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'First Osho, Now Nithyananda': Indians Draw Comparisons Between Kailaasa and Rajneeshpuram

After fleeing the nation without a passport, controversial 'godman' Nithyananda has founded a nation of his own, named 'Kailaasa'.

Jashodhara Mukherjee | News18.com

Updated:December 4, 2019, 12:09 PM IST
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'First Osho, Now Nithyananda': Indians Draw Comparisons Between Kailaasa and Rajneeshpuram
File photo of Nithyananda and Osho

After fleeing the nation without a passport, controversial "godman", Nithyananda has founded a country of his own, named Kailaasa. And yes, it gets its own passport.

While no one really knows how Nithyananda managed to leave the country without a passport, the man was busy setting up an "independent, new nation" for people wanting to live in the "greatest Hindu country on earth." Oh, we're not making all this up - it's there on his website. The website claims that "Kailaasa is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries."

Nithyananda, whose real name is Rajashekharan, gained prominence when he set up an Ashram in 2005 in Bengaluru. His teachings are reported to be loosely based on another controversial godman, Osho, or Acharya Rajneesh.

In 2012, Nithyananda gained notoriety when a video of him in a compromising situation with an actress surfaced. He was then charged with rape and arrested. He has also been accused of rape in a separate case after allegedly assaulting a disciple under the garb of religion and spirituality. Last month, another scandal erupted when news of sexual abuse of girls at his ashram in Ahmedabad emerged. The cops then announced that the self-styled godman, who had been absconding, had left the country.

As it turned out, he had his own country to set up. Although unconfirmed, reports suggest that Nithyananda bought an island near Ecuador. As news about the godman's new country bombarded our feed, we couldn't help but wonder if he was really following in the Osho's footsteps.

Rajneesh, who would later come to be known as Osho, migrated to the States and set up a city of his own in the quiet state of Oregon, thereby disrupting local peace and dynamics of the city of Antelope. The community, which gained city status in the 80s, was occupied by the Rajneeshees, Osho's disciples. Fear and paranoia engulfed Antelope and the community when it gradually became the centre of heinous crimes,alleged biological warfare, espionage and immigration fraud cases.

Rings a bell? Isn't that just what Nithyananda is doing? That's what desi Twitter feels. In fact, some even drew comparisons between Nithyananda and Jim Jones, one of the most nefarious cult leaders in the US. For the unaware, Jim Jones was a spiritual leader who had formed a cult and had over thousands of disciples at his beck and call. Jones, too, like Nithyananda, had founded his own city which was named Jonestown (how innovative?) where he resided with his followers.

Jones had consequently hatched a plan with his fellow conspirators and brainwashed and manipulated his followers to take part in a mass suicide, which was later to be treated as the biggest mass murder till the 9/11 attacks. Over 900 followers were found dead in Jonestown in 1978.

First Jonestown. Then Rajneeshpuram. Now Kailaasa. Doesn't seem too favorable, does it?

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