Psychology Of Following Babas
Prof N.K. Singh
Former Chairman International Airports Authority of India
We have witnessed recently a spate of religious leaders who have become self Gods and gathered millions of followers. Their followers have blind faith in them and it is leading to all kinds of aberrations with social and legal violations.
Recently Gurmeet Singh, head of Sacha Sauda cult, has been convicted by the court as he committed rape. After the judgement, the followers went on rampage and more than 30 died in the Police firing. Baba too had colossal establishment spread over 700 acres of prime agricultural land where he built a mini city with all facilities and luxuries. He had forts of his ashram built all over the country and even abroad. Why the government was quiet when he was building most lavish resort for himself and city for the public inside the Dera.
One gets puzzled as to why the government does not act in the beginning so that the situation does not escalate to enormously violent proportions leading to loss of pubic property and deaths. In case of Dera it started with a complaint in 2002 with final conviction in 2017, almost fifteen years when the baba had built massive following and properties worth crores. He even boasted to nominate the chief ministers.
* The question is why the masses are attracted to them in the first instance? Why people en mass worship and follow them or why they go to them?
Most baffling question is when the babas and their sins are exposed it does not affect the followers. Leaders and ministers make a beeline to them as they openly supported one or the other party in election and followers blindly cast their votes to the preferred party. All the time, baba supported the Congress except last time when he supported BJP in Haryana. After conviction the followers continue to follow them. The question is why the masses are attracted to them in the first instance? Why people en mass worship and follow them or why they go to them? Babas have appeal to masses due to their ability to give them relief or making them believe that they are serving their needs to relief. Large numbers of people especially in rural areas who have no access to receive high education tend to believe the magic of spiritualism. There are number less small scale shops of such vendors of esoteric practices. They offer solace to the pain and sickness. If it would not be real at least they give a hypnotic, trance like induced state in collective kirtan or dancing or playing music. All babas offer services to the masses and that is why they are so much in demand.
Look at Sacha Sauda case, it attracted largest marginalized community which found solace in treatment of equality and free food as well as spiritual looking practices. Their family members got jobs or had been helped when in need. Most of the people find the Deras safe, women go around freely as no one is harassed. In fact with free langar and stay, it offers safest and cheapest tourism to the women folks who come in groups with a sense of security. The operation is in open in front but backyard most of them are indulging in unsocial activities. Like the Guffa of Gurmeet Singh the underground world of such gatherings remains an enigma. I appeal to the state authorities in pubic interest to closely study and deal with any antisocial activity of Deras or such institutions. The fundamental reason for spreading cults is money and power which breed corruption. Corruption of all kinds is result of growing money power. It needs strong handling and tough investigation without being intruder.
Second suggestion is for the health departments to extensive introduce psychiatric or psychological counseling faculties in the district hospitals with a view to provide relief to the patients and even normal people who suffer from anxiety or depression etc. The government must take these two major suggestions for implementing and providing the suffering humanity relief with available psychological treatment. The only trouble is that going to Dera has no stigma but going to a doctor is declaring your illness. We must fight it and superstitions prevailing in the countryside. There is a need for extensive extension community service by the block people who merely concentrate on providing subsides supply of services like PDS or other agricultural needs. They should arrange that the panchayats have educated nurses who can sort out minor problems of women and arrange for domestic or village issues. In other words with the fall of joint family system, villages need some centres for community service.
First Passenger: Himachal Police is getting a bad name now in rape case. Earlier too they were blamed for false cases. Why?
Second Passenger: Once they arrested an official of transport department for carrying drugs, it turns out to be powder in lab test. The police functioning has turned a joke.