I opened up the papers next day expecting to find something written about Birju, given that a formal complaint had been launched the evening before by his parents. Instead, I read about the death of Sathya Sai Baba, miracle-worker, godman, philanthropist, and head of a fifty-thousand crore empire. I thought Birju would have a few questions to ask godmen today, so here they are:
1. What purpose would a fifty-thousand crore empire be to godmen, given that they can derive things by miracles, more importantly that they are godmen?
2. Given that godmen claim philanthropy unto themselves, how do they lead fifty-thousand crore empires when so many people are lying helpless, hapless or at the brink of survival?
3. How is it that a Prime Minister that is not accountable to people is accountable to godmen? Or likewise a media industry? After all, it is rare that newspapers report - yes, report - obituaries for pages and days on end, of people.
4. Why are dubious miracles priced more than cool nimbu-panis in the hot sun?
5. Does widespread belief, devotion and praise change falsehoods to truth?
I hope Birju is happy, wherever he is.