Dera spokesman Aditya Insan: The eye doctor blinded by faith

Aditya got into trouble with the authorities on Saturday when he, along with another spokesperson, was booked for waging a war against the state by the Haryana Police after a report that he and four other dera officials had instigated the violence.

punjab Updated: Aug 28, 2017 23:57 IST
Manraj Grewal Sharma
Manraj Grewal Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
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Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson Aditya Insan(HT File)

For long, Aditya Insan, the bespectacled ophthalmologist, has been the most visible face of Dera Sacha Sauda for the last 20 years, appearing on television debates to defend the chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. He was also the go-to man for the media, every time they needed to hear the dera’s side of the story.

Soon after his master, Aditya got into trouble with the authorities on Saturday when he, along with another spokesman, was booked for waging a war against the state by the Haryana Police after a report that he and four other officials had instigated the dera followers who ran amok and clashed with the forces after the Friday’s verdict.

The sedition charge is non-bailable and can lead to life imprisonment. The police are yet to arrest Aditya or Surender Dhiman, the other dera spokesman booked for sedition.

An articulate doctor in his forties, he has been providing the dera the much-needed intellectual validation. Aditya studied medicine and specialised in ophthalmology at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences, Delhi, from 1988 to 1997. He was also the secretary of the literary society at AIIMS besides being involved in their film club and college magazine.

It was in 1997 that he started working for the Sirsa dera. His LinkedIn profile describes him as senior consultant and director, Eye Bank, Shah Satnamji Speciality Hospital at Sirsa, which he claims is the largest eye bank of the country.

Aditya also edits Sach Kahoon (Saying Truth), the dera’s official daily paper, which has seven editions in Hindi and Punjabi for followers in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Born Aditya Arora, he was raised in Mohali, a city neighbouring Chandigarh, where his family owned a provision store. He studied at Shivalik Public School there. Aditya claims the dera chief transformed his life. He says he was a “drunkard” with a glad eye until he met the baba.

Aditya certainly seems to have prospered under the dera chief, for he is also the owner of an automobile agency, MSG Motors Pvt Ltd, since January 2009.

Surender Dhiman Insan, the other person booked for sedition, is a local coordinator of the dera.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 12:52 IST