oppn parties There are Many Rampal's Who Need to Be Arrested

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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There are Many Rampal's Who Need to Be Arrested

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The manner in which the ‘followersâ€â"¢ of Rampal of Satlok Ashram foiled the police team (and it was a huge team) that went to arrest him on the orders of a court for several days was reminiscent of scenes from various Bollywood movies, more specifically the recent, hit potboiler Singham Returns. Unfortunately, the Haryana Police did not have a larger than life hero like Bajirao Singham and had to bear the brunt of preplanned retaliatory attacks from Rampalâ€â"¢s goons. The level of preparation that went on inside the so called ‘ashramâ€â"¢ was mind-boggling. Sacks full of medium sized stones, petrol and acid bombs, guns and other bombs were found. Traps to hurt intruders were discovered. That a self styled guru could even think that he could prevent his arrest by the government by using a private army shows how poorly these highly connected people think of the law enforcing agencies.

Of course, force was not the only thing used to repel the police. The more than 20000 thousand unsuspecting ‘followersâ€â"¢ holed up inside the ashram were used as a human wall, against their wishes. The goons kept of hurling stones and bombs at the cops. If Rampal harboured visions of arousing public sympathy for his cause, he was being naïve. With godmen out of favour ever since the shenanigans of one Asharam came out in open, the public at large definitely wanted the police to arrest him. Also, Rampal is a local godman with followers in just a few states. He does not command a pan Indian following. If he thought that his political connections (all manner of politicians, including from the ruling BJP in Haryana were frequent visitors at the ‘ashramâ€â"¢) would bail him out, he was not aware that in such matters, politicians usually allow the law to take its own course. Despite his following, Rampal is a small fry for these politicians, to be forgotten once the elections are over.

The Haryana police is being rightly criticized for being unprofessional in their attack on the ashram. Their intelligence also failed them as they were caught unawares by the massive, and armed, resistance they faced. Obviously, their planning was faulty and they had no Plan B in place. The worst part was that they took out their frustration on the media. Beating up journalists and camerapersons has become the standard practice for pumped up but inefficient policemen. It needs to be checked decisively, with exemplary punishment for the guilty cops.

On the other hand, there are numerous such ‘babasâ€â"¢ in India, running their personal fiefs on acres of land, sometimes given to them by the government. Most of them have nothing to do with religion and are duping people by performing ‘miracles.â€â"¢ The operative word here is performing – for these people are nothing more than trained actors. They are fleecing their followers by scaring them of misfortunes awaiting them if they do not get a prescribed ritual performed at the ashram. With no accounting and audit, they live a life of luxury (as the swimming pool, the gym, the bathroom and the kitchen at Rampalâ€â"¢s ashram showed). The time has come to close these nefarious dens.