It was unethical and irresponsible of a Tamil television news channel to air the video footage of Swami Nithyananda and a film actress. Worse, the scenes were telecast during prime time. I am sure many people would have been embarrassed to watch the footage along with the youngsters in the family.
When we pay so much attention to scenes involving smoking and drinking, why do we have no means to curb pornography by proxy?
The indecent visuals purportedly of Swami Nithyananda with a Tamil actress on a popular Tamil news channel at prime time preceded by several flash reminders were a reflection of the state of affairs in a section of the media. If the real objective was to educate the gullible devotees, as claimed, the news channel could have showed photo clippings rather than play out the film, corrupting young viewers.
The root cause of the proliferation of godmen is people's greed. An insatiable desire for wealth, high lifestyle and other earthly desires have led to the growth of ashrams. The number of swamijis and ashrams cannot grow and sustain themselves without the support of avaricious men.
The government should ban all religious advertisements that promise heaven on earth. As Sri Ramana Maharshi said, a pure and simple heart is the abode of god.
Why do people continue to trust godmen? The greed for more and lack of security drive them to the self-proclaimed swamijis. The ‘middlemen' fleece them, exploit their belief and, in many cases, abuse women sexually.
It is unfortunate that even the educated fall prey to their exploits. It is time we realised we do not need intermediaries to direct us to god.
Why do people wait for sting operations and exposés to denounce godmen? More disturbing is the media's tendency to cash in on titillating visuals in the name of bringing out the facts, mindless of the disturbance they cause in the minds of viewers of different age groups and emotional status.
Their mission, seemingly aimed at exposing wrong deeds, virtually turns out to be enjoying a happy and paying business by targeting vulnerable audiences.