Thursday, April 1, 2010


The sex scandal video clip of the self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda has come as an evidence as to what else not is done in the ashrams besides religious teachings and spirituality. The video features Nithyananda performing lewd acts with a Tamil Actress.

Laudably, the episode received strong condemnation from every one not excluding the electronic and print media. Rather, it was a TV channel that first broadcasted the objectionable video which exposed a part of the real ongoings in the name of religion at several places. But the stand of a section of the print media in the issue is startling.

Besides providing updates about day to day occurrences locally and globally, the media is also bound to point out the spoilers of the society’s atmosphere. It is doing. But sometimes it also fails or it does not do intentionally.

The scandal of the Swami is a stigma on the face of our Indian society. As it involves a woman, the feminists are supposed to be in the frontline against it. It was not expected that the newspapers which gave vast coverage to the Women Reservation Bill and blackened pages supporting it, would be clearing doubts about Swamiji; in other words protecting those who misbehave with women.

This is at the time when Karuppa Lenin, the former devotee of Nithyananda who claims to have shot the video to expose the guru, have openly said that Swamiji would “misbehave” the “beautiful” women and “force” them to perform lewd acts. He also handed over a CD containing the “raunchy bedroom” scenes of Nithyananda to the Chennai police commissioner.

Meanwhile, advocate Lakshmanaperumal has filed a complaint in Salem court that Swamiji had cheated him of Rs 25,000. It was when he approached Nithyananda on February 12 and the guru promised to cure his wife’s migraine problem. The advocate says that guru did ask some exercise to be done but in vain. He has asked the court to book Swamiji for cheating.

These points could have been highlighted by the media to ensure that such things do not take place in future. But they could not find the place they should have. Instead, the media devoted vast space to the defending statements of Nithyananda.

The famous English daily Express published a story on its front page with Swami accepting that it was him and the Tamil actress Ranjitha in the video. However it claims that Swamiji who spoke to it “from an undisclosed location in spiritual retreat of Haridwar” added that “she used to take care of me. And during the period when the video was shot, I was unwell and in a state of trance. That’s why I’m seen acting like a child. It’s no aggression.” Express has put a headline supportive for Swamiji, “Swami Nithyananda says he was in a ‘trace’ in controversial video clip”. It has given a quote of him in distinguishing letters “I have not committed any crime. I’d return to my (Bangalore) ashram after completing my engagements at the Kumbh.”

Notably, the religious entities of Hinduism are supposed to abstain from cardinal pleasure and they cannot be the real leader until they cut themselves off from the world. It is usual that media refers to the teachings of a certain community, their beliefs and mostly actions of some of its members and hastens to say that these are the working factor behind the spread of terrorism.

The reporter of another newspaper which claims to analyse the news visits the Ashram of Swamiji located in Bidadi at Ramanagaram district, 40 km from Bangalore city, and then reports, “Women at the ashram told me how the ashram made them feel secure, which was why they chose to remain committed to the development of the organization.”

This is only a fraction from among such reports appearing in different newspapers. If one goes through them, it will be crystal clear the spirit of journalism has eluded somewhere. Would this not encourage the repetition of such actions if media, which plays a pivotal role in shaping the mind of people, ignores the misdeeds of the so-called religious personalities? The media shouts slogans for women’s empowerment and their safety. Then why it not stands firm against the misconducts showed by Swamiji towards his female devotees.

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