Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Newsmaker 2013: Asaram Bapu

She should have called the culprits brothers and begged them to stop... this could have saved her life." His bizarre logic, implying the victim was as guilty as her attackers, infuriated a nation outraged over the brutal rape of a 23-year-old student paramedic in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012. Eight months later, a 16-year-old girl, emboldened by the courage the paramedic inspired in women across India, accused him of rape. Asaram Bapu's devoted flock of millions of sadhaks (followers) included some of the most powerful politicians in the country. Yet he is one of the growing number of mighty men brought down by their libido in recent times. Asaram, 72, now lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail, was arrested on August 31. His son Narayan Sai, also accused of rape, was arrested not long after by the Surat police.

Asaram Bapu
Asaram Bapu
Accused of sexually exploiting adolescent girls, including children of his devotees, Asaram's tumble was quite literally a fall from grace. He had proclaimed himself a 'god' way back in 2001. But his miracles failed him finally. On December 13, police seized Rs 5 crore in Surat allegedly meant to bribe police officers, judges and doctors on his and his son Narayan Sai's cases. This, just days after Asaram, describing bjp's win in Rajasthan as a "victory of truth", predicted that "all would be well". The Surat police believe the recoveries are just a fraction of the cash set aside to rescue Asaram and Narayan Sai. Bereft of his halo, the godman now faces the godless: On December 15, Maoists threatened to bomb his ashram at Aurangabad in Bihar. They want the premises dismantled and moved out of the area.

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