The motivation for this post comes from this news item I read in today’s paper about Pramod Muthalik’s meeting with Paramahamsa Nithyananda. The item claimed that Muthalik told Nithyananda that the sex-video scam was driven by “a Christian lobby” and assured Nithyananda of the Sri Ram Sene’s full support.
I read something similar in this excellent article in the Caravan about the Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. Somewhere in the article it is mentioned that someone from the Sai Baba camp mentioned to another person from the camp that there were “red flags” about Vishal Arora (author of this wonderful article) because he is Christian.
What irritates me the most about these self-professed Godmen is that they try to portray themselves as representatives of the Sanatana Dharma, and what is worse, you have Hindu organizations supporting and rallying behind them (I remember some BJP ministers also mention that the Nithyananda sting organization was an “attack on Hinduism”). I think the acceptance and active backing for such loonies will ultimately hurt the credibility of the Hindutva movement
I fail to understand why the BJP and other Hindu Conservative organizations had to come out in support of godmen such as Nithyananda, and attach disgrace to their own names. I think it would be so much better for these mainstream conservative voices to denounce these loonies as destroying the fair name of Hindutva, and to condemn their activities.
Apart from further alienating the centrist liberals, this support of loony controversial godmen costs the Hindutva brigade the support of another important constituency – the followers of other (equally, or more, loony) godmen who don’t get along with the controversial godman who is in trouble (usually followers of different godmen are mutually exclusive, and followers of a particular godmen tend to hate followers of other competing godmen – it’s something like football club loyalties).
Or could it be that by “bailing out” the godman who is in trouble, the mainstream right-wing organizations are sending out a message to other godmen and their followers that they will stand by them in case of any trouble? I don’t really know, but the BJP and other right-wing organizations have lost some of my respect because of their support for loony controversial godmen.
If you have any ideas as to why these organizations are behaving this way, let me know.