Who exactly is Ram Rahim Singh? | Fusion - WeRIndia

Who exactly is Ram Rahim Singh?

Who exactly is Ram Rahim Singh?

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was born to Sikh parents in Rajasthan and grew up immersed in the Sikh culture. When he was twenty-three years old, he was made the head of Dera Sacha Sauda (which means “place of truth”), a Sikh sect established in 1948.

Under Ram Rahim’s outlook, this sect grew substantially in numbers, claiming about sixty million followers today.

The followers mainly come from Haryana, Punjab, and New Delhi, and the sect has almost fifty branches all throughout the country. The sect has a lush headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana, which even contains a cinema and a sports stadium.

Through all of his sect’s growth in wealth and numbers, Ram Rahim himself has become immensely popular. He became known for his extravagant clothing and jewelry style, and has produced well-received films and albums.

By growing the sect, he also gained particular popularity in his region, since the Dera Sacha Sauda advocates vegetarianism and abstinence from drugs and alcohol (high usages of drugs and alcohol are a major problem in the region).

Ram Rahim himself got married and had three children, one son and two daughters, but he now claims himself to be completely celibate.

Despite his many followers and supporters, things have taken quite the turn for the worse for the extravagant sect leader.

Fifteen years ago, one of Ram Rahim’s female followers contacted the Prime Minister of India at the time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In her letter, she claimed to have been raped by Ram Rahim, and she said that there were several other women in the sect who had been sexually assaulted by him as well.

An investigation by the CBI resulted in the conviction of Ram Rahim, who is now facing twenty years in prison for the rape of two of his female followers. Many of his sect members were outraged at the result of his trial, and thousands of them violently rioted last Friday.

Ram Rahim may be spending the next twenty years in prison, but this violent outbreak has shown that his influence is still strong among the people in his sect.

Image Credit: Auroraaddy / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Image Reference: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Gurmeet_Ram_Rahim_Singh_Ji_Insan.jpg

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