Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, 50, is the head of spiritual sect Dera Sacha Sauda, which was established by Mastaa Balochistani, on April 29, 1948. The headquarter of the sect is located in Sirsa district of Haryana and has over 46 ashrams spread all across the country. But Ram Rahim is not an ordinary godman. In his Twitter profile, he describes himself as “Spiritual Saint/Philanthropist/Versatile Singer/Allrounder Sportsperson/Film Director/Actor/Art Director/Music Director/ Writer/Lyricist/Autobiographer/DOP”. He has worked as actor, director, music composer and writer on several films including highly successful “MSG: The Messenger trilogy”.
According to Asia Book of Records, he currently holds the record for performing most roles and responsibilities in a single film (He performed 43 roles and responsibilities in MSG 2).
He was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke film foundation Award for most popular actor, director and writer in 2016. Apart from films, he also has recorded albums under Universal Label. His last album Highway Love charger sold over 3 million copies in the first three days. He has also performed at over 100 rock shows where he perform music based on new genre “Religious rock”.
He was also nominated for the Dronacharya Award by the Yoga Federation of India (YFI) for producing “World Champion Yogis”. Ram Rahim has also started his “MSG” range of “swadeshi and “organic” products in 2015. His business is looked after by young followers of the sect, who live inside the Dera in Sirsa.
According to Dera functionaries, Ram Rahim has contributed in motivating millions to perform selfless services. The functionaries also claim that under him, the sect itself has devoted to humanitarian tasks such as blood and organ donation and providing education to the needy. He has organised several drives for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterola screening. He also pledged his support towards Central government’s Swachh Bharat campaign and organised series of sanitation drives in 2016 in several states.
In 2016, Ram Rahim was awarded with Giants International Award for his social works to society.
Early life of the Dera Sacha Sauda Chief
Gurmeet was born in Sri Gurusar Modia village in Sri Ganganagar district in Rajasthan on August 15, 1967. He was the only child. His father was a landlord and worked at a farm. In his childhood, he helped his father in the farm. According to his followers, Gurmeet was spiritual, even as a child. He was taken in by Shah Satnam Singh, the then head of the Dera Sacha Sauda, who anointed him as Ram Rahim. In 1990, Satnam Singh invited his disciples from all over the country, where he announced the 23-year old Gurmeet Ram Rahim as his successor.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s wide popularity
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief enjoys a massive following. In 2015, the Indian Express placed Singh at position 96 in the list of 100 most powerful Indians. The Dera chief has been designated as one of the VVIPs in the country and has been provided with a Z+ security cover by the Government of India. He was awarded with the most versatile personality of the year by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in February 2017.
Criminal cases against Ram Rahim
Gurmeet Ram Rahim has also become a subject of several controversies over the years. Since 2002, he has been named in several cases dealing with rape, murder and forced castration. In 2002, an anonymous letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, alleged that the sect had sexually exploited two “sadhvis” and a case of sexual exploitation was registered against him. It was also alleged that Ram Rahim warned her not to talk about the incident, threatening her with his political influences in the state. CBI court in Panchkula is set to pronounce the verdict in the case on Friday afternoon.
The Dera chief was also named in the murder of a journalist murder case dating back to 2002 and the forced castration of some sadhus in 2015.