Self-proclaimed “Godwoman” Radhe Maa is in news again. A Delhi Police officer is being investigated after a photograph showing Radhe Maa sitting in his chair surfaced on social media. Five more policemen were seen dancing with her, they have been punished with transfers.
I first came across the existence of a certain Radhe Maa because she was accused of a crime. It was a little article tucked away in the corner of some news website. Accused of a crime- that’s how people like us come across people like them. When we dig deeper, we realize that our earlier state of ignorance was indeed more blissful. And people like them, shepherds like them in fact, couldn’t care less. They’ve got their sheep in order. Come to think of it we’re generally not too different from the sheep, ignorantly blissful as they are.
Shepherds claim to have attained spirituality. How would you describe a spiritual person? Somebody with an omniscient vision, perhaps? Someone who has no ego, who has renounced worldly desires and possessions, who has surpassed dualities? The sheep beg to differ. Spirituality is dynamism. Our shepherd can be seventy four but his loins can burn like a teenager. Spirituality is all about the self. He can produce and direct a film in which he acts and sings himself, and the film portrays… surprise, surprise… himself. Spirituality is about experimentation. He can conduct experiments with a starlet in bed. Spirituality is about strength. He can bathe in milk and stockpile an artillery befitting a little country. Oh spirituality!
And why should boys have all the fun? In 21st century India, even our womenfolk are entitled to spiritual enlightenment, aren’t they? Just when I had tagged it as yet another all boys club, yet another dominion of misogyny, this woman Radhe Maa seems to have joined the party. Quite literally. That’s what goes on in the third floor of her ‘bhavan’ if reports are to be believed. Bollywood music, lap-dances and cougary (which is not a real word, but should be). This is the closest one can get to a Playboy Mansion in India. Late Heffner would be proud.
But this is the funny part: Radhe Maa isn’t accused of duping thousands of followers, no! She isn’t accused of public display of affection as yet either. Radhe Maa is accused of forcing somebody for dowry. Biiiig whoop! Dowry is like breaking a traffic rule in India! I mean with all the fetishes and eccentricities of the Indian god-folk, dowry seems quite grounded.
One can’t help marvel at the prospects of Baba-hood in India. The money, the sleaze, the celebrity status… can anyone get a ticket to baba-hood in India? Yes, literally anyone. A little bit of eccentricity, a little bit of mystery, sheltered under an umbrella of falsehood, and you’re good to go. It’s a sea, nay an ocean, of sheep; you’ll always find some who’ll lend a sympathetic ear. Start talking to the lowest rung, the poor, uneducated, irrational, naïve, trusting. It doesn’t matter who you are. (lap)Dancing queen was a tailor trying to make ends meet before her current profession. Erotic grandpa was a carriage driver back in the day.
The sheep hear your every word, they worship you. The more of them you have at your disposal, the more gather. It’s like an unusually fertile farm. Figuratively, you extract every milligram of wool off them, milk them till they run dry. You exhaust them, in body, mind and spirit. And yet in that state of despair, they keep looking at you with the same compassionate eyes, seeking guidance, seeking you to put into motion the cycle of loot all over again.
And those bright-eyed, khadi-clad, potbellied men we select to protect us from all dangers, do they make sure the innocent sheep are not led astray? Well of course not for had they grown a pair by now many things would have been different! They fear the sheep turning on them. They know that if the sheep had to indeed choose between them and their shepherd, they would choose the one with theistic legitimacy. Why not instead, bow before the shepherds in front of cameras and reap all the sheepish goodwill there is?
For Radhe Maa , the jail cells now beckon. For us, rational people who see through shepherds’ games but are too ethical to indulge in them ourselves, this will be poetic justice. Our shepherds are many things: conmen, gangsters, power brokers, hound-dogs. But for heaven’s sake, for the love of god, they are not god-folks.
Oh! and by the way Radhe Maa’s secretary is called Talli Baba. Whaaat the hell?
– Shared by a TFI fan who wishes to stay Anonymous