The cult of Baba Ram Rahim: Majority of Dalit followers of the DSS sect gives it an interesting twist!!!
There is a caste component to this conflict as well. Majority of the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda are Dalits or Scheduled Castes-lowest group within the caste hierarchy.
Such Deras provides the Socio-spiritual space for non-Jat Sikhs, that is both a political threat and a serious challenge to the Sikh-Khalsa identity.
The low-caste adherents of these Deras who have run afoul of Orthodoxy represent a near-exodus of Dalits from Sikhism.
This impacts the Jat-dominated SGPC and Akali Dal, which have never commanded the unwavering support of low-caste Sikhs.
Conflict is related to both power and identity.
Gurmeet claims to have moved beyond mundane definitions of religious divisions. However, once he had himself pictured in an advertisement dressed like Guru Govind Singh, replicating the symbolism of the ceremony at which the 10th Sikh Guru inaugurated the Khalsa in 1699.
Violent clashes erupted between the Khalsa Sikhs and Ram Rahim’s followers. The Akal Thakt Jathedar had issued an Edict (Hukamnama ) instructing Sikhs not to have any social interaction with this sect.
Interestingly, Baba Ram Rahim was born to Jat Sikh parents, Naseeb Kaur and Maghar Singh Sidhu, a landlord family in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. But the 50 years old Baba never adhered to any religious sect or faith. Not an archetypal saint, he is controversial but charismatic for sporting a rockstar-like look wearing flashy outfits.
In many ways, he is the enigmatic avatar of a Hedon ‘Godman.’
However, the godman has blinded quite a constituency of his carping critics some very sterling welfare works, especially his de-addiction clinics in Pujnab and Haryana, where a huge constituency of youth has been plagued by drug devil.
Poor pockets of low-caste across the vast swathe have lined up the gate of DSS in glorious hope of redeeming their miserable plight. It’s difficult to ignore the cruel cycle of paradoxical difference between economic growth and social backwardness. Massive inequity paves the way for growing zone of superstition, ignorance and hocus-pocus. More areas of darkness in the age of science and reason bedevils the nuclear nation’s march into the top league of superpowers.
With more than 30 people having perished in the violence after Ram Rahim conviction in the rape case, it is time for introspection for everyone. Especially, the people in politics and media have special onus for the pestering cancer. Because both this organs of society have been in the vanguard of promoting and endorsing the cult of ‘Godman.’ Little wonder BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj jumped to the defence of Baba Ram Rahim, questioning the very right of the special Court.