There is another topic that the local newspapers have been writing about in the last days and which I thought I would like to share with you, too. In Farrukhabad, in our state U.P., about 300 kilometers from here, a group of local people entered an Ashram, the Adhyatmik Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya Ashram, damaged a lot of the property and even got into fights with the people of the Ashram. They were very angry with the Ashram, the Ashram owners and the Ashram inhabitants. They were also angry with the police, asking them to take proper action against the Ashram.
This news attracted my attention. Why would an ashram become the subject of anger of local people? It was not properly clear in the article what had upset them so much. The Ashram’s name seemed familiar to me, as if I had heard its name before already and I wanted to find out more about that.
When I did more research about the reason of their anger and what really was the issue there, I found a bigger story behind it. The police had been to the Ashram the week before but the people of the surrounding did not feel that they had done enough and in the proper way. They accuse the police of not acting although they have plainly seen that something was wrong in that Ashram. The police had been there because a father had reported his 17-year-old daughter kidnapped. They found the girl and returned her to her father.
The article writes that they also found over a dozen more minor girls, most of them very young. The Ashram staff allegedly could not give any information as to where those girls were from. The girls seemed to be too young to tell themselves and maybe have been kidnapped at a very young age so that they would not even remember. Now cases of human trafficking and illegal detention have been filed against the owner, a Baba Virendra Dev Dixit. The Baba himself however is absconding and nowhere to be found.
I tried to find out more about the man who is absconding and I found out that he was connected with Brahma Kumaris. They split up however and he made his own organization. He was then debarred by the main Brahma Kumaris and now has many centers in different countries around the globe. So you see, it is a sect that was created from another sect. Again, there is crime on the name of religion. There is a guru, a leader, who has teachings and offers them to minor girls and poor women. The public thinks he offers these women and girls a place to live and study, a better life and some spiritual input. Behind this curtain of charity however there seems to be human trafficking and kidnapping of young girls.
It is shocking to hear and read about this and it creates a bad image for charity organizations that run Ashrams. If such news can be read everywhere, who would trust anybody? And really, in the world of religion and gurus, a lot of such things are going on. I have however trust that it will be less and less the more people get educated and widen their horizon.
I was searching on google but could not find this article on its original page. We needed to look in google cache and found it there. Here is the article.
This Post Has 4 Comments
Although I am generally careful with making accusations without proper sources, I can easily believe the accusations on that Baba. It is not the first time that the facade of an Ashram has been used to sell girls and children to sexual perverts! It is sad to see the reputation of other Ashrams being pulled into the dirt by this! Shame on those people!
It’s sad that such a bad image would be given to charities. It makes the public very distrustful of actual charities that are out there and doing good work. It’s very frustrating and although I know that the world is not fair, it’s not right that people do wrong things in the name of good.
As somone who is from AIVV but originally from Australia, If you investigated further you would find the same father claiming that the child was ‘kidnapped’ was the actual person who signed her to surrender to the ashram then changed his mind against the wishes of the daughter.
AIVV keeps extensive records and all people who join at whatever age must sign legal documents which are witnessed by government officials in the local area. People just assume bad conduct because there is so many religious groups which treat people badly. In fact I challenge you to investigate further and you will see there is no misconduct. Not everything you read in the media, especially in India is correct.
Dear Harris,Thank you for writing your opinion. The main point that I was making here is that such news really create a bad image for other charity organizations and Ashrams. If you read carefully, you can see that I am only referring to those articles and news which I have read and not adding any assumptions of my own.
There are a lot of bad things happening and kidnapping and sexual abuse cases are not as rare as one might wish. Followers don’t always know the whole truth about what their gurus really do…
I think we can agree upon it that any kind of abuse is a terrible act that makes people afraid of such organizations and Ashrams.