25 January, 2021

Holy Smoke And Mirrors

Exposes or not, godmen will thrive, public figures will kiss their feet

Illustration by Sorit
Holy Smoke And Mirrors
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Why are we so gullible and so full of superstition? No other major society has such a variety of outlandish—and thriving—swamis, gurus, yogis, babas, acharyas, bhagwans, astrologers, palmists, numerologists and faith healers as ours does.

Some put on intellectual airs (Rajneesh), others claim “miracle” cures—even for cancer (Ramdev). All of them are, without exception, wily con artists and spiritual fraudsters, eager to ferret money out of you. And if you are an attractive woman or a fetching young boy, quite a few will attempt to seduce you (many succeed, Nityananda did). Yet, millions of Indians, even the highly educated, flock to them. They probably command more followers than organised religion does.

When India won the T20 World Cup, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, both Sikhs, did not dedicate their success to Guru Nanak, but to some baba belonging to some dera. And what about Sachin Tendulkar, idolised by an entire nation? As the photos in the newspapers show, he turns out to have been an...

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