Few challenges to youth conscience

Whether it is the self-styled godman himself who is playing it smart or just the media, which might have developed a Nithyananda fatigue, is for viewers and readers to decide.
Whatever be the case, Nithyananda is the new ‘brand’ the youngistan identifies with. The generation, which seems to be growing impatient with the split image of the country, one of being traditional at home and yet well-versed with the global brands to flaunt, is all willing to ‘forgive’ Nithyananda for faltering, if he ever wanted to describe his fornication that.

There is not a college, at least in Mysore, which does not end its ethnic day without having a minimum of three to five students decking themselves up a la Nithyananda. This is message enough for those who have been crying hoarse that Nithyananda ‘cheated’ the gullible people who ‘trusted’ him. “What cheating? Come on, dude! He just slept with someone who was willing to go along with him to the bed. The girl looks all too cooperative,” a youngster once told me when the videos went public.

The magic

The time was apt for the young Rajashekharan alias Nithyananda, still in his mid-30s, when he decided to morph his more mortal being with that of a imagined godman. Just as Rahul is for young Congress men, and Varun for young Hindutva torch bearers, Nithyananda, amidst the aged gurujis and ammas, stood out like a ray of hope. His young age and a captivating smile worked magic on potential devotees to be drawn into his network of ashrams.

For the young blood, Nithyananda was someone right out of college (which, incidentally, is questionable) who had the ‘guts’ to choose a different path. And, no, his amorous act with the Tamil actress who shot to fame only after this episode, has certainly not hurt his image among his contemporaries willing to put it behind them. After all, the noveau riche think it is perfectly ‘human’ at his age. This generation does not want to put its realities to test too hard. Perseverance is a poor cousin who got lost, conveniently, in the world led by competition. Comfortable as we are with the growing image of Bangalore as a cosmopolitan city, we have also ensured the number of temples in the residential areas went up simultaneously.

Be it at the cost of pavements we can compare that with clean pedestrian pathways in the US and comment later. Old timers would vouch for the fact that the number of poojas and their sheer variety, were few in those days. The priest was a friendly man who remembered faces and families. Today, the priest has a car, and a handful of assignments, and hence conducts a range of poojas in a hurry, besides working his way through IT/BT offices, to suit their needs.

When the need to cleanse gets a little more intense, we can always turn around and find swamijis with their resort-like-ashrams, all very willing to give us a ‘spiritual bath’ at costs which are highly affordable by all of us who make loads of money and do not know if we really deserved to be paid so much.

Is the Nithyananda ashram running on encroached land? The authorities be damned; that does not affect us. Uncomfortable truths have no time in our lives to be put under the scanner. They go straight into the shredding machine. When the need is ‘me’ and not the ‘community’; when society is increasingly turning into collective schizophrenic mode with individuals having two or more identities, when families are getting more and more ‘nuclear’ and old age homes (with modern facilities, of course) mushroom on the outskirts of the city, our conscience is faced with fewer challenges.

With that, there will be another Nithyananda who will be born. This time, more tech-savvy, but someone who will ensure that his ‘private moments’ within the camera-proof sanctum sanctorum of his room are not recorded by busy-bodies.

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