Disgraced Indian godman’s representative attends a Diwali event in October, sparking controversy
Image by BCCL
Controversial Indian godman Nithyananda’s UK representative was invited to a Diwali function at the House of Lords this year, which has been the subject of much controversy and criticism.
Nithyananda, who ran several Hindu temples and ashrams in India, fled the country in 2019 after several charges against him were filed for the abduction of children and raping a follower.
In August this year, an Indian court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against the disgraced guru who claims to have supernatural abilities.
He is currently in hiding and is known for previously announcing to have founded a “sovereign” island nation called ‘Kailaasa’.
Nithyananda’s representative Atmadaya was invited by Bob Blackman, the Conservative MP for Harrow East, and peer Rami Ranger to an event in October, the Observer revealed.
Blackman did not comment on Atmadaya’s invitation to the event, but Lord Ranger said that he was unaware of Nithyananda or his organisation.
He said, “If I had known, I would never have attended an event where such unsavoury characters were being promoted.”
Nithyananda has denied all allegations against him, while Atmadaya said that the “false” accusations were the result of “a campaign of religious persecution by anti-Hindu extremist elements of the government in India”.
Hindu Forum of Britain president Trupti Patel said, “We do not discriminate; each entity has its own following. Social media/internet hype and unsubstantiated allegations against UK-registered charities cannot stop any two organisations working together.”
The godman’s UK-based lawyer, Richard Rogers, defended him and said that according to the evidence gathered, the criminal allegations against Nithyananda were part of a campaign of religious persecultion against him. He added, “The allegations of alleged misconduct that I have looked into, turned out to be based on evidence that is unreliable at best, and in some cases clearly manipulated or falsified.”