Dr. Narendra Dabholkar


Prabhakar Nanawaty

Suman Oak

Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill

The Karnataka governments much-hyped anti-superstition bill to prevent and eradicate “inhuman evil practices” was unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly today with some minor amendments. The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday, (14 Nov 2017), states that it intends to Continue reading

Across the aisle: The killed and the killers

Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. Socrates was made to drink from the poisoned chalice. Sir Thomas More was beheaded. For their beliefs. In recent times, five murders have shaken the conscience of the people of India. The media is focusing on who was the killer in each case. The police Continue reading

Politics of divine intervention

One of the proposals that came up when the M.N. Venkatachaliah Commission on Constitutional Review was set up by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2000 was to include spiritualism in the preamble of the Constitution. Although the stated premise for the proposal, made by a Continue reading

Demystifying the Indian guru and his psycho-social relationship with millions of followers

There are currently three dominant ways of thinking about the Indian devotion to contemporary gurus. The first suggests that it has something to do with the nature of a society in transition. So, it is said that as large numbers are faced with economic and social uncertaintylack of job prospects, changes in family Continue reading

Godmens Own Country

Insan: Human. Homo sapiens

This sweet Urdu word immediately evokes fellow feeling. In a community of insans, how does it matter who you are? It is your humanity, your insaniyat, that counts.

Dera Sacha Sauda, the religious order that burst into the national headlines recently, insists on identifying Continue reading

In the Name of Faith

At one level, the arrest of Asaram is a rather humdrum, same-old story. One more godman has fallen from grace. So, what is new under the sun? Arent we used to discovering the clay feet of our sadhu sants? Perhaps George Orwell was on to something when he said that saints should always Continue reading

Panacea at a Price

He is the guru who gave himself a double prefix and was named one of the Seven Most Powerful People in India by Forbes magazine in 2009. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commands a mighty financial and spiritual empireThe Art of Living (AOL) that has grown and continues to grow exponentially ever since he Continue reading

The Paradox in Tamil Nadu

His flamboyance would have easily earned him stardom in Bollywood; his articulation and attitude would have made him the first choice for corporate head honcho. The 60-year-old Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudevthe tall, dapper mystic with flowing white beard, often dressed in a loose kurta over a dhoti, a custom-made shawl thrown carelessly across the Continue reading

Third Eye of Nirmal Baba

Yet another Baba! What is wrong with Indians? Why they waste their hard-earned money on these fraud Babas? Recently a self-styled godman and spiritual leader, Nirmal Baba is in limelight due to his public discourses and treatises on social issues as well as his Samagam in Nirmal darbar (public meetings). Nirmal Darbar is Continue reading

Maharashtra’s ‘Ram Rahim’ Swami Krishna Patil: For women, his verbal abuse was ‘prasad’

At the Ratnagiri rural police station, officials are chatting, every now and then, throwing a glance at a man seated in the lock up. “Tu polisach bara hota. Babagiri bhovli na, tula (You were good as a policeman. Becoming a godman cost you, didn’t it?),” one of them says, taunting him. Krishna Patil, Continue reading

Journey of Baba Ramdev from Godman to Business Tycoon

When something controversial gets published about people who are either celebrities or politicians, it ends up getting banned or a defamation case is filed against the authors and publishers, and in this case, the book published by this lady journalist on Baba Ramdev had a similar fate. The followers of Baba and Baba Continue reading

Holy Men Theirs and Ours

India and Pakistan have more influential holy men per square mile than anyone has ever counted. Some are just rich, others both powerful and rich. Once upon a time their followers were only the poor, superstitious and illiterate. But after the massive resurgence of religion in both countries this base has expanded to Continue reading