ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gods, God-men and the Gullible

God-men continue to hold a large section of people in thrall. This article explores how god-men cash in on people's fears, anxieties and problems.

The presence of god-men1 in India has been accepted unsuspectingly by different sections of society. The number of god-men seems to have increased over time and so has their grip over people’s lives. The devotion of many to god-men remains unwavering even after they have been found guilty of charges of heinous crimes—corruption, rape and murder.

What began conspicuously as mediation between gods and people through “spiritual guidance” and directing people towards self-realisation, and in effect, enhancing humaneness in society seems to have been transformed into a full-time profession that cashes in on people’s personal fears, anxieties, uncertainties and problems. It is apparent that the spiritual mission has taken a backseat. Motives of profit-making and personal gain largely influence the onstage performance of the god-men as they sermonise before large congregations. Such attitudes influence their offstage conduct and personal interactions as well.

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