Sant Rampal: How The Self-Styled Godman Went From Being an Engineer to a Criminal
Before becoming a self-styled godman, Rampal was an ordinary boy who obtained a diploma degree from the Industrial Training Institute in Nilokheri and later on worked for an irrigation department in Haryana.
Hisar, Aug 29: A local Haryana court is set to deliver its judgment in two cases against self-styled godman Sant Rampal at 11 AM. Rampal was arrested in November 2014 on the charges of murder and riot, among others. Sant Rampal was born Rampal Singh Jatin on September 8, 1951. 16-year-old Rampal became Sant Rampal after he came under the influence of Saint Ramdevanand, a staunch follower of poet and saint Kabir.
Before becoming a self-styled godman, Rampal was an ordinary boy who obtained a diploma degree from the Industrial Training Institute in Nilokheri and later on worked for an irrigation department in Haryana. In 1996, Rampal resigned from as a junior engineer. However, according to the reports, Rampal was forced to resign from the job because of his careless attitude towards work. Soon after, he started giving religious sermons in various parts of the state.
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“Both of us did our matriculation from Gohana High School in Sonepat in 1971-72. Even then, he was religious. He used to read lots of books on Lord Hanuman and chant Hanuman Chalisa. But we later found out that he had started following Saint Kabir’s philosophies,” Jai Singh, who worked with Rampal in the Haryana Irrigation Department told The Indian Express.
Two years before resigning from the state irrigation department, Saint Ramdevanand had ordered Rampal to “initiate people into taking naam”. It was only after quitting his job that Rampal started taking him seriously and started preaching and spreading the words of 15th-century poet Kabir.
Rampal would drive around Haryana on his motorcycle with a microphone in an attempt to spread the words of saint Kabir. He would even get his photos clicked for his satsangs.
According to the reports, with help from some of his journalist friends, Rampal would get his photos and religious discourses published in newspapers. Soon after, he established his own Satlok Ashram. He believed he was an incarnation of Kabir and Guru Nanak. Preaching Kabir’s sermons, he would question “the origin and ancestry of gods and the popular interpretations of Hindu scriptures.”
“There are very few men in this country who speak on Kabirpanthi and our Baba was a reincarnation of Kabir,” said the spokesperson for the Satlok Ashram.
It was in 2006 when Rampal was first arrested by the police. Rampal had criticised a few parts of Arya Samaj which led to violent clashes between the two sects. Rampal was then charged with riot and murder. He was released on bail in 2008.
After he failed to appear before the court in 2014, it ordered his arrest. However, his followers made a protective ring around him and didn’t let the police arrest him. The authorities stopped electricity and water supply into the ashram.
Some people, who came out of the ashram, later claimed that they were forcefully held in the ashram to cushion the human ring, made to protect Sant Rampal.
A local Haryana court will read out its judgment today against Rampal who has been charged with obstructing police in performing their duty after he failed to appear before the court in 2014 and for forcefully holding people hostage in his ashram. Rampal is currently lodged in Hisar jail in a sedition case.
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