The role of godmen

Resignation to the fact that godmen are here to stay until social consciousness undergoes a qualitative change is evident in the three articles (‘‘Left, Right, Centre’ – “Will India get over its obsession with god men?” October 13). It is an error to tar all godmen with the same brush. A majority of them impact society in a positive way. Some of them render better service to society than what even an elected government does. They mobilise resources and help the needy.

Humans want an outlet to identify with their ‘isms’ and passions. In India, godmen fit the bill in a way. Most do not engage themselves in dark deals and are levellers between the haves and have-nots. It may not be an exaggeration to say that wishing them away will come at a high social cost.

Sivamani Vasudevan,


India will never get over its obsession with godmen as our culture has mingled with spirituality for thousands of years. Godmen will always be here to stay.

Godmen are surrounded by those who are well-educated and the middle class so it a myth to say that they have a following made up of only the illiterate masses. India has contributed its spiritual mite for the welfare of humanity and the world is well aware of the various humanitarian services rendered by godmen in the field of medicare and education. Of course there are the good, the bad and the ugly in every field who exploit people for commercial and selfish purposes. God men are here to stay and social consciousness needs to should undergo a quality change to identify and isolate the bad apples among godmen and spiritual gurus.

J.P. Reddy,

Nalgonda, Telangana

Our country won’t get over its obsession with godmen till our democracy stops its favourable approach towards them. Godmen in our country are exploiting the belief of people and doing business with the capital generated through it. Most activities of godmen are purely commercial. Given the volume of business done, the component of charity component delivered to the common man is negligible. In a democratic country the administration is duty bound to control the activities of godmen and make their functioning transparent.

Viswanathan N.,

Thalassery, Kannur, Kerala

The fact that many media-savvy godmen have built empires for themselves is perhaps what strengthens the negative perception about godmen. However, not all are bad. A godman does help to strengthen society, not polarise or divide it. He plays a more useful role than our politicians and even psychiatrists in bringing mental peace to millions and elevating moral and ethical standards. Their yeoman service in helping to strengthen the social fabric cannot be ignored. Warts and all, our godmen will continue to hold sway over our masses.

V. Nagarajan,


One of the main reasons for the rise of godmen in India is that the poor and the gullible fall prey to their tricks. A lack of education, health facilities and poverty are what drive many to godmen who take advantage of their ignorance.

Another feature of godmen is that they are backed by the elite and the political class, thus thriving on huge publicity and which also gives them their power. Encouraging a scientific temperament across India and targeting villages and tribal areas in terms of improving their health facilities are some of the key ways in which to discourage people from coming under their spell.

Veena Shenoy,

Thane, Maharashtra

The grave allegations levelled against godmen who have taken cover under the garb of spirituality to carry on their unlawful and dangerous activities must be looked into. When there have been virtuous godmen and sages, why cannot the governments ensure that every ashram or dera is under surveillance so that illegal activities can be curbed? The IT and ED must also conduct frequent checks of financial transactions.

Shivaji K. Moitra,

Kharagpur, West Bengal

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 9:06:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/the-role-of-godmen/article19856408.ece

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