Controversial Spiritual Leader Chandraswami Dies at 66
(Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://guruannaisiddharwithchandraswami.blogspot.in/2014/06/a-vishwa-dharmayatan-sansthan.html">Vishwa Dharmayatan Sansthan</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Vishwa Dharmayatan Sansthan)

Controversial Spiritual Leader Chandraswami Dies at 66

Controversial godman Chandraswami died on Tuesday after suffering a renal failure. He suffered a stroke and died at the Apollo Hospital at the age of 66.

Chandraswami, whose actual name was Nemi Chand, shot to fame as an astrologer.

He wielded enormous power during the regime of then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. He was seen as one of Rao’s trusted aides and advisers.

He is said to have given spiritual advice to other popular figures such as Sultan of Brunei, Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain, actress Elizabeth Taylor, British PM Margaret Thatcher, arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, and crime Lord Dawood Ibrahim.

A demonstrator posing as former Indian prime minister and Congress Party leader PV Narasimha Rao sits inside a fake jail cell during a demonstration organised by dissident congress workers in New Delhi August 2. The dissidents were demanding Rao quit as Party leader because of his alleged involvement in a notorious cheating case. (Photo: Reuters)
A demonstrator posing as former Indian prime minister and Congress Party leader PV Narasimha Rao sits inside a fake jail cell during a demonstration organised by dissident congress workers in New Delhi August 2. The dissidents were demanding Rao quit as Party leader because of his alleged involvement in a notorious cheating case. (Photo: Reuters)

Often mired in controversy, his name cropped up in investigations into the assassination of former Prime Miniser Rajiv Gandhi. In its report on the assassination, the Jain Commission dedicated a volume to his alleged involvement in the case. Seventeen years after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, the Enforcement Directorate was still investigating Chadraswami's role as the financier.

Allegations of financial irregularities were often levelled at the long haired, white robed self-proclaimed godman. In 1996, he was arrested on charges of defrauding a London-based businessman. He also faced charges for repeatedly violating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.

Chandraswami, who was a Jain by religion, was a devote of Maa Kali and interested in studying Tantra from an early age.

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