Blind following could destroy the social fabric of India

    Quantum of sentence, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Haryana, Punjab, Sirsa,

    For the past few days, the Haryana and Punjab governments have been preparing for the expected violence the followers of guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan and his sect, Dera Sacha Sauda. As predicted, the followers erupted in violence after the Panchkula court found Ram Rahim guilty of rape and sexual exploitation of sadhvis in his sect.

    While the state governments and police continue to bring the situation under control, the rioting by the followers highlights an underlying issue in Indian society that still prevails today. Religious sects, such as that of Ram Rahim’s, attract a large following of people. In case of Dera Sacha Sauda, the following is not only restricted to India but extends to other countries as well. There is no issue in people choosing to follow one sect or the other. The issue arises when the followers become so blind in their devotion to the guru that they abandon all reason when they feel their sect is threatened.

    Ram Rahim and other such godmen prey on the belief of common people in an effort to enrich themselves and to exercise considerable influence over people. Such influence puts the social fabric of India at risk of being destroyed. As a result, as can be seen in the aftermath of the verdict by the Panchkula court, the people have taken the law into their own hands, and in the face of such a large number of violent people, no amount of preparation can control the violence the mob is capable of.

    As the violence continues, the Central and State governments must work swiftly to apprehend all responsible, including the rioting followers to show the nation and other sects that violence of this nature will not be tolerated and will be punished to the full extent of the law. As an additional measure, the governments should look at punitive measures against the sect itself for the same reason. The government must act quickly to show that it will protect the secular character of India that has been enshrined in our Constitution and will act strongly against those elements that seek to destroy the Indian society.