‘I Stayed at Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's Ashram for 13 Days’
Baba’s ashram is spread across 100 acres and in the middle of everything is a mirrored building called ‘Baba ki Gufa’. There was only one entry that I was able to see though there seemed to be multiple doors to get into the gufa. Finally I went till the first floor.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (Network18 Creatives)
In 2009, I stayed at Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ashram for 13 days. I was working with a private channel back then and considered myself fortunate enough to have gone to baba’s gufa (cave), as not many had that chance. Only few who seek permission, get it.
Baba’s ashram is spread across 100 acres and in the middle of everything is a mirrored building called Baba ki Gufa. There was only one entry that I was able to see, though there seemed to be multiple doors to get into the gufa. Finally, I went till the first floor.
There I found people, some in plain clothes and others in uniform wielding weapons, in a scene straight from the movies.
Earlier, while on our way, we asked for the route to go to this ashram. On hearing Baba’s name, one of the men we spoke to contacted people in the ashram. He was informing them about our visit. When I was taken there, I met the media spokesperson Pawan Insaan. I was introduced to Aditya Insaan, Baba’s right-hand man. He had served as a surgeon in New Delhi.
The splendor of the gufa was for me to see — there were shining curtains and sprawling sofas. His gufa had 209 women devotees called shishyas. They are selected with special standards in mind. Only few can enter the place as it had a biometric system. These girls were dressed in white like sadhvis, their hair let loose.
These shishyas are supposed to take care of Baba – feed him, escort him and so on.
At the time of his pravachan (sermon), there is a space reserved for them. They stand next to him while the karsevak men work.
In his gufa,/em>, he has separate spaces for dressing up and for meeting people. He also has a hotline that connects him to other countries. Everything there is for his comfort. By the time we reached, he had already been briefed about us. As soon as he saw us, he wanted to come down to business.
It was decided that every day he would give bytes to our channel and it would be sent across through taped audios. He also gave sermons during the time, telling his followers to be good, devoted, kind, clean and stay away from drugs. There are usually 30,000 people present for a sermon. He would speak for only six minutes each time. Then his DJ would belt out songs and suddenly the stage would rise up and revolve.
He had a Chandigarh designer to tailor his clothes. His clothes, all made of chiffon, were also stitched in Chandigarh.
After the visit to the gufa, I started getting some special treatment. My crew and I were offered dry fruits, fruits and milk. There was food available till 10pm. We stayed in a guesthouse for NRI visitors which had a revolving restaurant. The only trouble we faced was how to kill time. There was no non-veg food and nothing else on TV, except his sermons.
The ashram has two petrol pumps. They grow almost everything they eat — rice, pulses, vegetables and so on. They don’t have to go out anywhere to buy anything. Baba has a battery car for his comfort so he could travel within the premises. There is a huge washing machine that can wash 10,000 clothes at one time. There is state-of-the-art surveillance system. There was also a control room among other things.
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