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Shouldn't Sakshi Maharaj have been pulled up in Mann ki Baat?

28 Aug 2017


BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj escaped any chastisement from prime minister Narendra Modi in his August 26, 2017 telecast of Mann ki Baat.

"One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?" Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a "conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture." "One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?" Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a "conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture." The BJP member of parliament has also warned that "if even bigger incidents take place, court will also be responsible not just Dera people," saying, "There is so much of ruckus over it, law and order has been disturbed, people are dying...Shouldn't this be a consideration?" Ram Rahim, he said, "is a simple man so he is being harassed."

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj made this statement in defence of Baba Ram Rahim, who was convicted in a rape case on August 26. A day later prime minister, Narendra Modi grabbed the headlines when he chastised, there was not even one word of public censure for a Member of Parliament of his own party who had by his statement not just triviliased the criminal offence of rape, incited BJP/ Baba Rahim's followers to more violence and also committed contempt of the court's decision.

Swami Sachidanand Hari, popularly known as Sakshi Maharaj, has had similar allegations of rape and murder charges on him as Baba Ram Rahim. Maharaj has a total of 34 criminal charges levelled against him, for which trials are ongoing. While one of the murder charges is still being debated in court, the gang-rape charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Like Ram Rahim, Sakshi Maharaj’s political alliances are well known. He is currently a Member of Parliament under the Bharatiya Janata Party. He became a prominent face for Hindutva due to his involvement in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The trial for his involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition is still ongoing. The only time he broke away from BJP was when he was refused a party ticket to contest elections from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh. Maharaj explained that he broke off from BJP and accused that the party’s policies were unfavourable to the poorer and backward sections of the society. He contested the seat as a Samajwadi Party candidate. He was at that time also accused of murder of Brahmdutt Dwivedi , a BJP MLA who also hailed from Farrukhabad. The charges, however, were again dropped, due to lack of evidence.

This Maharaj was even suspended from Rajya Sabha in 2006 on corruption charges. A sting operation had revealed that he had been misusing MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds. Star News, who carried out the sting, had claimed that its reporters were able to gain assurance from Sakshi that he would provide money to a fictitious NGO for a “commission”.

Who is Sakshi Maharasj? Sakshi is the director of Sakshi Maharaj Group, under which he owns and operates 16 educational institutions and 44 ashrams across the country. In 2008, Maharaj was again found guilty of misappropriation of MP funds . He had granted Rs 25 lakh to a college he owned himself, even though the documents relating to the institute were found invalid.

Despite multiple serious criminal charges, Maharaj not only continues to be a Member of Parliament, he also successfully operates his own religious movement through the numerous educational institutes and ashrams he owns. His political power gives him the funds for his religious operations, and his huge fan following keeps him in political power. He is the most conspicuous result of the nexus between godmen and government. One of his institutions, Ma Madalsa Vidyalaya, was donated to the RSS.
Maharaj is perhaps known best for his inciteful hate speech.  From blaming Muslims for India’s population problem to saying cow slaughter should be punished with a death penalty or calling Godse a martyr , Maharaj has gotten away with it all, escaping Narendra Modi's censure, yet again.

Is Sakshi Maharaj too big for the lawmen's boots? There have been reports of a rape case being quashed by the police in Farrukhabad. The allegations were made by a disciple of his ashram. She still maintains that Maharaj took advantage of her and raped her in the ashram. When the case went to court, the police filed a report saying there hadn't been any rape. Using his mob muscle, Sakshi Maharaj also has been reported of booth capturing during the elections, when he has been seen going around in a caravan of vehicles with armed guards to capture booths. Even after his weapons were seized, Maharaj won the seat.

India's Godmen are a disturbing phenomenon --  men who are beyond the reach of the law and the government. These godmen can and have switched allegiances with political parties if any dispute arises, and maintain their power. There is none from the Indian political class who has the vision to take them on.
 

Shouldn't Sakshi Maharaj have been pulled up in Mann ki Baat?



BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj escaped any chastisement from prime minister Narendra Modi in his August 26, 2017 telecast of Mann ki Baat.

"One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?" Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a "conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture." "One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?" Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a "conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture." The BJP member of parliament has also warned that "if even bigger incidents take place, court will also be responsible not just Dera people," saying, "There is so much of ruckus over it, law and order has been disturbed, people are dying...Shouldn't this be a consideration?" Ram Rahim, he said, "is a simple man so he is being harassed."

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj made this statement in defence of Baba Ram Rahim, who was convicted in a rape case on August 26. A day later prime minister, Narendra Modi grabbed the headlines when he chastised, there was not even one word of public censure for a Member of Parliament of his own party who had by his statement not just triviliased the criminal offence of rape, incited BJP/ Baba Rahim's followers to more violence and also committed contempt of the court's decision.

Swami Sachidanand Hari, popularly known as Sakshi Maharaj, has had similar allegations of rape and murder charges on him as Baba Ram Rahim. Maharaj has a total of 34 criminal charges levelled against him, for which trials are ongoing. While one of the murder charges is still being debated in court, the gang-rape charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Like Ram Rahim, Sakshi Maharaj’s political alliances are well known. He is currently a Member of Parliament under the Bharatiya Janata Party. He became a prominent face for Hindutva due to his involvement in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The trial for his involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition is still ongoing. The only time he broke away from BJP was when he was refused a party ticket to contest elections from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh. Maharaj explained that he broke off from BJP and accused that the party’s policies were unfavourable to the poorer and backward sections of the society. He contested the seat as a Samajwadi Party candidate. He was at that time also accused of murder of Brahmdutt Dwivedi , a BJP MLA who also hailed from Farrukhabad. The charges, however, were again dropped, due to lack of evidence.

This Maharaj was even suspended from Rajya Sabha in 2006 on corruption charges. A sting operation had revealed that he had been misusing MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds. Star News, who carried out the sting, had claimed that its reporters were able to gain assurance from Sakshi that he would provide money to a fictitious NGO for a “commission”.

Who is Sakshi Maharasj? Sakshi is the director of Sakshi Maharaj Group, under which he owns and operates 16 educational institutions and 44 ashrams across the country. In 2008, Maharaj was again found guilty of misappropriation of MP funds . He had granted Rs 25 lakh to a college he owned himself, even though the documents relating to the institute were found invalid.

Despite multiple serious criminal charges, Maharaj not only continues to be a Member of Parliament, he also successfully operates his own religious movement through the numerous educational institutes and ashrams he owns. His political power gives him the funds for his religious operations, and his huge fan following keeps him in political power. He is the most conspicuous result of the nexus between godmen and government. One of his institutions, Ma Madalsa Vidyalaya, was donated to the RSS.
Maharaj is perhaps known best for his inciteful hate speech.  From blaming Muslims for India’s population problem to saying cow slaughter should be punished with a death penalty or calling Godse a martyr , Maharaj has gotten away with it all, escaping Narendra Modi's censure, yet again.

Is Sakshi Maharaj too big for the lawmen's boots? There have been reports of a rape case being quashed by the police in Farrukhabad. The allegations were made by a disciple of his ashram. She still maintains that Maharaj took advantage of her and raped her in the ashram. When the case went to court, the police filed a report saying there hadn't been any rape. Using his mob muscle, Sakshi Maharaj also has been reported of booth capturing during the elections, when he has been seen going around in a caravan of vehicles with armed guards to capture booths. Even after his weapons were seized, Maharaj won the seat.

India's Godmen are a disturbing phenomenon --  men who are beyond the reach of the law and the government. These godmen can and have switched allegiances with political parties if any dispute arises, and maintain their power. There is none from the Indian political class who has the vision to take them on.
 

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