Youngsters talk about self-styled godmen and how they are taking away rationality from us
India recently observed a near-shutdown of two states after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in a 2002 rape case and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. But it is not just Ram Rahim, a number of self-styled godmen such as Asaram Bapu have managed to create much controversies with allegations of assaulting women, monetary scams and much more levied on them. Most of us have had people around us following these godmen with utmost faith. Of course, in Ram Rahim’s case, his followers are still standing by his side threatening to bring the country to a standstill. How exactly do these babas brainwash the rational side of people who follow them even if their supposed ‘god’ is behind bars. We talk to youngsters to know their views and how logic and judicious decision making take a backseat.
Youth don’t have time for godmen
“It’s my opinion and completely a personal one where I think these self-styled godmen are a product of human insecurities and escapist attitude. It is human tendency that we want to believe in such preaching because it is something to look forward to, no matter how silly or unrealistic it is. We use this as a way to distract ourselves from our daily issues and their preaching as the only way to be content. The youth have however made things difficult for these godmen as compared to our previous generations. We hardly have the time to invest into this. The world is so competitive and with Western influences and atheism catching up, people are not interested in godmen. But yes, the number of followers is still huge. A family member is one such follower. But the more you oppose the so-called faith of your family member, the more problematic it becomes and there are times when being indifferent towards it helps in containing the faith. We really can’t stop people from believing in something or someone. It is an integral part of our system. We certainly can stop the misuse of it but stopping the birth of self-styled godmen seems difficult.
— Abhishek Agrawal
Loneliness responsible for blind faith
These self-styled godmen have emerged in large numbers because of a number of reasons — One is hope. Today, anyone who gives hope becomes a Messiah. Being isolated and lonely, many people cling on to this hope. Two, most of these godmen preach on the basis of general statements but people consider it is directed to them individually. Three, social media marketing plays a vital role in making babas viral. Gimmicks garner some followers, slowly making it a cult.
I feel that the major reason why people are inclined towards these godmen is that we lose hope easily. It is human tendency. All that we can do is reinstate communication with family and friends. Talk to people. Learn what you can learn but not blindly follow anyone. Use your EQ, to get proper direction in life
— Mrinal Banerjee
Need to educate masses
I believe they only seek attention. They prey on the weaknesses of people, which is pathetic. Regarding their preachings, they’re self centred and spread a message of inequality, and religious radicalism. The older generation is naive and vulnerable. These people fail miserably when it comes to understanding the term ‘faith’. Faith is something which is more powerful and magical, its concept is rooted deeper than we know. These followers have eradicated the faith in god, and have instead come up with a whole new concept of believing in a mortal who is capable of deceiving humans. But India is a democratic country and nobody can stop anyone from doing anything. We cannot stop these godmen but we can always educate people about the difference between faith and blindly following someone.
— Phalguni Joshi
Emotionally-fragile generation being misled by godmen
I feel these godmen are great salesmen. They have the knack for selling superstition and stupidity under the blanket of spirituality. We as people are a little insecure so we buy these weaknesses as spirituality. In today’s time and era, these self-styled godmen have successfully managed to twist the faith of this generation. With a constant flux in the society, this generation has become emotionally fragile. There is a need to rely on a higher power and this is exactly what these godmen pry on and twist the faith into blind faith.
— Sayli Kulkarni