Ram Rahim rape trial: From shock on FB live to parody on WhatsApp, social media abuzz
With the number of Dera Sacha Sauda supporters in Panchkula swelling by the hour throughout Wednesday — two days ahead of the CBI court verdict in a rape case against sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh — people took to social media mostly expressing shock at the growing numbers.
On Facebook, Panchkula residents went live, putting out videos of dera followers congregated at various places, such as along the Zirakpur-Kalka road. “Its so ridiculous to see thousands of people coming from different regions and states gathering in and around Panchkula because of a case verdict on 25th Aug. None of them seems to have any idea where to stay, where to defecate or where to sleep,” wrote Sahil Vasudeva on Facebook. Vasudeva also used Facebook live feature with a sarcastic caption, ‘For such a noble cause’, showing scores of people along the roadside on the Chandigarh-Kalka highway.
Others took to posting links from news websites with updates about the situation.
A Facebook live video by Hindustan Times, in which the reporter talked to dera supporters about their motivation behind coming to Panchkula, received a lot of reactions from users, with many blaming the dera followers for creating chaos.
A Facebook user, Swinky Sharma commented, “If you’re that sure he’s going to come out clean, why don’t you sit back at your home? Instead of creating a chaos for the general public and marketing your sect here, you must go and prepare for the extravagant celebrations back home, yeah? #MindlessJanta”
Watch the Facebook Live here:
“God open the eyes of the blind people so that they may see the truth and truth will set them free... That innocent girl is waiting for justice crying for help.. If court will not provide her justice then who will?? (sic)” Pawan Chauhan commented on the live video.
Mohinder Banga commented, “Religion of any hue makes its believers reason blind.”
Many also expressed surprise that the police and administration were “not doing enough to control the situation” despite prohibitory orders in the state. Devinder Singh Aujla commented, “Is Indian administration sleeping. People are already gathering for riots and administration is a mute spectator. Shame on them.”
“Where is the police? Why are they permitting Dera samarthaks (supporters) to enter Chandigarh? They have to stop them – it’s a government conspiracy,” Vinni Sharma said.
Support strong too
Both FB and Twitter continue to have a strong presence of dera followers. Though they did not comment on the posts regarding the law and order situation worsening across Punjab and Haryana, random searches using the keyword ‘dera’ show many posts praising “ social work” by the dera head. They used #MSGgretSocialReformer in their tweets.
Lisha Bhutani on Wednesday tweeted, “Free medical camps are organised by the Dera under pious guidance of Saint GurmeetRamRahim Singh Ji #MSGgretSocialReformer.”
Simran Insan tweeted, “DSS is the only organisation who is serving humanity 24*7 365 in the best possible way #MSGgretSocialReformer.”
And that song
Meanwhile, hitting much closer to the subject, a video parodying the self-styled godman, set to a Punjabi song, was also circulating on WhatsApp. Ironically, the lyrics of the song are: ‘High court peshi jatt di, seal ho gaya Chandigarh saara (All of Chandigarh had to be sealed as Jatt was to appear in court).