Dera Sacha Sauda us­ing so­cial me­dia to keep fol­low­ers in­tact

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - PUNJAB & HARYANA - Neeraj Mo­han neeraj.mo­han@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KARNAL:The IT (in­for­ma­tion­a­tion tech­nol­ogy) team of Dera Sacha Sauda is us­ing so­cial me­dia in a big way to keep the flock of fol­low­ers of dis­graced sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in­tact.

The con­tro­ver­sial dera chief is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a 20-year sen­tence in Ro­htak jail af­ter his con­vic­tion on Au­gust 25 for rap­ing two of his fe­male dis­ci­ples.

All so­cial me­dia plat­forms and net­work­ing sites, in­clud­ing Face­book, What­sApp, In­sta­gram and YouTube, are abuzz with video, au­dio and text mes­sages glo­ri­fy­ing Ram Rahim as a “real saint” and “so­cial worker” and al­leg­ing a con­spir­acy be­hind his con­vic­tion.

At a time when many of his fol­low­ers are re­ported to be los­ing faith in the sect, his die-hard devo­tees are also cir­cu­lat­ing and for­ward­ing mes­sages, ap­peal­ing to their fel­lows not to get car­ried away by the “false pro­pa­ganda” against their mas­ter.

BLAMES ME­DIA FOR VIL­I­FY­ING DERA

Some video mes­sages be­ing cir­cu­lated also show an in­side view of the dera and seek to “clar­ify” that the po­lice did not find any­thing wrong in the com­mune and that the me­dia is de­lib­er­ately show­ing it in a bad light.

The mes­sages also re­fute me­dia re­ports about the dera head’s much vil­i­fied ‘gufa’ (cave), claim­ing that the so-called gufa is just a cov­ered pas­sage to link two build­ings in­side the dera premises.

A spe­cial video mes­sage has been up­loaded on the YouTube to counter the me­dia re­ports about the “wrong­do­ings” of the dera head and his lav­ish life style. This video de­nounces the “onesided” re­port­ing of the me­dia, es­pe­cially the elec­tron­ics me­dia.

This 10-minute video mes­sage also high­lights the sev­eral “achieve­ments” and so­cial works of the dera head.

Also, var­i­ous dera fol­low­ers are re­spond­ing to th­ese mes­sages, re­spos­ing faith in the be­lea-

His­tory has been wit­ness to in­jus­tice meted out to in­car­na­tions of God and great per­son­al­i­ties

SUR­JEET KU­MAR, dera fol­lower

guered guru. Sur­jeet Ku­mar, a devo­tee, writes, “Iti­has gawah hai ke avatar aur ma­ha­pu­rusho ke sath samaaj ne nain­saafi ki hai (His­tory has been wit­ness to in­jus­tice meted out to in­car­na­tions of God and great per­son­al­i­ties).”

No­tably, the con­vic­tion of the dera head, which is also fac­ing trial in two mur­der cases, has put re­port­edly put a dent on his im­age among the minds of a large num­ber of his fol­low­ers.

“We fol­lowed him blindly for years, but now the re­al­ity is out and we be­lieve that he is pay­ing for his wrong­do­ings,” said Dar­shan Lal of Ku­ruk­shetra.

“Fol­low­ers are the only strength of a guru, but he has failed our faith,” he added.

We fol­lowed him blindly for years, but now the re­al­ity is out and we be­lieve that he is pay­ing for his wrong­do­ings DAR­SHAN LAL, fol­lower

A grab of a so­cial me­dia post, repos­ing faith in Ram Rahim

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.