The most lucrative business in India today would either be producing a TV serial or to become a ‘Godman’ with a bunch of trusted buddies posing as devoted disciples. In the first all that the producer, usually an ex-actor needs is some money and contacts with popular channels. The rest of the work is simple; catch hold of some actors who are not in demand and make them weep to their hearts content and let the camera roll.
While in the latter the added advantage is , it requires zero investment. The ‘Saadhu’ just needs outlandish garbs, a deceptive smile and repulsive looks with a hairdo that would put Medusa to shame.
If P.C.Sorkar had used his skills in magic to produce a ‘crystal lingam’ or ‘silver efigy’ from air, he could have done away with advertisements for his magic show and his ‘ashram’ ( an inevitable byproduct of having mad disciples) would be a sought after one.
Most of the Godmen are nothing but soothsayers who cash in on the vulnerability of the people seeking solace.
Some claim to be able to perform miracles and solve just about any problem under the sun — from helping jilted lovers and solving marriage problems, to comforting those with job worries and healing the sick.The list is endless and the main target of these people are the ones from the movie world. They gain the confidence of the famous and slowly spread their influence with the powerful but superstitious politicians. And the atrocities they commit after that , is anyone’s guess.
These public figures are hardly alone in seeking answers from the stars and soothsayers; the persistence and popularity of such beliefs attracts even laymen to these characters like moth to fire. When one has lost all hopes or is not able to draw sympathy from close ones , he/she feels these pseudosciences can help. As for celebrities they are fueled by greed .
Even psychologists agree that all belief systems–astrology, Objectivism, religion–ease anxiety about the human condition, and provide the illusion of security, predictability, control, and hope in an otherwise chaotic world.
As long as fear exists among people such godmen will thrive and as long as there is ignorance , there would be cheats.