buddhist fundamentalism is flourishing in the world, more so in West and South Asia.

Prior to Nithyanand, we had seen how first Asaram Bapu, and then Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insaan were arrested with great difficulty. Hundreds died when Ram Rahim was arrested. One courageous journalist, Chhatrapati Ramchandra was murdered as he was bringing out the happenings of Dera Sacha Sauda, the empire of Ram Rahim Singh Insaan. Gurmeet was given lakhs in donation by Haryana BJP Government, and the whole Cabinet of the previous ministry visited Dera to seek his blessings. In Asaram’s Ashram also, there was a long queue of political heavy weights, including our present Prime Minster.

Swami Nithyanand has the backing of powerful money bags, many from Gujarat. Apart from the affluent followers, the ordinary people also follow these paddlers of faith. Those who died while protesting against the arrest of their Guru were ordinary people. Recently, while on the way to Panipat, my escort pointed out a spot and told me that just a small distance from the road, is the jail where Gurmeet is lodged. His devotees, while travelling; stop on that spot near the jail and pay their respects before proceeding further. What shook me the most was the brutal murder of the brave journalist,Ramchandra, who, despite threats to his life, carried on with what a journalist should do - reveal the truth about Gurmeet.

Sexual escapades of these godmen can fill volumes, and their victims have painful tales to tell. There are others in this group, who specialize in different tricks. We had Satya Sai Baba, sitting over an empire of hundreds of crores; we have seen the Yoga Guru Ramdev making a transition from Yoga to Patanjali enterprise and being counted among the rich entrepreneurs of the country. The godwomen are fewer in number but they are very much here, Maa Amritanand Mayee, RadheMaa being two such, who have made headlines on occasions.

Surely, social scientists do need to burn the midnight oil to tell us what this new phenomenon means for the society. While those named here are the leading biggies, surely there are hundreds of them flourishing in this business, under the patronage of the state and the affluent of the society, which is mostly looking away. The political parties ignore their violations with an eye on the vote bank. All this is happening in the name of faith, religion. Critiquing them does not gel well with the powers that be nor with large sections of the society, which are in awe of their apparently spiritual powers, but more than that, their social powers, which insulate them despite their illegal and immoral deeds. 


RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Globally remove links of video defaming Ramdev, Delhi HC directs Facebook, Google, Twitter
  2. Writers and Scholars Come Out in Support of Film Critic Kathi Mahesh
  3. The Karnataka Anti-Superstition Act and its Impact
  4. Victim of repeated rape, young woman slices off godman’s genitals; “brave girl”, says Kerala CM
  5. One More Godman, Alwar-based FalahariMaharaj accused of Rape, Victim Motivated by Ram Rahim case, Arrested

Swami Nithyanand: Founding of a Hindu Rashtra

Swami nityananda

Religion is probably the most complex human phenomenon. For centuries, philosophers have tried to understand and define it. Different commentators have emphasized on its many facets. Probably one of the most comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon has been put forward by Karl Marx, when he writes “Man makes Religion…This state, this society produces religion, a reversed World consciousness, because they are a reversed World…Religion is the reversed theory of the World, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in a popular form…religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless World, just as it is the spirit of the spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”

From its last sentence, the phrase, ‘opium of the people’ has become very popular, but it does not give the total picture. The richness of this formulation has remained untapped, particularly its ‘sigh of theoppressed creature’ has not been explored much. All this comes to one’s mind when one is witnessing the intervention of religion, in an aggressive form, in most spheres of life. On the one hand, we see that the politics to control oil resources comes up in the name of ‘Islamic terrorism’, nationalism has been mixed up with religion, there is an intensification of blind faith, and at yet another level, we have the proliferation of godmen, a phenomenon just a few decades old, becoming stronger in last three decades, in particular.

While religion did have multiple roles all through, the major one had been that of the clergy on the one hand and saints on the other. The clergy was with those in power (King-Pope, Raja-Rajguru and Nawab-Shahi Imam) while the saints, like the Bhakti and Sufi saints in India, stood with the common people, talking about practicing humanism and opposing social inequality. The present phenomenon of godmen is unique in more ways than one. In the changed political scenario, their role is not exactly that of the clergy of the previous centuries. They have a support base among the rich and the not-so-rich, both. While they talk in moral and spiritual terms, most of them do have an underbelly, where a lot of suspicious activities can be discerned very clearly.

Taking recourse to various means to dodge the law for their illegal activities has been the norm with many of them. We see a new process in Swami Nithyanand. He was born A. Raja Sekharan and adorned the saffron robes to become Nithyanand. Hehas a large following, both within and outside India. He was involved in rape and murder cases, like many other of his ilk. Unlike others, who first tried to escape the arms of law, he chose another path, founding a new country. Nithyanand bought an island, near Trinidad and Tobago, from Equador, on the West Coast of South America and declared it to be a ‘Hindu Nation’ named Kailassa, a place where persecuted Hindus can buy citizenship with heavy fees and will be able to practice the Hindu religion.

It has already made its national flag, chosen its national languages and other symbols, with website to boot. It has named its Prime Minister and a Cabinet, which will take decisions about the affairs of this Hindu nation. One is not very aware of godmen like tendencies in Islam or Christianity, barring the likes of Benny Hinn, while politics in the name of Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism and Buddhist fundamentalism is flourishing in the world, more so in West and South Asia.

Prior to Nithyanand, we had seen how first Asaram Bapu, and then Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insaan were arrested with great difficulty. Hundreds died when Ram Rahim was arrested. One courageous journalist, Chhatrapati Ramchandra was murdered as he was bringing out the happenings of Dera Sacha Sauda, the empire of Ram Rahim Singh Insaan. Gurmeet was given lakhs in donation by Haryana BJP Government, and the whole Cabinet of the previous ministry visited Dera to seek his blessings. In Asaram’s Ashram also, there was a long queue of political heavy weights, including our present Prime Minster.

Swami Nithyanand has the backing of powerful money bags, many from Gujarat. Apart from the affluent followers, the ordinary people also follow these paddlers of faith. Those who died while protesting against the arrest of their Guru were ordinary people. Recently, while on the way to Panipat, my escort pointed out a spot and told me that just a small distance from the road, is the jail where Gurmeet is lodged. His devotees, while travelling; stop on that spot near the jail and pay their respects before proceeding further. What shook me the most was the brutal murder of the brave journalist,Ramchandra, who, despite threats to his life, carried on with what a journalist should do - reveal the truth about Gurmeet.

Sexual escapades of these godmen can fill volumes, and their victims have painful tales to tell. There are others in this group, who specialize in different tricks. We had Satya Sai Baba, sitting over an empire of hundreds of crores; we have seen the Yoga Guru Ramdev making a transition from Yoga to Patanjali enterprise and being counted among the rich entrepreneurs of the country. The godwomen are fewer in number but they are very much here, Maa Amritanand Mayee, RadheMaa being two such, who have made headlines on occasions.

Surely, social scientists do need to burn the midnight oil to tell us what this new phenomenon means for the society. While those named here are the leading biggies, surely there are hundreds of them flourishing in this business, under the patronage of the state and the affluent of the society, which is mostly looking away. The political parties ignore their violations with an eye on the vote bank. All this is happening in the name of faith, religion. Critiquing them does not gel well with the powers that be nor with large sections of the society, which are in awe of their apparently spiritual powers, but more than that, their social powers, which insulate them despite their illegal and immoral deeds. 


RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Globally remove links of video defaming Ramdev, Delhi HC directs Facebook, Google, Twitter
  2. Writers and Scholars Come Out in Support of Film Critic Kathi Mahesh
  3. The Karnataka Anti-Superstition Act and its Impact
  4. Victim of repeated rape, young woman slices off godman’s genitals; “brave girl”, says Kerala CM
  5. One More Godman, Alwar-based FalahariMaharaj accused of Rape, Victim Motivated by Ram Rahim case, Arrested

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