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Miniskirt or Dowry Case: Why Exactly Are We Mad At Radhe Maa?

Is Radhe Maa being targeted for the dowry case, her psychedelic fashion sense or because she’s a woman?

Published
India
4 min read
Is Radhe Maa being attacked because she demanded dowry, wears fancy clothes or is it because she’s a woman? (Photo: Radhe Maa’s website)

Ye kaisi Radhe Maa hain, jo filmi gaanon pe dance karti hain?
Ye kaisi Radhe Maa hain, jo mini skirt pehnti hain?
Ye kaisi Radhe Maa hain, jo mardon ki godi mein jaa baithtee hain?Ye kaisi Radhe Maa hain, jo prasaad mein gulaab ka fool aur kiss deti hain?

This is how a ‘special report’ on a leading Hindi news channel begins.

50 shades of red: Most of Radhe Maa’s transgressions remained under the radar until pictures of her in a miniskirt surfaced.
50 shades of red: Most of Radhe Maa’s transgressions remained under the radar until pictures of her in a miniskirt surfaced.

Yes, she dances to Bollywood songs, wears a mini-skirt, lets her devotees hug her and offers a kiss and a rose as blessing. What’s more, the lady in red is unapologetic.

And why not?

The criticism hurled at the religious fervour around Radhe Maa centres around her over-the-top fashion choices, the ‘free love’ she seems to advocate and her “salacious satsangs”. No one seems to be concerned with the specific charges that Radhe Maa faces under the Indian Penal Code.

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Charges Against Radhe Maa

For the record, she’s been charged under Section 298A by a 32-year-old woman who claims the godwoman influenced her in-laws to demand dowry and is expected to soon be questioned by the Mumbai Police.

In a separate case, Mumbai-based lawyer Falguni Brahmbhatt has accused the 53-year-old godwoman of obscenity, mental harassment, fraud and cheating.

This makeup loving grandmother, who’s evidently a hugger (she is Punjabi at the end of the day) is hardly the first ‘godperson’ to be accused of ‘immoral’ and criminal behaviour.

DeQoding the Outrage Against Radhe Maa

Radhe Maa commands a massive following, her hoardings continue to dominate prime real estate in Mumbai, and celebrities like Subhash Ghai swear their loyalty to her. Their arguments are three-fold:

1. What You See is What You Get
Radhe Maa bhakts have argued on prime time debates that at no point has Radhe Maa claimed to be a goddess. They claim that any reference to her as a celestial being is an inference drawn from her physical appearance (which includes a mini-trishul and a beatific expression).

2. No Miracle, This
Her close confidantes say that she does not claim to perform miracles or heal anyone. Her satsangs include a devotional song-and-dance and there’s nothing surreptitious about these sessions.

3. Lots of Hugs To Go Around
The allegation of obscenity, prima facie, relates to the fact that Radhe Maa allows her bhakts to carry her, wants them to treat her like a child and in return offers a rose and a peck on the cheek.

The fact is, this ‘obscenity’ has been well documented in pictures and on video. Infact, while being interviewed by Zee News, Radhe Maa unabashedly kissed the reporter on the cheek as he questioned her on the dowry allegations that she outrightly denied.

The fact that she barely speaks, does not perform miracles and looks nothing like your stereotypical godwoman and yet commands unwavering loyalty makes Radhe Maa a difficult-to-understand phenomenon.

So what explains this almost voyeuristic interest in Radhe Maa’s personal life when there are rapist/paedophile/swindler babas who have been allowed to flourish, some even behind bars?

A Google search for ‘rockstar baba’ immediately throws up Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s name, which is clearly indicative of the positive sentiment for the unconventional and flamboyant man who is currently facing rape charges. Raadhe Maa, on the other hand, doesn’t enjoy the same positivity towards her ‘modern’ outlook.

Is it because she’s successful? Or is it because she’s a woman?

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Asaram (Left) and his son Narayan Sai (Right) have been accused of rape, land encroachment and financial irregularities. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)
Asaram (Left) and his son Narayan Sai (Right) have been accused of rape, land encroachment and financial irregularities. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Asaram Not Glamourous Enough?

Asaram Bapu and his son have been charged with rape. The allegations against them range from suspected black magic and human sacrifice to the murder of four young boys whose severely burned, mutilated bodies were found with limbs and internal organs missing. Of the 101 witnesses prepared by the SIT, three have been shot dead and three others who’ve been attacked continue to live in fear.

India’s exhausting list of “godmen” include Sarathi Baba (Left), Gurmeet Singh (Centre) and Sant Rampal. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)
India’s exhausting list of “godmen” include Sarathi Baba (Left), Gurmeet Singh (Centre) and Sant Rampal. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The long list of “fake godmen” (as opposed to real ones?) includes men like Odisha’s Sarathi Baba whose entire empire could crumble because of a few pictures of him in jeans checking into a hotel room with a woman, “Messenger of God” Gurmeet Singh and Sant Rampal who was evicted from his Rohtak fortress (read: ashram) by an army of policemen.

Despite her 90-second “I’m pure and pious” defence on Monday, Radhe Maa is likely to be questioned by the Mumbai Police sometime this week in connection with the dowry case. Till then, let’s keep the focus off her lipstick shade and on the police case.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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