The recent shocking incident at Hisar in Haryana of Rampal a Cheat, Conman and Man of Satan, claiming to be a Man of God challenging the might of the State with his private army and gullible disciples especially women and children as human shields is a wakeup call for the civil society to be alert to the dangers of these cults. It seems all the more outrageous that this could happen in 21st Century India so close to the National Capital.
Once again we should be thankful to the judiciary for upholding the constitution and bringing this criminal on his knees and restoring faith in the authority of the State.
What are the hard lessons we need to learn from this incident:
- The modus operandi of all these fraudulent Gurus is to create a large following of gullible citizens especially of vulnerable people in the weak moments of their lives, by hypnotizing them with their oratory skills, brain wash them, create a cult like atmosphere, use coercion and financial incentivisation for selfish benefits.
- With a mass following, blatantly break the law with impunity, grab land, money, extort people and build fortresses and private armies in the name of Ashrams with utter disregard for the law of the land.
- With the money, muscle power and large followings, buy political and bureaucratic patronage become the ‘UNTOUCHABLES’ of our Society and not be touched by the law of the land.
- This is a menace we need to tackle as seriously as the ISIS problem, Naxal problem other terrorist problems, lest we become a banana republic with no respect for the law of the land and authority of the State.
How do we tackle this menace?
This can only happen by a vigilant society which is on the lookout for these fake Godmen; awareness and education programs to eradicate blind faith and close scrutiny through law enforcement, law and order and revenue authorities, in scrutinizing the dealings of these organizations and the people behind it. Come down heavily on them, well before they reach the kind of status that Rampal attained.
This problem is not unique to us alone and has been an issue in developed countries too, the classical example was the cult figure David Koresh in Waco, Texas, USA in the nineties who was brought down by the law enforcement authorities after a long stake out which unfortunately cost the lives of scores of people. Fortunately, for us this entire episode was concluded with minimal loss of life compared to the tragedy in Texas, in spite of thousands of people being held hostage in the Ashram premises.
However even a single loss of life is precious and our heart goes out to these families and we do hope an enquiry will identify and punish the guilty.
Let us all work together to free our society of these dangerous criminal elements and organizations, and protect the true Saints and of course the common man.
Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, MD, FRCP(London)
Chairman – Med Adv Board & Medical Director – MHEPL,
Manipal Hospitals, 98, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore-560017
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the writer and not of the hospital.
Image Credits: www.jagatgururampalji.org