Disenchantment seems to be creeping in among the followers of Gurmeet Singh. The same fanatic followers who had rioted resulting in the near-shutdown of two states, seem to have had their eyes opened after the the so-called Baba was sent to jail for raping his women disciples.
People in Singh's birth place who had worshipped him are now throwing his photos in drains.
Devendra Rathore, the chief sanitation inspector of Rajasthan's Sriganganagar, where Singh was born, tells The Hindustan Times, "The drains near Meera Chowk and Sukhadia Circle were choked by the photos which restricted the water flow. There were more than hundred photos along with posters of the godman which appear to have been thrown away by his devotees."
The throwing of the photos is symbolic of Singh's downfall, a man who was once recommended by more than 4,200 people for a Padma award.
Singh's empire, built on the blind faith of millions of devotees is slowly but surely crumbling. While he is already behind bars, 'look out' notices have been issued against his closest aides.
IANS reports that the Haryana Police have issued notices against Singh's adopted daughter Honey Preet Kaur and the Dera spokesperson Aditya Insaan so that they are unable to leave the country.
The report adds that Aditya Insaan was booked with four other Dera functionaries for sedition and inciting violence. Kaur has a case against her for conspiring to help Singh to escape from court after his conviction.
While Kaur has made several statements to the media, Insaan is said to have gone underground.
With the top bosses of the Dera absconding or in jail, other people working or associated with the Dera empire are at the risk of losing their jobs.
Another report in The Hindustan Times says that the Dera has thousands of workers who serve as cooks, drivers, carpenters and plumbers and most of them are now confused about their future.
The report quoted 72-year-old Mithu Singh Insan, who worked in a farm at the 150-acre Salabatpura Dera, as saying, "Baithe rahenge. Jo likha hai, woh bhugtenge (I will sit back and suffer what is fated for me)."
He belongs to a Dalit family. Like him, there are several others who earn their daily bread from working in the Dera.
The so-called godman was able to have unquestioned faith from his followers perhaps because he provided them with facilities that were not available elsewhere.
The National Herald reported that the headquarter of the Dera in Haryana's Sirsa has a general hospital, a 350 acre farm, schools, colleges and an orphanage. The latter is said to be air-conditioned — something that is a far cry in regular orphanages.
The report suggests that students and teachers were all praises for 'Pitaji' (which is the way they address Singh) for giving them all kinds of facilities.
Now, with all his properties having been seized by the government, the future of his fanatic followers hangs in the balance.
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