15 January, 2021

With Gurmeet Ram Rahim In Jail, Dera Followers Are Unsure Of Which Party To Support

Several Dera followers say they could decide on voting the party that promises to get their guru released from jail.

Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
With Gurmeet Ram Rahim In Jail, Dera Followers Are Unsure Of Which Party To Support

The year was 2013. Chinder Kaur, now 60, had just solemnised the marriage of her elder son, Raj Bir Singh, and it’s time for the last formalities. But there was a twist in the tale. Contrary to the Indian tradition of the bride going to her in-laws’ home, it was Raj Bir who was sent off to his bride’s home in Panipat.

The wedding made the headlines as it was the first such publicised case, part of a programme launched by the Dera Sacha Sauda, a socio-religious sect led by Gur­meet Ram Rahim Singh ji Insaan, a controversial self-styled guru. Gurmeet Singh is now serving two simultaneous jail terms—life sentence for murder and 20 years for raping two women ‘disciples’. Known for his flashy clothes and even flashier, over-the-top movies that had him in the lead role, Gurmeet Singh is also accused of mass castration of his male followers and other such controversial practices.

Kaur and her children, however, are still bound by the “rules” set down by Gurmeet Singh, who had asked people with two or more sons to marry...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Jyotika Sood

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section