Sants call for ac­tion against ‘fake babas’

Akha­ras to in­sist on back­ground check

The Hindu - - NATION -

Omar Rashid Re­act­ing to the re­cent con­vic­tion of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on rape charges, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Par­ishad (ABAP), the apex gov­ern­ing body of 13 ma­jor akha­ras (or­gan­i­sa­tions of Hindu sants) in the coun­try, has de­cided to seek gov­ern­ment ac­tion against ‘fake’ gu­rus and self-styled ‘god­men’ who dupe the gullible.

“Ram Rahim Singh is not a real ma­hatma or ma­hant. There are too many fake ma­hat­mas and babas roam­ing about fool­ing the peo­ple. They don’t be­long to any akhara or tra­di­tion,” said Ma­hant Naren­dra Giri, head of the ABAP. “They have brought a bad name to the seer com­mu­nity,” he added.

Res­o­lu­tion soon

The ABAP will pass a res­o­lu­tion on the mat­ter on Septem­ber 10 in Al­la­habad. It will then hand over a mem­o­ran­dum to Ut­tar Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath, seek­ing ac­tion against a list of ‘fake babas’. It is also likely to pres­sure the gov­ern­ment to not al­lo­cate land to un­recog­nised, self-styled babas at the next Ardh Kumbh Mela (held ev­ery six years) in Al­la­habad.

To keep ‘fake babas’ from oc­cu­py­ing spir­i­tual posts in the akha­ras, the ABAP plans to make the process of se­lect­ing the ma­haman­dalesh­wars (spir­i­tual heads) of akha­ras tougher. Ma­haman­dalesh­wars will be se­lected af­ter a proper in­ter­view and a back­ground check of their fi­nan­cial his­tory and crim­i­nal an­tecedents, if any.

The ABAP will also de­mand a probe into the prop­erty and be­long­ings of all the babas not af­fil­i­ated to any akhara or tra­di­tion. Mr Giri said he had no prob­lem with the sad­hus anointed by the akha­ras or bod­ies af­fil­i­ated to them.

“Our only is­sue is with the self-styled babas. They spread filth, and later we find that they have rape cases against them. They de­fame us. You will never find the ones from the akha­ras do­ing such things,” he said.

Ram Rahim Singh

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