Chennai: The saffron establishment faces its biggest challenge with Nithyananda, a fugitive godman of dubious repute now believed to be on an island he reportedly bought from Ecuador, petitioning the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to save him and his millions of followers from alleged persecution at the hands of “extremist Hindutva elements” including the BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal.
The 46-paged petition from ‘Adi-Shaivite Minority Tradition’ (ASMT), a strange-sounding outfit Nityananda claims to head, hails him as the “293rd Guru Maha Sannidhaanam Paramahamsa Nithyananda” and alleges he has “endured over one hundred attempts on his life over the past decade perpetrated by extremist Hindutva elements. Over the past six months alone in 2018, there have been at least three direct assassination attempts on the ASMT spiritual leader's life”.
“Widely known for their corruption, the police, media, judiciary, and other state actors controlled by the BJP, VHP, RSS, and BD (Bajrang Dal) have been among ASMT’s greatest persecutors”, says the ASMT petition/report, while listing out multiple instances when Nithyananda was allegedly subjected to fatal attacks but managed to survive. He was arrested and kept in 'illegal' custody for several days when he was tortured in police custody and was threatened he would be killed if he did not oblige the cops by signing on dotted lines in papers.
The petition tells the OHCHR that It is “a common practice and India is well known for so-called encounter killings”. It also alleges that violent mobs of various parties, including the DMK, have attacked the guru’s different ashrams and temples, where they “brutally beat and sexually abused the ASMT sanyaasis who were worshipping there”.
The ASMT report also alleges that after his arrest (2010) in a ‘concocted’ rape case, he was subjected to a 'barbaric' potency test that almost killed him.
“This type of legally sanctioned medical torture was yet another attempt to assassinate the spiritual leader while in police custody through medically induced cardiac arrest. Nearly 600 people have died in police custody in India in the period 2010-2015; yet not one police officer was convicted during this period”, said the damning document to the world body from the ‘swami’ facing charges of rape and financial irregularities, besides posting his highly provocative and boastful sermons attacking the Indian establishment on YouTube.
Nithy’s provocative posts on Social Media and his YouTube content - which have a massive viewership across the world - have not spared the higher judiciary and the media either. The Fourth Estate has been accused of corruption and being irresponsible in its attacks on him; for instance, SunTV apologised to him for carrying the visuals showing him in a compromising position with actress Ranjith in his ashram bedroom. The TV channel accepted it was a fake video and apologised, he claimed.
“Rubbish. We never apologised, had no reason to do so as we all knew it was a genuine video. That UN (OHCHR) petition is full of lies”, said a senior SunTV editor. The 'lies' also included the claim that he was arrested on charge of rape though the complainant did not allege rape or identified a victim.
Lenin Karuppannan, former aide of Nithyananda who had wielded huge influence as the guru's confidant and driver or long distances, had given that complaint to the Chennai police in August 2010; and it very much has the 'rape' charges against the godman. "The FIR shows that he had abused two persons in the ashram and that there are at least 40 more victims of sexual abuse, including the children and even men", says a source claiming to be close to Lenin and is in the know of all the murky happenings in Nithyananda's ashrams in Karnataka and Gujarat.
It was Lenin who along with another ashramite called Aarti Rao who had brought out the bedroom video of Nithyananda. While the forensic experts told the courts the video was genuine, the godman insists it was a fake manufactured to blackmail him. In turn, he had ordered a massive witch-hunt of the two 'betrayers' that included multiple court cases against the duo. "They are running from court to court, spending money and precious time on fighting an unfair trial", says a source, adding that the case of Nithyananda -” particularly this latest drama of his releasing videos of provocative speeches from his new abode in Ecuador” - demonstrates amply how someone with tonnes of money can have his way, even with the justice delivery system.
“But now, the most recent allegations from his Ahmedabad ashram accusing him of sexual abuse of even ashram children, his abduction of the daughters of ex-devotees and this abuse of India in his UN petition, should at least now shake up the BJP regime into some action”, said an ex-ashramite, who had left the ‘swami’ in disgust some years ago....