After the recent controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, the supreme body of Hindu sadhus, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has created a list of 14 ‘fake babas’ and sought a crackdown on “rootless cult leaders” by bringing in law.
While releasing the list, the parishad’s president, Swami Narendra Giri said, “We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis.”
Check out the list of 14 babas below:
Asaram Bapu: The 76-year-old was arrested in 2013 after a teenage devotee accused him of raping her. Other victims also accused him of rape later. Although in jail for rape and criminal intimidation, Asaram have thousands of supporters waiting for him to get released.
Radhe Maa: A Punjabi woman, Sukhwinder Kaur is popularly known as Radhe Maa. She hosts regular religious events at her Bhawan located in Mumbai. The court cases are already going against her after number of complaints.
Sachchidanand Giri: known as ‘Builder Baba’, Sachin Dutta alias Sachidanand Giri had been named an offender in a case registered with the Economic Offence Wing of the Delhi Police. He was later arrested from his house in Lucknow.
Gurmeet Singh: Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Singh was recently sentenced to 20 years’ jail after being convicted of raping two women followers. Secret tunnels, including one that linked the jailed sect chief residence with female disciples’ hostel, illegal arms, and an illegal firecracker factory were found during a search at his headquarters.
Vinodanand Jha aka Swami Omji is another self-proclaimed godman who faces charges under the Arms Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in other matters along with other charges.
Nirmal Baba appeared on television and used to host a show, ‘Third Eye of Nirmal Baba’. The Jharkhand-raised self-styled godman has a huge following regardless of providing advice bordering on the absurd.
Ichchadhari Bhimanand: Shivmurti Dwivedi was arrested in 2010 for operating a sex racket. Dwivedi, alias Icchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot, was booked under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Swami Aseemanand: Swami Aseemanand was recently acquitted together with six others in the 2007 Ajmer blast case by a special court that gave them a “benefit of doubt.”
Narayan Sai: The son of Asaram, Sai is in jail for allegedly raping a Surat-based woman. She was allegedly raped when she was living at Asaram’s ashram.
Rampal: Five bodies were found by police after they searched ashram of a self-styled godman, Rampal in Haryana. The police were seeking Rampal’s arrest after he ignored court’s order to present in court for answering charges including conspiracy to murder, inciting mobs and contempt of court. Rampal considers himself an incarnation of 15th-century poet, Kabir.
Acharya Kushmuni: The national spokesperson of Akhil Bhartiya Dandi Sanyasi Prabudh Samiti, Kushmuni alleged most of the people in the akhada had criminal cases against them after the list of fake babas.
Others: Others three babas on the list are Brahaspati Giri, Om Namah Shivay Baba and Malkhan Singh. Giri allegedly tried to get control of temples of Alkhnath Trust in Uttar Pradesh.