Days before his conviction on Friday for rape, Indian spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh launched a month of lavish birthday celebrations, waiting on a stage at his cult’s vast compound to be greeted by politicians donating tens of thousands of dollars to his organisation. Singh, whose conviction for raping two women sparked riots by his followers that killed 38 people, exemplifies the power - and controversy - of a band of so-called “godmen” whose stature is growing in modern-day India. A movie star, singer and cult leader with a penchant for all ...
Ram Rahim's rise shows how godmen grow in clout, fill void left by state
Their power has been left unchecked by politicians who prefer to woo the godmen