Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
The controversial self-styled godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Raul, presently lodged in Choudwar Circle Jail, has spoken to media over the alleged sexcapade controversy for the first time since his arrest.
In an exclusive telephonic interview with Kanak News’ Manoranjan Mishra, the self-proclaimed spiritual leader has sought to clear the air enveloping the mystery that dominated the airtime and consumed major space over a period of time.
Here follows the excerpts of the tell-all interview:
Q You had first denied visiting Golkonda Hotel with a woman cohort and then accepted it later on. People blamed that you lied. What is the truth behind it?
A The truth hasn’t come out yet. You can say I rescued a scorpion from a ditch and it stung me. Initially she told media that I was like god to her and will be so in the future too. Suddenly after few days, she made a volte face and levelled serious allegations like life threat against me. I had assured her to save her but instead she alleged of life threat from me. I was deeply pained by the developments.
We had sniffed this sort of controversy breaking out four months prior to the incident. My followers apprehended my arrest. I was unfazed by that.
Q How are you spending time inside the jail?
A I spend majority of time meditating. My only objective is to do good work for Odisha regardless of the place where I stay. Be it Himalaya or any other place.
Q You had told media that you would go mad.
A There were restrictions put by the authorities. I was not allowed to meet anybody for almost two months.
Q Do you claim that you are God?
A I have never claimed so. I am an ordinary person. I may be God for an individual, not for public.
Q Do you possess mystical powers that honey was oozing from your feet and a concrete cow was producing milk?
A Tulasi Das had fed grass to a stone bull. Jesus Christ had fed 5000 people. I cannot comment on that. I am an ordinary man.
Q What is the story behind ‘palank seva’ and ‘anthua gopal’?
A These are all false allegations. I have and would never indulge in these things.
Q It was widely reported that you were watching young women bathing in your ashram through CCTV cameras?
A Newspapers can report anything.
Q You are being portrayed as a comic character in puja pandals, theatres and even a movie on you ‘Rangeela Baba’ was released recently. How do you react to it?
A Whether its good or bad… people are coming to know about me.
Q It was rumoured that Satyam is your son and he is born from bibhuti? What is your take?
A No… I had adopted him when he was a kid. I cannot stop people from spreading rumours. We cannot do anything about it.
Q It is talked about that you have a very good rapport with politicians and MLALAD funds have been utilised in the construction of your ashram.
A Many actors and politicians visit my ashram. They take blessings and leave. Neither do they offer money nor do I take donations from them. My ashram has been built by individual contributions by my devotees.
Q Who all are the politicians and actors who follow you? Name a few of them.
A Almost all of them. I am a music lover. I have learnt music in Mumbai. I have enormous respect them. Our artistes are wonderful people.
Q Don’t you think you wearing jeans and T shirt and accompanying a woman companion to Hyderabad has hurt the religious sentiments of your followers?
A I wear all types of clothes. I would remain like a Naga Sadhu without clothes once a week. Everybody knows that I put on various types of attire. People who believe in me should come to me and those who don’t shouldn’t.
Q Do you have magical powers. It is said that you learnt magic tricks in your childhood. It is alleged that you hypnotise your followers.
A There are numerous magicians in India. If it was possible, they could have hypnotised all.
Q Do the women devotees outnumber the men?
A Nothing like that. People from both the sexes come to me.
Q Why did you take a woman follower with you to the Golkonda Hotel which snowballed into a major controversy?
A The reason for the woman visiting the place was different. She was on her personal work. I have not disclosed it to anybody. I will reveal it in opportune time. She is a very nice person.
Q Did you stay together in the hotel with her?
A No… she had booked the room in the hotel. I had other work there in the city.
Q Your followers consider it a case of moral offence as you shared a room with a woman devotee. It creates a negative sentiment in their minds.
A You are true. But, my personal view is that we don’t differentiate between people in spiritual world.
Q Would the sastangs continue after you are released from the jail?
A I cannot comment anything on satsang now as I don’t have any idea when I would be granted bail. I am worshipping and meditating inside the cell.