CNN- IBN Live’s exposé of Ramjanambhoomi Trust head Vedanti Maharaj is mind boggling. Another report helps to explains how and why such ‘godmen’ can get away with what they do- it highlights the appeal of such godmen among the younger, including apparently the upwardly mobile ones.
An extract from the CNN- IBN Live’s interview with former income tax commissioner Vishwabandhu Gupta after the exposé.
CNN-IBN: Can there be any criminal proceedings initiated against these Godmen?
Gupta: It’s a fit case for criminal proceedings. Two of the biggest religion mafias are the Ram Janmanbhoomi Nyas and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad amongst the Hindus. They have 10 bogus trusts floated from the same address. The names are there (in our record) and so are the addresses. They are getting money from 50 countries abroad and are also getting tax exemptions. There are no accounts as well. You see, this is a big menace. We have calculated and found that religious leaders annually earn $3 bn which is about Rs 10,000 crore -Rs 15,000 crore worth of money. What they do is they get land at throwaway prices. During the last government, 11 including that Sadhvi Ritambhara – whatever her qualifications are – got a fantastic (sic) piece of land at a throwaway price for the services that she heads today. There have fraudulent names, addresses, existences and expenditures. They use it for spreading communal hatred. Money has been used by Bajrang Dal cadres in Gujarat to purchase Motorola, we have got receipts for that. (emphasis mine)
Watch the video at the CNN-IBN site