Bapu, who now faces charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl, has always courted controversy. Several girls have complained of sexual molestation in his hands. The incidents have caused widespread outrage as the girls were molested in suspicious circumstances. In another incident, this godman had allegedly kicked a devotee who had come to seek his advice. According to the police, the latest incident took place on 15 August at the guru’s ashram in Jodhpur. The police must investigate this incident and find out if there is truth in the allegations. Earlier, Bapu had escaped conviction as the cops found no criminal involvement and his disciples in a separate incident. Yet, the self-proclaimed spiritual guru has also allegedly used foul language publicly against a volunteer during a programme. The volunteer was only offering water to other devotees when the spiritual leader got enraged and used foul language against him, pointing to behavior not at all becoming of a religious-minded leader.
Of course, the course of law must be taken, since no one is guilty unless proved to be culpable. At the same time the Baba must not be spared if the incidents are found to be true. Normally there should be little interference in the religious practices of an ashram. However, these should not transgress the dictates of the law. This time around, the victim fell ill under the guru’s spurious supervision, clearly establishing that he should not have interfered in the treatment. It is sad that scores of people in India still fall prey to the lures of these blind faith terrorists, who exploit the gullible and mentally weak to extract undue favours and profit from such scams. While the sexual assault allegations must be investigated, they should serve as the starting point to delve deeper and expose the nefarious practices of these conmen, who routinely rob people in the pretext of granting peace and happiness.