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Friday, 7 August 2015

Radhe Maa to Sarathi Baba

Tis the season of exposes regarding self-styled spiritual gurus, with “godwoman” Radhe Maa and “godman” Sarathi Baba joining a list of folks caught doing things they shouldn’t have.

Images of 50-year-old Param Shradhey Shri Radhe Maa in a red miniskirt, with a matching cap and boots, have done the rounds of social media, leading to memes galore.

The images depicted Radhe Maa aka Sukhvinder Kaur lounging on – what else – a red sofa and generally hanging out and posing for photos in what looks like a mall. And there’s apparently a video of her dancing to a Bollywood number.

                    So the song "Kal Raat Mata Ka Mujhe,
               Email Aaya Hai Mata Ne Mujhko Facebook Pe Bulaya Hai" 
was written for Radhe Ma pic.twitter.com/4MVqbF5SHQ — Valar Morghulis (@sarcastic_monk_) August 6, 2015

         From "Radhe Maa" to "Radhe Ahaaaann"... pic.twitter.com/MzyFDRuDt7
    — Rahul Nitn Ahire (@Rahul_Ahire) August 6, 2015
This was a marked departure from the ornate red saris, heavy jewellery and pancake make-up that Radhe Maa is usually seen in, with a ‘trishul’ or trident in her hand.

According to her official website, Mumbai-based Radhe Maa was born in Dorangla village of Gurudaspur district in Punjab and her father is a retired officer of the state government.

Her glowing bio states she decided at the age of 23 that she was “no longer a householder” and gave up her home with a husband, two children and all the comforts of the world.

Radhe Maa is no stranger to controversy though, and a woman in Mumbai complained to police last month that her husband and in-laws had been harassing her for dowry after being incited by the spiritual guru.

"A 32-year-old married woman lodged a complaint against her in-laws as well as Maa, claiming she is being harassed mentally and physically for dowry," said Mukund Pawar, senior inspector at Kandivali police station.

Radhe Maa was booked under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Dowry Prohibition Act.

A Mumbai-based lawyer has also complained to police that Radhe Maa’s ‘satsangs’ are “obscene” and that the guru is allegedly “conning people in the name of religion”.

However, Radhe Maa refuted the allegations made by the married woman in a statement posted on her Facebook page that said: "The reports are full of inaccuracies, unsubstantiated allegations, and rumours that have no basis in fact."

Earlier, Dwarkapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swarupanand Saraswati had demanded that Radhe Maa be restrained from participating in the ceremonial 'Shahi Snan' (royal bath) at the Nashik Kumbh Mela.

In Odisha, 48-year-old spiritual guru Sarathi Baba has been in the news for all the wrong reasons after a TV news channel reported he was allegedly caught staying with a 21-year-old woman in a hotel in Hyderabad.

A group of people also protested outside the Baba’s ashram in Kendrapada on Wednesday after photos on social media sites showed him wearing T-shirts and jeans. The local administration barred the gathering of large groups and used batons to disperse the protestors.

Detractors of the Baba also organised protests at several other places in Odisha and burnt his effigies. They also vandalised offices of his organisation at some places.

Sarathai Baba aka Santosh Kumar Raula defended his right to be seen in T-shirts and jeans, telling the media: “I sometimes wear normal dress during travel. What is wrong with the dress?”

Raula apparently disappeared in 1985 and returned after 7 years as a spiritual guru.

He added: “Some people have been linking me with women. This is totally baseless. They make false allegations that I checked into a hotel in Hyderabad with a woman. I have no relationship with any woman.”

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