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The shocking human sacrifice to the god-man

The shocking human sacrifice to the god-man

The disaster on July 2 in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras that rocked the country, claiming 123 lives, is still reverberating. Yogi Adityanath's government has done little to nab Suraj Pal alias Narayan Sakar Vishwahari, fondly called Bhole Baba. But the UP police did arrest six of the main organizers of his satsang on frivolous charges. The government also announced a judicial inquiry. The tenure of the commission, which consists of retired judge Justice Srivastava and two ex-IAS officers, is two months. Naturally, it could be extended further if required. It remains to be seen whether the government will at all accept and implement the commission’s recommendations when the report is finally ever submitted. The inquiry reports and recommendations of such commissions usually do not have any impact beyond being a knee-jerk reaction to quell protest and clamor for the time being. Any action could displease Baba's fan empire spread in states like Delhi and Rajasthan besides UP.

Began as a police constable before becoming a preacher, Harinarayan has a history of being arrested in 2000 along with six others for creating ruckus in a crematorium by claiming to have revived a dead sixteen-year-old girl. Obviously, fame and acceptance increased manifold. At his gathering taking place on every Tuesday, a large number of officials participate; none of whom is appointed by the government. The police were not allowed in the last prayer gathering which ended up in the death of 123 people and the injury of hundreds of women and children. The gathering arranged for 80,000 devotees had an overwhelming majority of women in attendance. After the half-hour long ceremony, when Baba came out and was about to get into the car, the devotees rushed towards him as he himself asked them to collect the 'holy soil' that had touched his feet. Meanwhile, many people fell down with more devotees falling over them. Eyewitnesses say that so many hapless people died from suffocation after being trampled. There were no arrangements to transport the injured to hospitals. Overwhelmed, hospitals also did not have the system to properly care for those who were brought in late. Beyond sending a condolence message, the godman did not even bother to visit the place. Most of those waiting for Bhole Baba's prasad were from villages where alcoholism and women abuse persist alongside having no jobs or basic living facilities. Poor women turn to Bhole Baba to escape from torture.

Now an organization called Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has come forward to expose such false gods, demanding that no land or other facilities be allotted to them.Mallikarjun Kharge , the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, has also called for framing a federal law modeling on anti-superstition laws enacted in Karnataka and Maharashtra.The Legislative Assembly in Maharashtra passed a law to eradicate superstitions and witchcraft in the wake of anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar's murder in 2013. A similar act was introduced in Karnataka following the martyrdom of social workers like Gauri Lankesh. Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Assam also have laws against the brutality of hunting and killing women being accused of witchcraft. The central government and parliament should take steps to implement a comprehensive federal law that ensures full protection to life, property and women's dignity, handing out severe punishment for religious exploitation to save the country from the run of fake seers. Alongside, it is about time for socially responsible individuals, organizations, movements and media who believe in humanity and true moral values came forward with comprehensive awareness activities.

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TAGS:#EditorialBhole Baba
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