In a country where rape is a word thrown around every day and the victims just another statistic - the perpetrators walk free. (or get a seat in the Parliament) But, with this one particular instance, it's clear to see just how easily you can skip the record and still rise up the ladder.
Swami Nithyananda has fled India and is on the run from security agencies in India. He is being investigated in criminal cases including - raping a girl inside the ashram in Karnataka and kidnapping and abusing minors in the ashram in Gujarat. Nithyananda has not appeared in court for more than forty hearings of cases against him.
A self - titled Godman in the era of many others like him - Asaram Bapu and Osho - has established a whole new country of which he seems to be the single leader. That's right, somewhere near Ecuador, the Godman has built an entire Hindu nation. A website named Kailaasa.org has popped up suggesting that he has founded his own country and designed its flag, constitution and emblem.
The website declared that the fugitive godman has declared a 'Hindu sovereign nation' and even has a cabinet along with a Prime Minister. It has also called for donations for the country and through it, an opportunity to gain citizenship of the "greatest Hindu nation", Kailaasa.
"Kailaasa is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries," the website explains. "Though the Kailaasa movement is founded in the United States, and spearheaded by members of the Hindu Adi Shaivite minority community, it is created for, and offers a safe haven to all the world's practicing, aspiring or persecuted Hindus, irrespective of race, gender, sect, caste, or creed, where they can peacefully live and express their spirituality, arts, and culture free from denigration, interference and violence," it read.
It's ironic that the man accused of kidnapping, abuse and rape has declared his country as a "safe haven" and a place where "they can peacefully live." He faces trial under Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The nation has everything pinned down - from its national flag to its national bird. According to the website, the Hindu nation's flag is known as the 'Rishabha Dhvaja', which features Swami Nithyananda himself, along with Nandi - the national animal and the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The national bird is Sarabam, the national flower is lotus and the national tree is banyan.
The official website states that “Kailaasa’ is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries.” The constitution goes on for 547 pages and is written in Tamil, Sanskrit, Hindi. The website reads that the Kailaasa movement was actually founded in the United States and spearheaded by members of the Hindu Adi Shaivite minority community.
The ‘Kailaasa’ website boasts of (an unverified) population, of 2 billion Hindus. Official languages would be English, Sanskrit and Tamil and the main religion, of course, Sanatana Hindu Dharma.
The website also offers many courses that you can take up - all preached by the man himself, who is infamous for his pseudoscientific sermons, like the one that went viral about E = mc2 being false. There are extensive pages on the site dedicated to the ‘Conscious Pregnancy’ programme, which aims “to create the perfect receptacle for the ultimate landing of the intelligent soul.”
And you can even take quizzes to know how right you are. For example, the Conscious Pregnancy programme is “to create the perfect receptacle for the ultimate landing of the intelligent soul.”
The godman has structured an entire framework for the functioning of his “government.” The structure has departments like those of - commerce, divine holiness, treasury and education.
The legalities of this nation he has founded remain questionable - but since he has purchased the island, the legal prosecutions seem to be flimsy.
Another gentle reminder to put into context this whole spectacle is that Nithyananda is fugitive accused of rape, kidnapping and abuse. Do you think that a man such as him will flourish in this little pet project, or will the consequences of his actions catch up with him?