Cult leader denies his films are propaganda
He claims to have 50 million followers and runs a spiritual empire that promotes vegetarianism and campaigns against drug addiction. But the self-styled God-man from the north Indian state of Haryana has another passion: Bollywood.
The leader of a quasi-religious sect – who calls himself Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan – has launched a film franchise in which he stars as a INMessenger of God, or MSG for short, with divine powers to save the world.
Critics say the films serve as propaganda for his followers, which Insan doesn’t dispute.
Speaking recently, the flamboyant spiritual guru said he was not trying to become a movie star but instead wanted to spread Indian culture along with his message of humanity to the masses. “You will see in this film that our culture was so powerful that the technology that the aliens are bringing, it had already been used by our ancestors. That is why the scenes appear larger than life,” said Insan. With a guaranteed audience among his followers, Insan said he's had little trouble getting his films released commercially in cinemas. In his third film, released last week and titled MSG – The Warrior Lion Heart, Insan plays a secret agent armed with a twirled moustache and an assortment of swords to fight the aliens and UFOs. “In my first two films, I appeared as a guru. In this film, I am playing a character,” he said. “I play a warrior who is also India's top secret agent. If you see his background, he is a warrior who fights with aliens.” Insan maintains complete control over his film productions. In the latest, he is credited in 30 categories of the film, including stunts, editor and make-up artist.
APPEAL: Insan arrives at a press conference for his new movie MSG – The Warrior Lion