The pants are tight and leather. The jacket is sleeveless, metal-studded. The hair is long, flowing. The singing is mostly in English, Hindi, Punjabi, and probably another language that I can’t understand. The lyrics are quite inspiring at a gut level, even if it’s mostly just the hook line. The verbal histrionics are admirable. And the man himself is a vision, what with the nasal twang, the grizzly body language, and an affable disdain for all things rhythmic. YouTube is blessed to have his official music videos on it.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the Love Charger. Or, as he sings it, the “Love Charzer”!
What’s not to love?
We must all be in awe of His Holiness Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who now uses the additional suffix ‘Insan’ (human being) that lengthens his name but underlines that he is human after all. However, he is not. He is superhuman.
While his latest avatar is that of a singer-rockstar whose music videos are a rage online, Wikipedia describes the Dera Sacha Sauda head as a social reformer, preacher and spiritual leader. And his official website, maintained by the dera’s IT wing, lists out the rest: “Besides awakening the souls and leading them to achieve the impossible; His Holiness is an author, inventor, scientist, an athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator, scholar, musician, theologian, physician, philosopher, philanthropist, peace activist and the ultimate humanitarian, only to mention a few of HIS endless gifts.”
The website-www.saintgurmeetramrahimsinghjiinsan.org-is a revelation for anyone wanting to know the man, the phenomenon, in detail. It is also a cool lesson in psychology.
It underlines that His Holiness “always remained the topper and monitor of class”during his “immaculate student life”in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, where he was born into a “holy royal family”. If you watch the YouTube videos of some of his early musical work-I recommend “Main chhora hun babbar sher ka”(I am the son of a lion)-it’s also clear why he “spear headed all the playing teams”in school. “His Holiness was a peerless sport person of myriad of games like wrestling, Volleyball, Badminton, and Cricket, besides Lawn Tennis… Under His hallowed helmsmanship, cricket had been played with replete confidence and had achieved success in every competition,”the website informs, using a grammar quite its own. It goes on to say, “We cannot describe HIM with any vocabulary learnt upon the earth,”but still tries for thousands of words while also noting that writing about him “by using all oceans as ink, chaste intelligence as paper, with the pen of dedication and with the mind of a seasoned journalist”would be “at par with showing the lamp to the sun”.
I do not have the ocean of ink, least of all the mind of a seasoned journalist, to describe a man who “at the tender age of seven-eight”was “adroit and dexterous”in driving a tractor! But, pardon me for trying.
My interest peaked after the dera’s move to openly support a party in the Haryana assembly elections, the results of which would be out the day this article is published. For years, the dera gave silent support to parties or candidates in Punjab and Haryana. This time, it is indiscreet about it, so much so that His Holiness voted for the first time since his coronation and tweeted a photo with his family, fingers duly inked.
Some non-believers have speculated how this support to the Centre’s ruling party is a way for His Holiness to have it easy in cases of sexual assault and murder that he has been facing for years. Some others have tried to explain it as a demand-supply equation, wherein the party and the sect want to consolidate common followers. All the analysis is humbug, I say, blasphemy that can be committed only by those who haven’t had the good fortune of using hair oil manufactured by the dera’s firm.
As someone who has used the aforementioned oil and other products of the Sach (‘Truth’) brand, I can feel the Saint’s grasp of his trade.
When there’s demand for long sermons, he is an expert. When there’s need for a social image that offsets the court cases, he has exemplary initiatives and a newspaper of his own. When there’s demand for a cooler baba, he is quick to oblige with custom-made cars, short shorts, caps, bandanas, wristbands, et al. And when there’s demand for a rockstar to engage a younger band of devotees, he is a one-man concert.
A movie is on its way too. It’s high time we stopped questioning him or his ways. He is playing to the gallery. This gallery doesn’t ask questions. Instead, we must answer what his website asks thus: “How would the society pay back the benevolences conferred by His Excellency Guruji????”