India, since very long has been witnessing the wrath of self-styled godmen, babas and chelas. However, unlike the popular opinion spearheaded by the left-liberal cabal, babagiri is not a unique culture confined to Hinduism. Rather, all communities ranging from Indian Muslims, Sikhs and Christians among other communities are equally susceptible to hysteria resulting from adulation of a Baba or Godman.
While most of self-styled babas/godmen claim to decipher spiritual truth to their followers, they are professional businessmen with original interests ranging from spirituality to education, politics to infrastructure and perhaps the underworld as well. The tale of Asaram is no different.
Asaram convicted in second rape case
Asumal Harpalani, popularly known and revered as Asaram Bapu by his followers has gained media headlines for over past one week after he was convicted in a rape case. This is the second conviction for the self-styled godman.
Gujarat’ Gandhinagar sessions court, on January 31, 2023 sentenced the self-proclaimed godman for life in connection with a rape case from 2013. The sentence came in connection with a case registered by a Surat-based woman who had accused Asaram of repeatedly raping her while she was lodged at his Ahmedabad Ashram between 2001 and 2006.
This is the second sexual assault case against Asaram and he is already lodged in a Jodhpur prison after a Rajasthan court found him guilty in a separate sexual assault case in 2018.
Also read: Asaram convicted in the rape case, sentenced to life imprisonment till death.
The tale of ASARAM
Asaram, today a rape-convict, has been one of the most powerful figures in the country. Born to a Bernai family in 1941, Asaram had to migrate to Ahmedabad from Sindh after partition. Asaram’s father had a coal and wood business in the city. Asaram read till class 3, however, he ran away from home after that and joined an Ashram. It was in 1960s that Asaram Harpalani became Asaram Bapu, after a guru gave him the name.
After over a decade, in 1972, Asaram built his first Ashram in Gujarat’s Motera. Today, the number of Ashram’s count stands at 400, just in the nation. With the Ashrams began the play of Asaram, a play of money, politics and power.
The rich God-man – Asaram
As per the agencies conducting non-stop raids on the alleged godman, the estimated worth of his empire, excluding his properties, was pegged at Rs 10,000 crore. The income tax department had found a document, dated sometime in 2013, which reportedly said that Asaram had earned Rs 419 crore in a single year as interest, on the high-value cash loans given by him.
He also had a group of goons who checked upon the borrowers and threatened the ones who defaulted on interest payments. The trust under his name also occupied huge amount of land, some of which were donated willingly by the followers and others were occupied forcefully.
Asaram along with its organisation, by 2018, had investments worth Rs 6,000 crore in various regions such as Kisan Vikas Patra, mutual funds, government bonds, debt funds, securities and fixed deposits among others.
Also read: Shell companies owned by Asaram Bapu face Income Tax investigation
However, to the surprise of many, the main source of income for Asaram remained the cash donations from his devotees. The umbrella trust named Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu Ashram Trust collected all the cash denotations collected at the Ashrams and sites of satsang events.
The investigations later revealed that most of the donations by the devotee did not find any mention in the accounts book. The cash was transported and stored by a select group of aides, close to Asaram.
This clearly suggested the intention, as if the cash would have been entered in the logbook, the godman and his aides could not use it for personal gains.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM
Leave a Reply