The dark side of India’s self-styled Godmen


How to land in a prison? Learn from the best or don’t

An increasing number of so-called “spiritual” gurus or “godmen” in India are implicated in ghastly crimes ranging from sexual abuse to murder.

Sexual harassment by these godmen is not something new in society. But to blame Indians, or Hindus, alone for being prone to mystics and godmen would be unfair and unjust. What remains true is that godmen do extraordinarily well in our country than in most others we know of.

They project themselves as godmen and take undue advantage of their position/authority and commit heinous crimes like murder and rape.




Earlier this year, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to jail for seven years after being held guilty by a special CBI court. The case was pending in the court since 15 years.

Similarly, Asaram Babu and his son Narayan Sai were booked for the alleged rape of two sisters at their ashram in Gujarat’s Surat. The judgment in the case is still pending.


Several Indian godmen have faced criminal action or are presently lodged in various jails across the country in numerous sexual assault cases. Godmen in India exist at the intersection of religious fervor, political power, public support and often, massive wealth. These powers, however, help them to escape the cases against them.

A few major cases charged against Godmen in India:

1)    Nithyananda’s controversy after a purported video footage showing him in a compromising position with an actress was telecast by local TV channels.(2010)

2)    Asaram Bapu  was arrested in connection with a sexual assault case on a minor.(2013)

3)    Narayan Sai is currently lodged in jail for the rape and assault of a woman at one of Asaram’s ashrams between 2002 and 2005.


Meghna Sinha & Astha Bansal