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Descend of Dera chief to detention: An interesting case story of the rise and fall of an 'Insan'
Dera Sacha Sauda though started as a spiritual organisation, but after the present chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's taking over, it was manifested into a "non-profit social welfare and spiritual organisation" having corporate like management structure with all powers vested in the organisation's chief. Some media channels even viewed the Dera as a profit making company.

A personality cult was deliberately built around the Dera chief who started having a complete sway on his followers.

However, after deviating from the path of spiritualism, the Dera chief became a controversial figure and was accused of heinous crimes like rape and murder. A CBI court in Panchkula finally convicted Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan on Friday after finding him guilty of sexually assaulting two sadhvis of the Dera in 2002.

The Dera chief now faces a minimum of 7 years of imprisonment; however, the exact quantum of punishment shall be read out by the court on August 28.

After pronouncement of the court's verdict, there was mass rioting and violence by Dera supporters at Panchkula along with similar incidents reported from many places in northern India. It has been reported that at least 30 people have died and over a hundred seriously injured. The Dera followers also targeted the media by torching three to four OB vans owned by news channels and also beat up journalists.

After having strayed away from spiritualism, of late, the Dera had been openly directing its supporters to vote for a particular political party. In Haryana, the previous Congress government enjoyed Dera's support and reciprocated by providing a Z-plus security cover for the Dera chief. However, lately, it was the BJP that had become the recipient of Dera's affection and until his conviction, the self-styled godman continued to enjoy Z-plus security.

It is said that in various elections in recent times, the BJP workers and Dera supporters had campaigned together to garner votes for the BJP. And, the government of Haryana had given some generous grants to the Dera for its social work activities in return.

In Hayana, the Congress continues to be soft on the Dera, since the son of the Dera chief is married to the daughter of the Punjab Congress leader Harminder Singh Jassi.

In the present crisis, Haryana government looked week-kneed and allowed the Dera supporters to assemble in huge numbers despite section 144 being imposed. The law and order completely collapsed and the administration failed.

It seems that the way democracy is becoming dysfunctional and the personality cult is on the rise, it seems that crowds of followers of personas will rule the roost.

At the moment, only the courts and the army seem to be the saviours, while the rest are acting like mute spectators. On Friday, the Dera chief's conviction by the CBI court might come as poetic justice, but while Nero played the fiddle, Rome burnt.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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