Lipstick Baba, another charlatan in a long line of babas and gurus

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Photo by Chad Kirchoff on

There are babas and gurus galore in India, even a Lipstick Baba. Yes, such a ‘Baba’ actually actually exists! Known as the Lipstick Baba because of his penchant for dressing up as a woman. His real name is Kuldeep Singh Jhala and he posed as a reincarnation of Shakti and Jagdamba. He is believed to have over 700 followers. Most of his victims are male, and he is accused of forcing them to have sex with him.

He has finally been arrested for sodomy and abetment of suicide in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. One of his followers, just 20 years old, committed suicide when Lipstick Baba tried to threaten him to break off his engagement with a girl.

Apparently, the Baba also used WhatsApp to send lewd messages and the police are investigating this.

Arrests of so-called godmen for sexual abuse is not new in India. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Dera Sacha Sauda founder) was convicted on rape charges and sent to jail. Then there were accusations of rape against Jagatguru Kripalu Maharaj (he is dead now) and a disciple has accused him of regular rape of underage children. That was some years ago, perhaps a time when it was more difficult for people to believe that godmen were capable of rape. Today, it is easy to believe.

Other “godmen” like Swami Nithyananda and Asaram Bapu have been accused of sexual crimes. Deaths have also been associated with Asaram Bapu.  However, it becomes very difficult to prove the charges. They have loyal followers and clout. Nithyananda is not in jail. He got out on bail, and there is a case against him, but it is pending. Asaram Bapu is in jail, but the case is being delayed. Quite sure he is not leading a difficult life in jail.

Check out an article about the new documentary by Netflix on the rise and fall of Osho, a man who called himself a God – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.  Very relevant to us in India. The Rajneesh movement started in Pune, India. When he was kicked out of India, the conman went to the United States, where he was as hated by the locals there as he was in India.

I grew up with Rajneeshis around me in Pune. I was in college, and saw his obnoxious devotees everywhere, roaming around in orange robes, in shops, on the roads, in restaurants. They were like a virus. I have seen them standing in the middle of the road making out, obstructing traffic, I have seen them at railway stations stinking to high heaven, with lice crawling all over their hair and I have seen them abusing and shouting at the locals. The Rajneesh ashram still exists in Pune, but without the man, one can only guess that the character of the place has changed. The virus has been contained.

The Netflix documentary is called Wild Wild Country.

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