Tanay Akash, B.A. LLB. (H.), School of Law and Governance, Central University of South
“The best thing about time is that it changes”. This quote seems to be a nightmare for the self-proclaimed god and the messenger of god “Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan”.
Bringing an end to the 15 years long wait the founder of ‘Dera Saccha Sauda’ “Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan” is convicted for 20 years (10 years each in two rape cases which is to be run consecutively). A man of strong will power with millions of followers, was never been expected to commit such work for which there is no way of pardon. A spiritual guru, a music composer, actor, singer and a man of political as well as religious influence who was known for his social works got caught with red hands and the victims got their relief but after conviction several riots between police and the supporters of Baba outraged. The whole scene became devastating and the law and order got disrupted.
Profile of the Messenger of God
Baba Ram Rahim was born on 15th Aug 1967, in Sri Gurusar Modia, Rajasthan and had his resident in Sirsa, Haryana. On Sep 23, 1990 he went to Shah Satnam’s Satsang where publically conferred sainthood of the leadership and formed his social group “Dera Saccha Sauda” (DSS). Apart from being in touch with God, he acted as Guru, Music Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Actor and filmmaker. He was married to Harjeet Kaur and had four children including one adopted daughter Honeypreet Insaan followed by Charanpreet Insaan, Amanpreet Insaan and Jaspreet Insaan. He also made movies such as ‘messenger of god’, ‘messenger of god 2’ and MSG – The warrior Lion Heart. According to Indian Express in 2015 he was on the 96th in the list of the top 100 influential Indians. He had his political influence at its top with large number of Dalits and Other Backward Classes estimated to be about 70%. His trust was one of the few groups in India who openly asked the supporters to vote for any particular party and his political influence was in seen in several state elections.
Apart from controversies there are several social works because of which he is known. His drives for Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Cholesterol was recognised by Gunnies World Records. With the help of “American Society of Echocardiography”, he also organised world record for “Most cardio Echo tests”. On 21st Sep 2011 in New Delhi he initiated a series of sanitation drives and also pledged for central government campaign and as of 2016 did 30 mega campaigns. On 22nd May 2012 he laid the foundation of the Shah Satnam Ji Super speciality Hospital at Sirsa. For specialised disaster relief after Odisha Cyclone and Gujarat Earthquake in 2001 a welfare agency called Shah Satnam Ji Green- S welfare force wing was also established by him.
Baba and Controversies
Even all these social works and welfare schemes were small enough in front of the controversies associated with him. He is accuse of several Rape, Murder and forced Castrations. Also, he is said to mock Sikh and Hindu religion including Adivasis. Central Bureau of Investigation reported “Crusades against Drugs, Alcohol and Prostitution” with regard to Baba Gurmeet. He was also accused of Castration of hundreds of followers. In May 2007 he was accused of religious sentiments of the Sikh by wearing in an Ad, an Attire, resembling the Tenth and final living Sikh guru “Guru Govind Singh” by using a turban with a kalgi (egret feather). Later on after several fights between Dera supporters and Sikhs, apologies from the side of Ram Rahim was given and after some time accepted by “Akal Takht”. In between a criminal case for hurting Sikh sentiments were filed which were denied by Sirsa court in 2009 and Bathinda court in 2014. His mimicry controversy with Kiku Sharda a well-known comic television actor got very famous as the actor had to go for judicial custody because of his mimicry about Baba Ram Rahim.
The Rape Conviction
In 2002, a female of Singh’s allegedly penned an anonymous letter to then “Prime Minister of India” ‘Atal Vihari Vajpayee’ accusing Singh of sexual abuse which was published in Ramchander Chhatrapati’s four page Hindi Paper, “Poora Sach” in 2002. CBI probe was ordered into the incident on 24th Sep 2002. 18 sadhvis left the Dera by 2002 and even in the murder charges of the journalist “Ram Chandra Chhatrapati” Baba was accused in the same year. In Dec 2002 CBI booked baba for rape and criminal intimidation and in 2007 the charge sheet was filed. The main turning point in this matter came in 2009-10 when two complainants, former sadhvis at Dera, record their statements accusing Baba Ram Rahim of raping them repeatedly in his secret ‘Gufa’ at the Dera. In 2011 case was transferred from Ambala to Panchkula. In 2016 final arguments began and in 2017 daily hearing initiated. At last on August 25, 2017 the CBI court at Panchkula pronounces him guilty. The conviction was of 10+10 years and a fine of 14 lakhs each to two victims. The judge said that the “the Dera chief didn’t deserve sympathy” since victims had placed him as “God” and he acted as a “wild beast”. His actions reflected ‘irreplaceable damages caused to the heritage of this ancient land’.
This conviction of Baba Ram Rahim shows the victory of law over the power and undisputed exploitation. But the question remains same that how could a person who is deemed to be as God can crush a huge faith and turns into a wild beast. Even if his supporters and followers converted the whole region into a war zone because of too much chaos and protests. But one should be aware of the fact that no matter how big he is, no one is above the law and crime always results into punishment.