Exclusive: Asaram, Radhe Maa, and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Dance-Off on Nach Baliye

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Exclusive: Asaram, Radhe Maa, and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Dance-Off on Nach Baliye

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

W

e’re extremely proud of our nation’s guru-shishya tradition where a spiritual guide, almost always an older man in varying states of undress, gives you life advice while seated in the shade of a banyan tree.

But even the gurus realise that they are in desperate need of a makeover, especially considering their wholesale fall from grace in the last couple of years. Godmen need to keep it fresh, to attract a new breed of shishyas that sashay to the beats of Bollywood. They need to drop bhajans that are less Anup Jalota and more Avicii, because nothing says bhakti like the bass on your trap cover of “Aisi Lagi Lagan Meera Ho Gayi Magan”. These purveyors of punya know that they need a gimmick to connect with a younger audience, who isn’t necessarily wowed by their abilities to sit still for years or perform miracles. So they’ve adopted a more media-savvy approach, “leaking” videos of themselves like the time Asaram Bapu uploaded a video of himself in a state of “mauj”, channeling his inner drunk uncle at a wedding. Then there’s Red Radhe-ing Hood doing her characteristic slo-mo hula while surrounded by South Delhi’s finest denizens. (Simply Googling the words “Radhe Maa dance” throws up dozens of videos of the godwoman doing the jig not just at jagratas but even at weddings and, believe it or not, in casinos.)

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