After the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) issued a list of "fake babas" wherein the names of Asaram Bapu, Radhe Maa, recently convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Nirmal Baba have been mentioned, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on 12 September said it is for the people to decide who to trust by looking at someone's appearance and behaviour.
"The people of our nation need to understand by their (Babas') appearance; we get to know their intentions. If they are fake or truly a saint. In our culture, we worship character not the image. If we believe in Karma, then no fake baba can influence anyone," Ramdev told the media.
"One is person and another is culture, whatever happened is because of decline in someone's character and Indian culture is very old and we had so many saints with pure and divine knowledge; the whole world used to take lessons from them and believe in them," he added.
In a list of 14, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has asked the government to amend new laws against the "fake gurus".
The president of the Parishad Narendra Giri said that a total of 14 offers were presented where all the sadhus came together to talk about this issue.
"The committee was held for the topic of the Arth Kumbh Mela. There are many fake babas in the society and we are upset because most of these so called babas are being defamed. They are not baba and after thinking on this, we have listed a few who should not be called one," he said, while addressing the media.
Following are the names in the "fake baba list":
• Asaram bapu
• Sukhvinder Kaur aka Radhe Maa
• Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
• Om baba aka Vivekanand
• Nirmal Baba
• Ichachadhari Vishwanand
• Swami Asimanand
• Om Namah Shivaay
• Narayan Sai Rampal
This came after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was convicted in two rapes cases of 2002, in which he has been sentenced a cumulative jail term of 20 years.
Earlier, Asaram Bapu was arrested by the Jodhpur Police in an alleged rape case, on 3 August, 2013 and since then, he has been in prison.
Asaram's son Narayan Sai, who is on the list as well, was arrested for allegedly raping a Surat-based woman disciple of his father between 2002 and 2005.