This post may be a bit premature. The story is developing.
First, a few disclaimers.
This post is based on newspaper reports which as you all know are hugely varying in facts, correctness and so on.
I am basing my wild surmises and biased and prejudiced opinions on these newspapers, which makes things all the more amusing. Much like a debate on TV news.
I have full faith in the Judiciary – as famously said by many including Salman Bhai, & Sanju Baba.
Bharat Mata Ki Jai
Now that the disclaimers are done and dusted, let us plunge into the morass.
One Mr. Sunil Kulkarni has started what has hysterically been called a `cult’ – Shifu Sunkriti. He says, and I quote - “Shifu Sunkriti is not an organisation; it is my mystic name. Shifu means master, Sunkriti means Sun (reason) + Prakriti. I have been talking to every age group of people about their own family problems and emotional problems. I trained people on neuroplasticity resilience, it is a total connect of a brain to the body through the spinal cord through the electrical energy through the endocrinal glands that is basically the chemical energy. When all this is brought together, we get connected to ourselves. To do that, you have to physically get naked before yourself and then look at your body, get friendly with your body, then you actually get emotionally naked”
To me that sounds like what hundreds of mystics, philosophers, lifestyle gurus and self-styled God man have been saying all along. Details and words may differ now and then, but the basic principle of someone leading you along a path to heal yourself remains the same.
Mr. Kulkarni got a Facebook page, put up some trippy, hallucinatory, mildly sexually titillating, quasi mystical mumbo jumbo on the page in both words and images. Frankly, any rock music lover of the age of 45 and above would look back in time with fondness. The LP’s released by Santana – Abraxas, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and some Jimi Hendrix all had similar imagery. As far as lyrics go, there were plenty of nutty bands around with trippy lyrics. So nothing new here either.
From the newspaper accounts, Mr. Kulkarni, in his LinkedIn profile, said that he was a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist. Pausing here, how information on your LinkedIn profile can be regarded as Gospel I do not know. Anyway, on this basis Kulkarni prescribed various anti-depressant medications. This clearly is a crime. Not very serious, but a crime nonetheless.
By the way, do have a look at his Blog.
If you are facinated have a look at the Facebook page, that drove everybody nuts. All rather hippy.
This had been going on for quite some time. The story broke when the parents of two girls – aged 21 and 23 – both adults by a long mile, filed a case in the Bombay High Court against the Police seeking directions to investigate and arrest Kulkarni. They claimed that Kulkarni deeply influenced the two girls, turned them against their parents, give them drugs, got them to indulge in wanton sex, and, for good measure, hypnotized them.
A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court was, as is now the norm, duly scandalized and thundered that “this is a serious case”. The Police were rapped on their knuckles forcing the Police to swing into action and arrest Kulkarni. Of course it should also be noted that the two girls had filed a domestic violence case against their parents alleging that the parents were restraining them from visiting Kulkarni ! Can you beat that?
Just for the record, the two Lordships were Justice Ranjit More aged 58. His Lordship is from Nimsod, Tq. Khatau, District Satara (Maharashtra). He did his schooling education at Nimsod, district Satara and B.A. (Hons.) from Kolhapur and obtained Law Degree from Sangli. He stood 2nd in order of merit of Shivaji University, Kolhapur in LL.B. This is from the Bombay High Court Website. The other is Justice Anuja Prabhudesai aged 55. Alas Her Ladyship has been very busy and has not provided any information to the Bombay High Court Website. So, I cannot tell you her background.
I have been left dumbfounded, confused and angry. Let me try and tell you why.
When does one cut the umbilical cord? When is a person a person, a major and not a child? The two girls whose parents filed the case in the High Court were 21 and 23 i.e. majors. How could the parents claim, shall we say, jurisdiction over these two? The parents were certainly not guardians. The two girls in question were not in any way confined by Kulkarni. This was not a sort of Josef Fritzel case where Kulkarni had imprisoned the two girls. So this could not have been a Habeas Corpus Petition I would imagine. On the contrary the girls complained that the parents were restraining them. So I assume the girls were willing consenting adults indulging in what I imagine willing consenting adults do – have intercourse. I do not believe there was any wrong. So I question the rights of the parents to control 21 and 23 year old girls.
And what about the High Court. If the girls are not minors – clearly they are not – nor were they being confined, how could the Court order arrest of Kulkarni? High morals I imagine.
The question I ask is, what is wrong with this “cult” as it is called. What about, as I wrote earlier, Osho, Asaram Baba, the Brahmakumaris and so many more. They are all influential, hypnotic, brainwashing, and, solving any problem or need that you have. People do get lured, they do have elaborate websites and Facebook pages. Fine, they may not ask you to get naked but how are they fundamentally different? They even tell you what to eat and what not to eat. Much like our Government. So, in some respects, they control your life far more than the mumbo jumbo espoused by Kulkarni.
To sum up, I have no idea why the High Court got so hot and bothered. The crimes I believe that Kulkarni would have committed probably are peddling prescription drugs, masquerading as a doctor and other such trivia. Too much media coverage, courts overreaching themselves (yet again), too much sensationalism.
I predict he will be bailed soon. I doubt any more serious charge that what I have written above would be made.