Godman's fall

Reading list: Seven articles to explain Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – the cult, the crime, the cinema

The self-styled godman and leader of the Dera Sacha Sauda was convicted by a CBI special court on Friday.

Mobs turned violent in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, and parts of Haryana and Punjab after a special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case registered against him in 2002. The quantum of sentence will be decided on Monday, August 28, Live Law reported. The same court will also hear the murder case of the journalist who was shot dead 15 years ago, after he first reported the case of Ram Rahim.

Here’s a roundup of articles written about the cult leader, who has been appearing in a widely derided series of films since 2015.

  1. Why is Punjab increasingly turning to new gurus for comfort?: How a slowdown in economic growth in a once-prosperous state has resulted in its people turning towards new gurus, away from orthodox religion. 
  2. Why theatres love ‘MSG The Warrior – Lion Heart’: it’s pure business: Screenings of Rahim’s films, which often serve as propaganda videos for his cult, are usually packed with his followers.
  3. India’s Castration Cult Wants a Do-Over: A look at the allegations that Rahim castrated his followers. The victims said that they had been promised that it was a chance to “meet God”.
  4. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: Meet the the man behind MSG cult: The cult leader said that he found himself politically closer to the “BJP and Narendra Modi” in a 2015 profile. 
  5. India’s Rockstar Saint Is a Spiritual Guru, Cinema Sensation, and Rape Suspect: A rundown of the list of allegations against Ram Rahim. 
  6. When a ‘pop-godman’ played himself: An examination of the legislation that allowed the Censor Board to deny a certificate to Messenger of God (2015), a film starring Ram Rahim. 
  7. The lure of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: What made his followers believe that the self-styled godman would be acquitted?
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