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Saturday, December 10, 2022

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Saturday, December 10, 2022
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Who will succeed Ram Rahim? Son, ‘daughter’ or Dera chairperson Vipashyana

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been awarded 10-year rigorous imprisonment post his conviction in rape and sexual exploitation case, the succession question has taken centrestage in Dera Sacha Sauda.

There is no accurate estimate about the assets of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda but the wealth is said to be worth hundreds of crores of rupees. With Ram Rahim convicted in a 15-year-old rape and sexual exploitation case, speculation is rife about succession battle in his family and at the Dera.

Three names are said to be in the forefront of succession battle – son Jasmeet Singh, adopted ‘daughter’ Honeypreet and dera chairperson Vipashyana.

In 2007, after being charged with rape and sexual exploitation of two sadhvis , Ram Rahim had anointed his son Jasmeet to be his successor. Jasmeet became the first anointed successor in a bloodline at the Dera Sacha Sauda, which was founded by Shah Mastana Balochistani in 1948 as social welfare and spiritual organisation.

Shah Mastana named Shah Satnam Singh as his successor who took over the reins of the Dera Sacha Sauda in 1960. In 1990, Ram Rahim was handed over the ‘gaddi’ or seat of Dera chief after being named as successor by Satnam Singh.
After expanding Dera in wealth and influence across Haryana and Punjab after taking over as the chief, Ram Rahim treated it as his family property and named his son as the successor. But, a lot has changed in Ram Rahim’s life that may stop the anointed successor from taking the reins of the Dera Sacha Sauda.

In 2009 Ram Rahim proclaimed Honeypreet as his third daughter after adopting her. Her original name was Priyanka Taneja and she belonged to Fatehabad district.

Honeypreet with Baba while he was being taken to the Rohtak jail

She was married to Vishvas Gupta when Ram Rahim adopted her as his daughter. Vishvas Gupta is the grandson of two-time Gharaunda MLA Rulia Ram Gupta, worked as an engineer with Haryana government earlier. Rulia Ram Gupta is Dera follower since the days of Shah Satnam Singh. Honeypreet married Vishvas Gupta in 1999 in presence of Ram Rahim.

Later Vishwas Gupta approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court alleging that Ram Rahim had illicit relations with Honeypreet. Reports suggest that they have separated after the incident and Visshwas Gupta apologised at Dera. He now handles a part of Dera business.

On social media, Honeypreet calls herself as Papa’s Angel and has directed MSG series of films with Ram Rahim and also acted as his daughter in MSG-2. Honeypreet has also directed the Warrior Lion Heart, Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab and Jattu Engineer. All these films were declared tax free in Haryana.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim is extremely fond of Honeypreet, who is his closest confidante. That Honeypreet is already handling Dera affairs puts her in the lead to be the next chief after Ram Rahim. Honeypreet is not biologically related to Ram Rahim may work in her favour as none of the previous Dera chief came from the bloodline.

But, Honeypreet has a serious challenger in the present chairperson of Dera, Vipashyana.

Vipashyana is said to be the most serious contender, on the basis of work, for the seat of next Dera Sacha Sauda chief. The 35-year-old sadhvi of Dera is the chairperson of the organisation. She is number two in the Dera after Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Vipashyana is authorised, by Ram Rahim, to take all the decision on the behalf of Dera Sacha Sauda, which she is heading for past seven years.

Vipashyana has been managing the Dera affairs for too long to set aside when succession question is addressed. For many in the Dera, Vipashyana is the natural successor of Ram Rahim.

Vipashyana was the one to appeal for peace after violence broke out following conviction of Ram Rahim in the rape and sexual exploitation case in Panchkula and other places. More than 35 people lost their lives in the violence.

Dera’s Sirsa campus is spread over 700 acres and is has multi-specialty hospital, stadium among other properties. Dera has its ashrams across many states including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi.

Except for Headline, the report has been sourced from India Today 

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