File under: Gurus Doin' Time, Hands Where They Don't Belong and The Siddhi of PR
Lately, there's been some black stains showing up on the orange robes of India's swamis:
First there was the Indian swami, or holy man, who was arrested last week for allegedly raping under-age girls and found to be keeping a tiger pelt, drugs and pornographic videos in his ashram.Running game under cover of the great Shankaracharya, making him the godfather of Vedanta and a new Indian Cosa Nostra.
Then a second one in Kerala, upset by a local newspaper report, tried to shoot himself in the head in a police station in front of television cameras. A third swami from the same state is now on the run after being accused of failing to repay a loan of one million rupees (£12,000) that he took out in his former life as a film producer...
“You have all sorts of illegal things going on in ashrams, but police won’t go in there because they’re holy places.” Dr Nayak alleged that many swamis abused their holy status to launder money for politicians, businessmen and criminals and to provide a safe place for their clients to drink and have sex with prostitutes.