Open letter to Chief Justice Bombay High Court on Fraud Nirmal Baba


Nirmal Baba

( PIC COURTSEY- desicomments.com )

To

The Hon’ble Chief Justice, Mohit S Shah

Subject- An Appeal under Art 51 A of the Indian Constitution

I write to you as a Citizen Of India under my fundamental duty ,  mentioned in  Article 51-A of the  Indian constitution  for  developing the scientific temper, and voicing against superstition, and blind beliefs .

Below is come excerpts of the Delhi High court judgment by Honble  Justice  Kailash Gambhir in  NIRMALJIT SINGH NARULA vs SH. YASHWANT SINGH & ORS  (I.A. No.10017/ 2012 in CS(OS) 1518/2012)

 

“Our country was perceived as the land of the sadhus and saints since time immemorial…Though we have come a long way…the mystical sadhus and the god-men have not left the picture, the difference may be that some of the sadhus travel by a private jet and have a turnover worth [tens of millions.]”

‘The question is, whether such spiritual babas in their lectures or discourses can suggest solutions which are absurd, irrational, illogical, unfathomable and unacceptable. advising his disciples in the Samagams and through media, millions of people watching television to open black purses at the time of showering of his blessings then the same will result in inflow of money to them and likewise to tell people to eat Rabri, Masala Dosa or Paani Poori to overcome their miseries, are the kind of solutions which are highly irrational, weird and unacceptable to commonsensical notions, bound to result in backlash by the media and other such agencies. ( Para 27 of the Judgment)

 The videos of Nirma Babas Samagam  also depict the various cures and remedies propagated by him. It would be pertinent here to quote at least one of them:

“Baba: puri chhole khaye kabhi?

Bakht: ji baba ji khaye hain

Baba: Aisa karo puri chhole baba ko yad kar do char garibo

ko khila do, prabhu ki zyada kripaa ayegi.” (para 28 )

 

The above instance is only one odd out of the basket and any prudent person with average intelligence would be in rapt disbelief if such a remedy would get him rid of the difficulties he is facing in his life. Primafacie, these do not appear as logical to a rational mind but the whole edifice of this God market and its nuances is based on the belief system of people. This court cannot help but sound a word of caution that this sudden resurgence of the babas who claims to have mystical powers and give all kind of illogical solutions to overcome the miseries of people has amplified and glorified superstition and has turned the clock back of development in our country. ( Para 29 )

Who is Nirmal Baba

Nirmal Baba, former name Nirmaljit Singh Nirula, was born in 1952 in Samana, India, near Patiala Punjab, to a Namdhari Sikh family and is the youngest of two brothers and three sisters. He grew up in Palamau, Jharkhand after his parents shifted there in the Fifties. He is married to Sushma Narula and has a daughter and a son. Nirmaljit Singh began his brick kiln business in 1981. However, he suffered losses and following this, he started a cloth shop but again failed in his venture. He was then involved in mining of Kyanite from Jyoti Hill, Jharkhand in 1998–1999.He claims to have attained nirvana in a Jharkhand jungle in the 1980s. He then cut his Sikh hair, shaved off his beard and adopted the name Nirmal Baba.[1]

 

Nirmal Darbar  is the name of the paid televised show corresponding to each public meeting of Baba. This show was broadcast by approximately 40 different channels including AXNTV AsiaStar NewsSAB TV and more.[2] During these Darbars, he makes public appearances and converses with aggrieved devotees who usually narrated their personal, social or financial worries to him. He asks questions to diagnose what has stopped “kirpa” (God’s kindness) from flowing in the devotees’ lives. He then, advises them on those issues publicly and suggested “solutions” to make “kirpa” (God’s kindness) flow in the devotees’ lives again thereby solving their problems. Nirmal Baba also claims to save his devotees from negative effects of black magic and evil spirits. All the Samagam meetings havetickets for  Rs 2,000.[3] The tagline of the show is “Yantra chale na tantra mantra, na rahe dukhon ka ghera. Bhagya uday ho jayega jab ho, Nirmal Baba aashirwad tera.” meaning “Even when objects representing aspects of divine and mystical hymns and sounds having special meanings fail, good luck can be awakened in a person’s life by blessings of Nirmal Baba . He  also asks his followers to deposit a part of income to someone which may give a sort of guarantee for continuing KRIPA. That part of income which has been offered is called Daswand.

Complaints and Cases against Nirmal Baba

In April 2012 various news papers published news about Nirmal Baba’s bank accounts. He advertised on 35 channels. On every congregation (darbar) around 5,000 are believed to be present. Each person has to pay Rs 2,000 to be a part of it. This amounts to a staggering figure of around Rs 1 crore from every darbar he organizes. It is believed that around 7 such darbars are conducted every month which takes the stats to Rs 84 crores per year. This not the end to it.He also gives group appointments, conducts pujas, takes donations etc. Every devotee of his, who is healed of his problems, has to pay 1/10th of his earnings. Plus thousands shell out a lot from their kitty to free themselves from the problems which Baba claims to solve.
A Hindi daily, Prabhat Khabar, exposed the  details of two of these accounts. As per the newspaper, Rs 109 crore have been deposited in these two accounts this year (until first week of April 2012). Roughly, everyday Rs 1.11 crores are deposited into these accounts. Although a large part of the deposit comes from Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand, but transactions take place from all over the country. Prabhat Khabar states that Rs 16 crore were deposited into Nirmal Baba’s account on April 12, 2012.

Nirmal Baba told to media that he has  been paying my income tax regularly. His  annual turnover is Rupees 235 Crore. Nirmal Baba bought hotel worth Rs 30 crore in Delhi’s Greater Kailash Area using the money donated to him by his devotees, according to a Jharkhand daily.[4]

In an another controversy two youngsters, Tanaya Thakur and Aritya Thakur, filed a report against self-proclaimed godman Nirmal Baba at a police station on  April 11, 2012 . They wanted  the Baba  be punished for allegedly cheating ordinary people through his “impractical” solutions. The written report said Nirmal Baba cheats common people by claiming godly powers. The report said his activities fuel superstitious thoughts and are a “hindrance to modernistic thoughts”.[5]

Also, Nidhi, a junior-artist who has worked in many TV serials, claimed that Nirmal Baba shot many of his programmes in Film City, Noida, UP and surprisingly the people who asked questions were not the ‘genuine’ ones but ‘fake’ people hired by Nirmal Baba. According to Nidhi, she got Rs 10,000 from Nirmal Baba for asking questions. [6]

First FIR was registered against godman Nirmal Baba in Bihar, on April 22, 2012. The FIR was filed at a police station in Bihar’s Araria district, and accused Nirmal Baba of fraud and cheating. [7] The court of Araria Chief Judicial Magistrate Satyendra Razak then issued a warrant of arrest on the basis of an FIR filed  by complainant who alleged that the Baba forced him to pay Rs. 1,000 in three installments between January and March 2011 on promise of fame and fortune. In his complaint, Singh also sent by courier counterfoils of the deposits of Rs 300 twice and Rs 400 in the Baba’s account at the Punjab and National Bank to his Delhi address as sought .According to Araria Superintendent of Police Shivdeep Lande, the accusation was found prima facie true following which he directed the investigating officer to move the court and seek a warrant of arrest.[8]

In Uttar Pradesh , three cases have been filed against controversial  Godman, Nirmaljeet Singh for alleged fraud and cheating.A case was filed against Baba and his wife in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Meerut for alleged fraud. The complainant, Harish Veer Singh, claimed that on Baba’s advice he ate ‘kheer’, which led to a health problem. In another police case filed at Indira Puram here, one Jai Ram Singh alleged that Nirmal Baba cheated him of Rs 31,000 by promising cure to his ailment, but he found no relief. In third case, One Jitender Singh filed a police complaint against Baba for allegedly cheating him of Rs 11,000 for curing his health problem . He claimed that he developed regular pain in his body after he ate ‘Pani-Poori’ for months following Baba’s advice. He alleged he had deposited Rs 11,000 in Baba’s bank account, but when he demanded more money, he decided to lodge complaint against the controversial Godman.[9]

In Madhya Pradesh , on a  complaint filed by Bina resident Surendra Vishwakarma,  local court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant, and directed police to produce him on June 25., 2012 . However, the police could not find the controversial Godman on his Delhi address. The  Madhya Pradesh High Court granted him an anticipatory bail. Justice G S Solanki of High Court asked him to execute a personal bond of Rs 50,000. A magistrate’s court at Bina had rejected Baba’s application seeking exemption from personal appearance .Vishwakarma has accused Baba of “cheating and hurting personal sentiments”. As per the complaint, Vishwakarma kept Rs 2,000 in a black purse so that his finances may improve, on Baba’s instructions. However, he lost the purse with the money, he alleged.[10]

Please do see the news report, where the above complainants talk about their complaints

Here is  another  Aaj Tak  interview of  Nirmal Baba

In  June 2012, Following a strong stand taken by Indian Broadcasting Federation asking its member channels to stop telecast of Nirmal Baba’s show Nirmal Darbar, the number of TV channels showing the show  dwindled from 36 to 19. A court in Madhya Pradesh  also issued an order asking stay on telecast of Nirmal Darbar. All the Nirmal Darbar programmes are paid shows on the channels, which runs into crores of rupees.[11]

 

The  self proclaimed , fraud God man is exploiting people who are in search of easy solutions to their agonies be it relating to health, poverty, unemployment, disharmony in the family etc . Nirmal Baba  is  s preading blind faith in the society, with his preachings under title of  ‘Third Eye of Nirmal Baba’ in his samagams , where he asks people to follow his preachings and guidelines to become rich and get rid of all problems in life, while his only motive is to make money.  He has no degree in religious teachings, and spreads fear among people by claiming that he has supernatural powers and asking them “to deposit ten per cent of their income in his bank account to receive his blessings.

I am a votary of  Freedom of Expression and  Speech and  am not asking for any curtailment of speech, but  I  amd asking for an intervention from  the Honble  High Court, that a  caution  be displayed , at all his ‘ samagams’, and public meetings, darbars  venues ,  so that people know what they are listening to — in the nature of a  Statutory Warning.

His next  Samagam in Mumbai as per his website is on April 8, 9 and  2013[12].

Please consider this as a petition against fraud and blind belief.

Sincerely

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Feminist and Human Rights Activist

Mumbai

Dated- March 16, 2013


[1] www.nirmalbaba.com

[2] http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/NAT-TOP-plotting-nirmal-babas-rise-on-the-web-3108745.html?HF-2=

[3] www.nirmalbaba.com

[4] http://m.oneindia.in/news/2012/04/16/nirmal-baba-donations-buy-rs-1-8-cr-flat-30cr-hotel.html

[5] http://www.newsbullet.in/india/34-more/28574-star-news-exclusive-hard-facts-about-nirmal-baba

[6] http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/NAT-TOP-ask-fake-question-and-get-rs-10000-from-nirmal-baba-3102181.html

[7] http://zeenews.india.com/news/bihar/first-fir-registered-against-nirmal-baba_771060.html

[8] http://www.siasat.com/english/news/hc-stays-nirmal-baba%E2%80%99s-arrestnext-hearing-june-18

[9] http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cheating-fraud-cases-against-nirmal-baba-in-up/938268

[10] http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-26/indore/32424181_1_personal-bond-godman-arrest-warrant

[11] http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/nirmal-baba-show-discontinued-16432.html

[12] http://nirmalbaba.com/

Children of god ?- Kuldip Nayar


Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kuldip Nayar

in Dailystar
When an Australian editor posed a question to the Indian press on why it never had a dalit, the untouchable, at a top position in journalism, I felt embarrassed. I considered it an omission which should have been rectified long ago and felt confident that it would happen before long.

But after noticing that no attention was paid a few days ago to the 121st anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a Gandhi for the dalits, I have come to believe that the discrimination against the dalits is a prejudice which would take many decades to wear off. They are at the lowest rung of the Hindu society which develops a bias against them at an early age and has no shame in perpetuating it.

The only thing to remind Dr. Ambedkar was a full-page advertisement sponsored by the central government in leading newspapers. There was also a small function around his portrait in the central hall of parliament which is out of bounds for an ordinary citizen. I did not see television channels showing any programme on Dr. Ambedkar, nor did I find any edit or article in any newspaper to recall his services.

Dr. Ambedkar is the framer of India‘s constitution and we owe the parliamentary system to him. This is enshrined in the constitution. I recall how boldly he stood in parliament to have a provision against untouchability, the bane of Hindu society, and how he expressed hope that the prejudice would disappear. Yet the upper caste has proved him wrong.

Reservations given to the Scheduled Castes, namely the dalits, are laid down in the constitution. But this was despite his opposition. He was against reservations which he compared with crutches by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and other Congress leaders prevailed upon him to accept the provision for 10 years.

Little did Dr. Ambedkar realise at that time that political parties on the one hand and the vested interests among dalits, particularly the creamy layer, on the other would go on prolonging reservations for electoral advantage. So demanding is this consideration that reservations are given extensions decade after decade without a debate in parliament.

The Hindu society should be grateful to Dr. Ambedkar that he and his followers embraced Buddhism. He had threatened to convert to Islam along with his dalit followers to escape discrimination. Mahatma Gandhi beseeched him and even threatened to go on fast unto death. Dr. Ambedkar bowed before the wishes of Gandhi but refused to return to the fold of Hinduism.

Even conversion has not helped the dalits. They are more or less treated in Islam, Christianity or Sikhism in the same way as in the Hindus society. The dalits carry the tag of discrimination and helplessness wherever they go, although the three religions claim equality for the followers. Therefore, the dalits have not escaped the rigours of caste system even outside Hinduism. The Sachar committee has pointed out the inhuman treatment meted out to them even when they have embraced Islam.

Gandhiji christened the dalit as Harijan, Son of god. But it reflected a patronizing attitude which the dailit scornfully rejected. Why the dalits, who constitute some 17% of India’s population, have continued to stay in the Hindu society despite all the insults heaped on them is beyond me. They have never revolted nor have they taken any step to harm the Hindu society which still does not give them even a modicum of individuality.

A few years ago some dalits, led by Kanshi Ram, constituted a political party of their own, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). It has won them political recognition but not social status. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, despite corruption and her authoritarian trait, has given dalits the feeling that they can go to the police station and register complaints. They are offered even chairs as is the case with members of other communities. Home Minister P. Chidambaram‘s advice to dalits to join major parties to enjoy power does not mean much. They followed the Congress faithfully for 45 years. but their lot has remained the same as it was.

Even now the dalits carry night soil on their head. The government proposes to prohibit the practice which was contemplated 50 years ago. The home ministry issued instructions even at that time. Apparently, very little has happened since because the government is enacting a law to stop the practice. The dalits would do well if they were to refuse to carry night soil on their head. Yet they are economically so poor that they cannot afford to risk the livelihood.

At the same time, crimes against the dalits have not lessened. There is a proposal to give arms to them in what are called “atrocity prone areas.” Obviously, the government has failed to protect the dalits and their property. Unfortunately, the police force is also on the side of the landlords and other vested interests who treat the dalits as their subject like the maharaja used to do.

Official figures reveal that there is a huge backlog of cases relating to the atrocities committed against the dalits. Had the centre been serious about preventing atrocities against them it would have taken measures like special courts, fast track prosecution and steps to dispose of cases quickly. Strangely, the Patna High Court has acquitted all the 23 persons accused of perpetrating the massacre of 21 dalits at Bathani Tola in Bhojpur.

It should have been clear by now that no law or no government action can do away with the evil of untouchability. You cannot succeed if the mindset does not change. What the children have grown up with in the name of tradition or religion is prejudiced and cannot be effaced until the society is forced to give up bias which has got entrenched.

The country needs a social revolution. Alas, I do not find any meaningful movement to bring it about. Take, for example, the belief that girls are a burden. How many of them are killed either in womb or after birth is not possible to count. That it happens mostly in north India, particularly Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP is no solace.

A sustained effort to change the mindset and remove the clogs of superstition can make a dent into this widely prevailing evil. But no political party is interested in doing so. Nor are the activists because they are aiming at economic changes. Social problems are begging for attention.

The writer is an eminent Indian Journalist.

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