After rape remark, Asaram Bapu 'not welcome' at Kumbh

Sanyasis say godmen like him have distorted Hindu culture
Last Updated 09 January 2013, 20:18 IST

Saints like Asaram Bapu and self-proclaimed godman Nirmal Baba, who have courted controversies for their remarks, may find themselves in trouble if they choose to visit the Maha Kumbh at Allahabad.

The saint community has warned that it will not allow them to participate in the religious congregation.
“Such saints have distorted the tradition of the Hindu culture and have hurt it greatly,” said Narendra Giri, general secretary of Sanyasi Parishad, an apex body of saints.

Narendra Giri, also the mahant (chief) of the prestigious Allahabad based Baghambari Gaddi (a Mutt) said those who are engaged in giving religious discourses are not entitled to use the word ‘saint’ before their names.

“They are not saints in the true sense. They must not be given land on the bank of Sangam (the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers),” Giri said.

He also opposed the entry of Nirmal Baba, the self-proclaimed godman, saying that he too cannot be considered as a saint.

The community appeared to be very upset with the recent controversial remarks of Asaram Bapu on the Delhi gang rape.

Asaram Bapu had reportedly said the victim was equally responsible for the incident. “She should have called the culprits brothers and begged them to stop,” Asaram Bapu had remarked.

“We will protest if Asaram Bapu, Radhey Maan and Nirmal Baba are allowed to take part in the Maha Kumbh,” said another prominent saint.

The administration has also made it clear that it had not allotted land to Radhey Maan, a controversial woman saint and Nirmal Baba.

Earlier also the saint community of Allahabad had called for boycott of Nirmal Baba if he chose to visit the Maha Kumbh.

(Published 09 January 2013, 20:18 IST)

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