“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Har Har Mahadev! Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! Independance Day musings

Satnam Singh

Walking along M G Road, Trivandrum in the morning, wondering at the daily changes that happens to it as the old tiled two-storyed buildings give way to multi-storyed shopping malls and regretting that I did not photo-document the old City of the 70s and 80s, I am shaken out of my reverie by the sound of blaring horns and revving motorcycles and racuous cries. A procession of a dozen or more motorbikes piloted and followed by four-wheelers, blinking lights and waving the flag pass, blocking the regular traffic. The drivers of the cars have their doors kept open; boys sit on the window frames. The bikers have no helmets; some boys stand up on the pillion seat. They ignore the traffic lights. They pass Police vehicles - security is beefed up today - and the police just look at them.

Typical of Indians that the boys should celebrate Independence Day by flouting the law of the land. Freedom, to Indians, is to be free of law. Otherwise, how do one explain the political murders, where people who defy the Party are hacked to death or the death of a mentally deranged youth at the hands of the devotees of the 'Amma' or the Police or the mental hospital staff?

Satnam Singh was found dead inside the lavatory of the Govt Mental Hospital at Trivandrum. Satnam had crawled through the corridors of the hospital and licked up the water on the floor of the lavatory before collapsing to death. Satnam was 23, from Bihar. He had been missing from home since last May. Satnam reportedly suffered from Bipolar disorder. Before the incident at the Matha Amritanandamayi Math, Satnam was at the ashram of Muni Narayanaprasad at Varkala for 20 days. According to Muni Narayanaprasad, the one prayer at the All Religion prayers offered at the Ashram that Satnam was fond of repeating was 'Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim' , In the name of Allah, Most gracious, most merciful'.

On the fateful day, Satnam rushed at Matha Amrithanandamayi, shouting 'Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim'. The security guards and devotees detained him and later handed over Satnam to the police. According to a newspaper report - "The math office-bearers detained Singh and handed him over to the police. The police subjected him to a medical exmaniation before they produced him before a magistrate and got him remanded in judicial custody. The police said the doctor had reported serious injury on Satnam at the time they assumed his custody".

The video footage at the Math showed Satnam being manhandled by the people there. Later, Satnam might have been subjected to further physical torture at the hands of the Police and at the government run mental hospital.

Enquiries have begun; at the same speed they are being hushed up. Attendants at the hospital are in custody. Doctors who gave false certificates could not be indicted; the Medical Council threatened strike.

Perhaps one cannot expect more from the law or health institutions in this country. But what is more painful is that Matha Amrithanandaymayi - Amma to the millions of her devotees - she could have saved Satnam's young life. One word from her would have given a young son back to his parents. She could have been a bit 'graceful, a bit 'merciful'.

One cannot really help being cynical about the icons that we carry in our hearts - be it the nation or living Gods. Happy Independance Day, fellow Indians!

                 Satnam's father
************* Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 15.08.2012


  1. One doesn't need much medical knowledge to make out form his face and gestures that he is mentally ill.
    The other day I was watching an interview with a Sanyasi who is the next in command of the Ashram.He was saying " well,he could have been acting"! There was never a mention of forgiveness,not even in his tone.

    I don't understand,why should these living Gods fear silly ordinary human beings !

  2. More and more reasons to hate the so called freedom celebrations.

  3. Wow!! I didn't know of this at all till I read your post. It is all about power, I think. Even the saints of today want power and that does not seem to come through forgiveness. Sad, but endlessly interesting the nook and crannies of the "sane" mind!

  4. What can i say here, atrocities done against humans in the so called FREE india, their is a story every day , every hour.. But does it matter .. NO.

    the so called leaders of every sect, be it religion-state-caste are all the same Each one of them, Which religion teaches of human suffering, yet there is no response from the woman, and what about the people who man-handled Satnam singh, they are the reason for his death.. so what sort of people are they..


  5. If you are not offended and would not delete this comment of mine on these God men and God women especially this hugging one and her apparent successor , it is "Fuck Them and the masses whose eyes will never see light"

  6. @doc: On the very day after I wrote this, I happened on Zacharia's article in the Mathrbhumi Weekly, which expressed the same sentiments, if only much more strongly! Sir, I pee on these 'Living Gods'.

    @Insignia: Yes...

    @Sujata: Not only power - political, cultural hegemony and the power of money. These people run some of the largest business institutions in the world. There is no religion like Commerce - and all of them - Hindu, Muslim, Christian, all - vie with each other in it.

    @Bikram: Yes, people like her has immense power and influence - one word from the could transform the society; but then, that's why they keep silent - where would they go if the society is transformed?

    @Anil: Why would I delete your comment? I fully endorse what you said.

  7. What I want to say has already been said by Anil Kurup!

  8. You said it Balachandran ! Ashram,Amma or Achans out there (?),special tokens for special people for 'darsan', manhandlings,business concerns..Yet to learn 'humanity'.

    And perhaps the only state where if you take action against a govt employee,reverting back with strikes and other threatenings' ..Long live God's Own Land ! (or Godmans?)

    Cheers on 'I pee on these Living Gods'.

  9. And yes,cheers to what Mr.Anil said there.haha.

  10. @Arun: You mean - "Fuck Them and the masses whose eyes will never see light" ? :-P

    @Melange: Today the Medical Council has already gone on strike in two districts Trivandrum and Kollam on account of this incident. What kind of monsters are these doctors, denying service to the sick? No wonder, private hospitals grow lush in Kerala!

    Cheers to what Anil said? You mean - "Fuck Them and the masses whose eyes will never see light"?

  11. Yes Balachandran.What Mr.Anil Kurup commented there...laughed a lot on that one..
    I really go pensive thinking what's the blindness with people ?

  12. Itz money, greed and show of power everywhere. Politics, religion, worship, everything is commercialised now. I wonder what is the meaning of democracy now when a bunch of good for nothing, greedy representatives who are just extremely talented actors keep on mocking at the masses. We will only know the truth reported in papers which are mostly paid news given by those on power and never will we get to know about the real truth behind the political murders, satnam singh murder, sampath murder or for that matter any of the heinous crimes of recent past

  13. Balan,

    I just about began penning my indignation and outrage at this incident when I saw your crisp post and the comments that have come forth. That makes good and I left my post still born.

    This fisher woman who has from an ordinary fishing hamlet dweller metamorphosed into "Matha Amrithananadha Mayi Devi", made it so far because of the gullibility of people. She calls herself,"matha", meaning mother. And can she identify one mother who would not raise a finger when her/a child is molested and physically abused. One word or gesture of her finger would have saved that poor, miserable mentally deranged boy. And yet after putting him to a cruel death she has not uttered one word of remorse. Her hire apparent even had the audacity to talk nonsense.
    What do people perceive from such a woman. When she hugs them?
    Believe it she is an industry and the services which she may render are incidental and also necessary to her existence and that of her empire.

    I would barter a million years in paradise to a greater distance from such vile god men and god women.

    And again from my personal knowledge there are many folks who run for her hug while at the same time care less about their own mothers.
    Strange are the ways of these earthlings!


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