Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:
Actors, producers and directors of the entertainment industry in Odisha had their share of fun with the money Sarathi looted from his unsuspecting devotees. Many went on the loot crores by various means from the publicity-hungry Baba and his fun-loving son Satyam.
As per reports published in leading daily Sambad, our sister concern, apart from investing crores in movies and music videos, the self-proclaimed godman had even invested in six television soaps.
As per an investigation carried out by the daily, leading producers and directors roped in Sarathi to make movies and TV soaps. In return, they cleverly highlighted the charisma of Sarathi in these products. They also used to give Satyam a chance to have fun with the actors.
Overall, the players of Odisha entertainment industry made transactions running into a whopping Rs 40 crore in just the past four years, the investigation by Sambad revealed. While some of the money invested by the tainted Godman was really spent in producing these movies, soaps and music videos, a large part of the money was siphoned off.
The investigation also revealed the involvement of ruling party leaders in these dubious transactions.
Leading actor and now BJD rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty even went on to inaugurate a CD for the Baba at his ashram. Besides, Cabinet Minister Arun Sahu also attended the Muhurat of ‘Bachelor’, the first movie made by the Sarathi banner, at a temple in Nayapalli.
The film was made at a budget of Rs 1.5 crore which is an unusually high amount for an Odia movie.
The director of the movie Mrutyunjay Sahoo, however, refuted the charge and claimed that “the movie was made at a budget of Rs 60-70 Lakhs”.
It may be noted that Sarathi started with producing Pravachan CDs for self-promotion. The CDs were initially produced in a studio in Cuttack and sold to his devotees for a nominal price. Later, the Baba opened a secret office in Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar to manage this business. This office later turned out to be the office of ‘Srimad Sarathi Productions’.
The production house was being run by his son Satyam and a music director. While two more houses were bought for this production house, another building was being constructed by a local at Magnetix Square for their upcoming devotional TV channel.
Things, however, have changed fast for the Baba ever since his arrest. The members of the entertainment and political fraternity have dumped him. Such is the condition that his elder brother Debendra Raula, who used to supervise his Pravachan Satsang and take care of the light, camera, editing etc, has also distanced himself and claimed he had no knowledge of his brother’s business.