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SADHU OR SHAITAAN
Swami Nithyanand's Sex Tapes Truth and Lies
The alleged video tape of Sawami Nithyanand Paramhamsa caught in sexual act with a leading Tamil actress has provided a huge sensational and entertainment value. However, once the initial euphoria is over this episode has triggered a debate, answers to it are hard to piece together. The debate roughly centers around; Are most god man conman? What were the reasons for the sting operation? Is this tape genuine? Do media have the license to enter into the privacy of an individual? Can bedrooms be protected from the lens eyes? Where the media is heading in this digital age? Swami Nithyanand Paramhamsa, 32, is a young god man who claim to have 45 lakh devotees spread over to 17 countries. In India most of his followers come from the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

SADHUORSHAITAAN
A video still that allegedly shows actress Ranjitha and Swami Nityananda indulging in acts of intimacy.

On March 2, 2010, a popular TV channel Sun TV in Chennai repeatedly telecast Swami Nithyanand's alleged bedroom acts with a Tamil actress in a very sensational manner. Next day some Tamil print publication like Dinakaran, Tamil Murasu and Nakkeeran also published this story with much spice and juice.The god men who are called Swamys are supposedly celibates or 'Brahmacharis.' They are not expected to indulge in worldly pleasures like sex. Such people are epitome of high moral integrity and supposedly to have godly characteristics. It's because of such virtues people get attracted towards them and shows their faith towards them and worships them. There are so many such Swami in the country each having a huge following. However, the faith of the people was completely shaken when the TV Channel beamed the sex romp of Swami Nithyanand with an actress. The tape showing the Swami in a compromising position enraged his devotees around the country. People came out to the streets, burned his effigies, pull down his posters and even vandalized his ashram. The incensed villagers residing in the vicinity of his sprawling ashram Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam near Bidadi in Karnataka and they attacked the devotees staying there. There were also protest reported from several other places in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Even though this case is not the first of its kind, it has tarnished the image of all the god men or swami and seen as conmen corrupting society and indulging in acts that do not commemorate to their holy status. After the sex scandal, two cases have been filed against the Swami Nithyananda in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for cheating and offending religious sentiments of the people. The Tamil Nadu and Karnataka government has ordered a high level of inquiry into the matter after consulting state representatives from various religious trusts and institutions.

Who is the actress in the sex tape? Who is the renowned Tamil actress found in bed with the Swami Nithyananda? The popular gossip is that she is Tamil actress Ranjitha. It's reported that the film star started visiting the ashram to overcome depression caused by a failed marriage and soon became a devotee of the Swami. After the breaking off the scandal no one knows the whereabouts of the actress. She has not appeared in public not said anything for or against to come clean. This leads to speculation whether the girl who appeared in the video is actually Ranjitha? Will she ever come to public on this issue, or she will be forced to file a complaint against the swami is something that's being speculated.

What are the reasons for sting operation? There are several theories doing rounds that prompted this sting operation. According to some, ego clash among inmates in the ashram have resulted in the making of the video. It's alleged that one of the inmates of the ashram, Premananda alias Lenin Karuppan, with an intention to defame Swami Nithyanand has used the information technology had morphed his face and released the video clippings. Some argue after Nithyanand's rival was exposed a day before, this tape appeared in public and in both the cases an insidious connection is seen. Some say money had a major role to play in the making of the sex tapes. The loose talk is that those who made the video and the TV channel that aired the scandal had a struck a deal. A huge sum has changed for airing of the sex tape. The other theory that is doing round is the TV channel with huge political clout had demanded Rs 50 crore from Swami Nithyanand, but when that was refused, the sting operation was planned with the help a female decoy. Another theory is the sex tape might be result of property dispute. There is no end to gossip mongering.

The scandal involving Nityanand is just the latest in a string of controversies involving GODMEN

Swami Paramhansa Nityanand: The founder of the Nityanand mission, which claims to have 1,000 branches across 33 countries, has been untraceable since certain Tamil TV channels recently aired a video which allegedly shows him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress. Nityanand, who has ashrams in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry, hails from Tamil Nadu and has a sprawling ashram in Bidadi, 30 km from Bangalore. He claims to lead a worldwide movement for meditation and peace. Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple, has said that he shot the video to expose the swami. Lenin has alleged that his life has been under threat from the swami, adding that he also suspected foul play behind the death of a woman inmate a year ago. In the complaint filed with Chennai City Police Commissioner T Rajendran, Lenin, who claimed to be an inmate of the ashram in Bangalore since 2006, said the swami used to lure young women devotees claiming that he was the reincarnation of Lord Krishna. Anup Kumar Sahay: A self-proclaimed godman in Ghaziabad, he was booked on Sunday for abducting his cousin. According to a complaint filed by Subha Srivastava, mother of the victim, the accused along with his brother Ashok Kumar Sahay abducted her daughter Priyanka Srivastava on February 15. The self-proclaimed godman has been booked under sections 363, 313 and 366 of the IPC which pertain to kidnapping and forcing a woman to undergo abortion without her will. Kripaluji Maharaj: Ram Kripal Tripathi aka Kripaluji Maharaj, at whose ashram near Pratapgarh in UP 63 people died in a stampede last week, was charged with kidnapping and rape in two cases in Nagpur in 1991. He was acquitted after the witnesses turned hostile. He was arrested in 2007 after a Guyanese woman in South Trinidad filed a rape case against him.

Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale: Shiv Murti Dwivedi alias Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale (39), a self-styled godman, was arrested by the Delhi Police last month on charges of operating a high-profile sex racket involving former airhostesses and students. Asaram Bapu: Two minor boys of the Asaram Ashram-run gurukul in Ahmedabad were found dead in the Sabarmati riverbed two days after they mysteriously went missing from the gurukul in February 2008. The police booked Asaram Bapu in a criminal case pertaining to attempt to murder last year in December on the basis of a complaint filed by Raju Chandak, a former disciple of Asaram. Chandak was shot at by two persons on December 5 and he sustained injuries on his chest and shoulders. Chandak alleged that he was targeted at the behest of Asaram, as he had testified before the D K Trivedi Commission probing into the death of the two boys. Jayendra Saraswati: The influential Kanchi math Shankaracharya was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police in Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh in November 2004 in connection with the murder of a former accountant of the math. Santosh Madhavan: The temple priest-turned-astrologer wanted by the Interpol — was arrested in Alappuzha in May 2008. Apart from a Rs 50 lakh fraud case that has a Dubai-based businesswoman as the complainant, Madhavan, who had turned himself into Swami Amritachaitanya presiding over a posh ashram and flaunting high connections in the state’s political circle and the bureaucracy, was also charged with raping a 15year-old girl repeatedly.

Premananda: Also known as Trichy Sai Baba, he was