Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the convicted Dera Sacha Sauda head, was inviting homosexuals to join the dera to get “treated’ for their “disease’. Forms are still available on the dera website, by filling which a person committed himself to the “treatment”. The pledge reads: “Under the guidance of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Dera Sacha Saud (Sirsa) Haryana, I hereby undertake to give up homosexual behaviour. I have understood that it is not sanctioned by religion, morality or spirituality. I have understood that in light of newer viral diseases, there is strong scientific rationale against this unnatual behaviour. This decision of mine is with my free consent and own will and without any undue influence or any kind of pressure or any kind of physical or mental pressure or coercion by any perosn or organisation upon me or my family or upon anybiody which affects me”.
It is not clear how many people joined the dera for Ram Rahim’s guidance in giving up homosexuality. No representative of the dera was available for comments. The whereabouts of its chief spokesman, Aditya Insaan, are not known since the day of Ram Rahim’s conviction and violence. A blog that appeared on the dera website in 2013 called homosexuality “a treatable psychosexual disease”, and says it can be “helped” with meditation.
“Hence, we appeal to those affected to simply seek free help at the Dera. The needy shall also be counselled and guided to receive appropriate Ayurvedic medical treatment,” it says, describing homosexuality as “not just a disorder but a serious perversion”. Expressing sadness that efforts were being made to legalise it, the website says: “Unfortunately, some self-proclaimed intellectuals, social workers and thinkers are deliberating upon aggressive advocacy options to legitimise this disorder.”
Giving details of how it “cures” homosexuality, the website says: “In the Ashram, homosexuals are helped by teaching meditation and offering Ayurvedic treatment, something that has incomparable results. Dera Sacha Sauda has only love and concern for those who are afflicted with this disease. A holistic treatment program incorporating Ayurvedic treatment with meditation and Yoga has been put in place to treat this fixation. The starting point of the initiation of change shall come from within them, so is the programme designed”.