A day after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was jailed for 20 years for rape, yoga guru Ramdev today said such cases are causing an embarrassment to religious figures. “It is true that we are facing embarrassment for such cases which have surfaced in the past two-three years,” Ramdev, who was here to participate in a private programme, told reporters.
The popular yoga guru was asked about the conviction and sentencing of the self-styled godman in two rape cases. He, however, cautioned that the entire saint tradition should not be seen in bad light if a religious figure is found guilty in a criminal case.
Ramdev advised religious and spiritual leaders to go back to history and follow the code of conduct set by Indian sages centuries ago. “It is wrong to link the entire saint tradition with criminal activities if a person living in the guise of a saint or a religious leader commits a mistake or crime.”
The 51-year-old ayurveda expert-cum-entrepreneur said in the wake of the Ram Rahim episode the entire community of religious-spiritual gurus should not be tarred with the same brush. “There are still millions of saints in the country who are living a life full of honesty, purity and serving the common people.”
He said, “Lord Ram is the greatest symbol of Indian culture. If there is any taint on a person bearing the name Ram, it only sullies the character of that particular person. It should not be associated with entire religion, sect, tradition or culture.”
“All religious and spiritual leaders should follow the code of conduct set by our sages centuries ago,” he said. Asked about the failure of the BJP government in Haryana in controlling the violence after the Dera chief’s conviction, he said, “People who are at the helm of affairs should be moral and lawful in their conduct.”