Devdutt Pattanaik debunks 'Babas' and 'Gurus': "These holy men are just vote-banks for politicians"
The Mythologist explains why the likes of Sadhguru are just catering to the need of a particular section of people and how it's a terrible burden to carry.
Mythologist and bestselling author Devdutt Pattanaik came down heavy on holy men like Sadhuru Jaggi Vasudev and others, in an exclusive interview to Asiaville.
Explaining the boom in the popularity of these "spiritual leaders", Pattanaik said that they're actually creations of the market. "There are a lot of people who don't want to think, and they've outsourced all kinds of thinking to Gurujis," says Devdutt.
"So he (Sadhguru) is just catering to the needs of a particular section of the society who don't want to think for themselves. He’s carrying a terrible burden,” added the author.
Explaining the problem with modern Gurus and Babas, Devdutt said that today's spiritual leaders claim to have an answer for everything, which goes in opposition to the idea of the traditional Guru, who is supposed to make people think.
On a lighter note Pattanaik said, "Now if a Baba says I can answer all your questions related to plumbing, electricity, interior decoration, health and beauty, then he's dealing with some psychiatric issues."
Explaining the making of a Baba, Devdutt first implores us to "understand the chronology".
"First, you become a Baba who claims to have left the world, then you create an ashram where the whole world revolves around you. So you leave the world and create a new one where everyone worships you. Which means thousands and thousands will do whatever you want them to do. In step 3, you get grants from the government and get land, through a constitutional method which allows religious organisations to own land. That in itself is an interesting legal point. Step 4 is when the government asks for loyalty in return for the favour they did you earlier. The government will say, now become a vote-bank for me, or I'll throw you in jail because I have access to all your illegal activities."
Devdutt says that this is not a recent phenomenon; as it's been happening for the last 70 years.
"Though it's a 21st century phenomenon, it's not new. Let us not say that the current government is behaving differently. It's an old model," says the mythologist.
Talking about the presence of babas everywhere, Devdutt opined that they perform the role of an instant vote-bank, resulting in every political party wanting them by their side.
Devdutt’s statements came just days after Sadhguru created a massive controversy by endorsing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in a video shared by Prime Minister Modi. Sadhguru faced a lot of flak for admitting to having not read the Act fully, but still endorsing it. This came against the backdrop of massive nationwide protests opposing the CAA and the proposed NRC, as allegedly being discriminatory.
Watch the full interview: