Asaram Bapu’s journey as a religious was not destined in fact, he was involved in a diverse range of obscene activities during his teenage period including smuggling liquor. He also worked at a cycle shop and later opened a tea stall. He grew a beard later and then claimed to be a religious teacher.
Asaram Bapu: Beginning
Asumal Sirumalani Harpalani, later called Asaram Bapu by his followers, was born on 17 April 1941. He and his family moved to Ahmedabad after the 1947 partition. He had his schooling at Jai Hind High School, up-till class III. Now, a person with little or no education later flourished as a religious saint.
Asaram Bapu was renowned for his unpredictable nature as he ran from his home at age 15. He moved out of his home just before his marriage. He was sort interested in spiritual works ever since the beginning. He ended up at an Ashram in Gandhidham, where he was later renamed Asaram on 7 October 1964.
Asaram Journey as Baba
Asaram’s biography speaks a lot about his journey, here are a few facts about his life journey as a religious guru.
- Asaram Bapu returned to Ahmedabad on 8 July 1971 with spiritual learning.
- On, 29 January 1972, He built a hut in Motera, at the banks of the Sabarmati river.
- He converted his hut into a small ashram in 1973 and started it with just 5-10 members.
- Starting with Other Backward classes as his followers he further gained followers from higher castes as well.
- Various politicians like present PM Narendra Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Digvijaya Singh, and Kamal Nath also visited his ashram quite frequently.
- Asharam had around 40 million followers during his peak period.
- He had 400 ashrams in India and 18 other countries of the world.
Asaram Bapu’s Disputes
Asaram was involved in occupying lands by illegal means all over the country. Investigations reveal that he was accused of having illegal lands with a value of around Rs 700 crore. There were loads of cases that built a scene against Asaram. His involvement in illegal property breaches later leads to an investigation.
- Feb 2009: Asaram was found guilty of illegally capturing a land area of 67,099 sq. m alone in Ahmedabad.
- Feb 2013: At this time the investigation process came to an end and Serious Fraud Investigation Office revealed that Asaram had illegal lands pricing Rs 700 crore.
Deaths in Gurukul
On July 3, 2008, two boys went missing from Gurukul at Motera. Later, the mutilated parts of their bodies were found at Sabarmati Ashram near Ashram. More such events kept happening quite frequently after which an investigation was set to make the final judgments. In 2019, he was finally found guilty of mismanagement of his authorities.
Asaram’s Pitiful Comment Over Delhi Rape Case
Asaram Bapu commented in support of the Delhi Rape case, 2012 culprits saying that “The girl could have called them brother and pleased them to leaver her. It takes two hands to clap after all, right?” This led to a huge wave of criticism against him. He later said that his statement has been misinterpreted.
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Jodhpur Rape case
Asaram Bapu was accused of raping a girl on August 15 as he sexually assaulted her while exorcising her from evil spirits. The parents of the girl later filed a complaint against the saint. He tried to save himself from the accusations but he later got caught by the police. Later, a case was filed against him under section Asaram was charged under Sections 342, 376, 506, and 509 of the IPC, as well as under Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Surat Rape Case
Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan were accused of rape case by two sisters from Surat. The victims said that both Asaram and Narayan both raped them during the mid-2000s.
- Elder sister accused Asaram of sexual assaults during 1997-2006 at the Motera ashram.
- Younger sister accused Narayan (Asaram’s son) of sexual assaults during 2002-2005 at the Surat ashram.
On April 26, 2019, Asaram’s son Narayan Sai was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted under Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offenses), 323 (assault), 506-2 (criminal intimidation, and 120-B (conspiracy).
Asharam Finally Pays For His Sins
Asaram Bapu was officially declared as fake baba by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad in December 2017. Later in 2018, Asaram is currently serving life imprisonment in Jodhpur after being found guilty of raping an under-aged girl.
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