The “godman” accused of raping at least two women has met his comeuppance with a CBI special court sentencing him to 10 years’ RI for each rape — a total of 20 years in prison. The bizarre behaviour of the Dera Sacha Sauda’s followers, who went on a rampage when he was held guilty on Friday, was contained by the precautionary steps taken, albeit belatedly, by the Haryana government. The godman’s ashram must be taken over lest a Waco-like siege erupts as in the United States in 1993 when cultists waged war against the State. His headquarters can be returned to its owners after the cult affirms that it would not support rapists.
The conviction and sentencing will now be challenged legally. The entire episode, revealed due to the courage of two “sadhvis”, exposes the seedy activities of glib godmen who promise spiritual experiences and fool gullible people. What Gurmeet Ram Rahim did was betray the trust placed in him by innocent women. To expose men like him is a signal service to those who can be misled by illusions of a higher power like the fables and accoutrements the “Baba of Bling” built around himself. The lesson to be learnt is that no messenger of God should be confused with the Creator.