Why India doesn’t need an Asaram Bapu?


1882936The arrest of Asaram Bapu by Jodhpur police, for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, must have shocked millions of his devotees. While the judicial proceedings against him will take its own course, it is high time to contemplate if we really need a self-proclaimed God like Asaram Bapu.

We Indians, specially the Hindus, take pride in the lessons of Bhagwat Gita.  A few lessons from this book may help us contemplate better.

Bhagwat Gita says there is a God in all of us which guides us to do good.  You can also call that God your soul. But Gita doesn’t strictly define the ‘good’. All it says is that the  path of ‘good’ is the path of duty. One should always perform his duty with complete devotion.

However, ‘duty’ can have social connotations. It cannot be same for all ages. If we were a society of sadists and cannibals, then the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl may not have caused much concern. Luckily, we are the society of human beings who value dignity of women and rights of every one.

Some aberrations are also there as people are often killed, raped, robbed, and cheated. But we have law which functions to restore justice. And we have the freedom of speech to speak against any injustice.

Following the lessons of Gita, it can be said that the rightful duty in present times is to follow the laws which our forefathers and present leaders have created. No one can claim to be above law. The arrest of Asaram Bapu is a testimony to this.

We must never forget that an empire erected on the edifice of lies always falls.

Gods and demons have always had parallel existence in India’s mythological history. While the demons always considered themselves as Gods, there was never any ‘God’ who proclaimed himself as God.

It is only recently, after the advent of mass media, that a few men and women styled themselves as the Gods and Goddesses.

In a country full with millions of illiterates, it was not very difficult for self-styled Gods and Godesses to persuade people to become a part of their empire. Ignorant men and women followed them and revered them  as gurus (religious teacher).

But little did they know that a guru has to accessible, knowledgeable and the one who could help in solving the problems of life in present times. Ironically, these gurus have engaged their devotees in mythologies of past which can in no way make their present lives better.

It is high time for all of us to understand this. India can live without an Asaram Bapu.

(Photo courstey Dna/AFP

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