I will start with a confession that this article has been written in rage. It might constitute a rant. Twitter is my preferred platform of social media, so when I logged in today, the top Indian trending topic is #ParentsWorshipDayOn14Feb. Those who are not familiar with the microblogging website, a Trending Topic is generally the most talked about subject in a particular area/city/country.
Now, I had observed banners and billboards last year in New Delhi, was cornered by some people who shared this belief at the International Book Fair, but my reaction was that of amusement. So why am I incensed this year? Basically, it is an effort by Asaram “Bapu”, who possibly views Valentine’s Day as an “immoral”, “sinful” day to indulge in lust. I have my problems with the day but I really don’t care what others get on with on this day. As if 14th February is the only day one can let the passions out (euphemism alert).
Asaram Bapu has been in news for the sexual assault of a minor girl. On August 20, 2013, a 16 year old accused Asaram Bapu of sexual assault at his ashram in guise of exorcising “evil spirit” out of her. He was subsequently arrested by the Jodhpur police and charges have been framed against him under sections 342 (for wrongful confinement), 354A (sexual harassment), 370(4) (trafficking), 376(2)F (rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509/34 and 120 (B) (Criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. He has already been denied bail twice. His son, Narayan Sai has disclosed that he has raped a woman. The icing on the cake is that Surat police has charge-sheeted him in a bribery case. The apparent bribe was to weaken the rape case against him. He has assets worth 5,000 crores while his father stands at 10,000 crores.