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Dera Sacha Sauda (Template:Lang-pa, Template:Lang-hi) is a non-profit spiritual organization based in Sirsa, Haryana, India. The Dera Sacha Sauda was established by Shah Mastana Ji from Baluchistan in 1948, as a center for spiritual learning, based upon liberal theology that was in disagreement with established orthodox religions and philosophies. It espouses the Sufi, Bhakti or Ruhani tradition in which Saints from all religions agree that a True Guru is required to teach the meditation for self realisation.

The emphasis is on humanitarianism and the Dera has members belonging to all religions. The organization does not accept any gifts, alms or donations. The people who come to Dera work in the agricultural fields and the income from the produce is utilized for social welfare activities like Bihar flood in 2008 and 2004, Rajasthan drought from 2000 to 2003, Punjab cyclone in 2003, Tribal Welfare 2001 - 2003, Gujrat Earthquake in Jan 2001, Orissa cyclone in November 1999 and many more.

Etymology

The name Sacha Sauda (true business) refers to an incident in the life of Guru Nanak Dev. Some historical sources tell of how, when Guru Nanak Dev was 12 years old, his father gave him twenty rupees (a substantial sum of money in those days) and instructed him to conduct a business operation in order that he make a profit and learn business skills. Guru Nanak used the money to buy food to feed the poor, and explained to his father that in doing so he had done a "true business". Sacha Sauda is believed to be the place where this took place.[1]

Principles and positions

The official principles of the sect laid down by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan are secularism, equality, no acceptance of materialistic wealth, and truth and faith over everything else, meditation to road of truth, no politics, strict individual discipline, strict social discipline, hard work, true faith and meditation to escape from re-births (Moksha).[2] A complete list of the principles of Dera Sacha Sauda can be found on its website.


Welfare Activities

According to the Dera Sacha Sauda, the organization's main income is through agriculture. It also runs a 175 bed hospital in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, which is the birth place of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, along with a hostel for girls, a boys school and a degree college in Haryana. In 2002, an article in Frontline claimed that the organization is also involved in several other entrepreneurial activities including a petrol pump, biscuit factory, ice factory, restaurant and a supermarket.[3]

Green S Welfare Force

Shah Satnam Ji Green-S Welfare Force[4] – With the aim of dedicated selfless service to humanity in distress, Guru Ji ( Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan ) has constituted a specialised disaster relief and welfare agency called Shah Satnam Ji Green-S Welfare Force Society.Numbering more than 35,000, this unique endeavour involves experienced Doctors, qualified Engineers, trained rescuers, paramedics, electricians, masons, reconstruction workers, and people of various trades required in humanitarian aid missions.This force has helped victims of various natural disasters that happened in india in last decade in every possible manner.Green S Welfare Force

Annual Free Eye Camp

In the pious and everlasting memory of the worldly voyage of Param Pita Shah Satnam ji, A Free Mega Eye Camp is organised on December 13-14-15 annually. In a gesture of magnanimity the present spiritual Master, embarked on an endeavour of social service. Presently, senior surgeons of national and international repute extend their services during the camp. Guru ji supervises this effort to the minutest detail.Eye Camp

Anti Female Feticide Campaign

Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh started campaign against Female Feticide. Organization has also built 'Shahi Betiyan Basera' for the orphan girls who were to be killed by their parents.Shahi Betiyan Basera

Blood Donation Drives

Dera Sacha Sauda has been recognized thrice by Guinness World Records for massive blood donation camps:

  1. A camp conducted by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan in Sirsa, Haryana on 7 December 2003, in which 15,432 donors participated in merely 12 hours.Shah Satnam JI Blood Donation Camp
  2. A camp in a Bapu Ji village, Sri Ganganagar, India on 10 October 2004 in which 17,921 donors participated.[5]
  3. A mega Blood donation Camp was organized at Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa, Haryana on 8 August 2010, in which 43,732 donors participated. Largest Blood Donation Camp

Anti Drug Initiatives

Dera Sacha Sauda also runs a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Sirsa, where scores of people have been treated.[6] Saint Gurmeet Ram RahIm Singh ji Insan started a Drug Prevention Campaign against the use of intoxicants and inspires people to give up their drug addiction in every spiritual congregation. People willing to give up their addiction stay in Dera Sacha Sauda for seven days and medical treatment is available for them free of cost. The institution sees chemical dependency (Drug Addiction) as a behaviour disorder and encourages the addicts to bring about a positive change in their personality.[7]

Unprecedented Steps Against Prostitution

In November 2009 Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ji Insan called on his followers to counter the menace of prostitution, and to help sex-workers escape a "life of perpetual slavery".Appeal Over 1450 followers were reported to have responded to the call and offered to marry sex-workers to "help them escape their dreary existence".[8][9] In 25th Jan 2010, on the occasion of the birthday congregation of the previous Saint Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji; Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan has solemnized the marriages of five ex- sex workers with Dera members who have vowed to eradicate forced prostitution.Marriage Video The marriages were solemnized in front of millions of devotees from all over the world gathered at Dera Sacha Sauda to cheer and be witness of this history in making. Guru ji designated these women as ‘Shubh Devi’ means holy angel. Expressing happiness the family of ‘Bhagat Yodhas’ donated 3.33lakhs Rupees for Shah Satnam Green ‘S’ Welfare Force fund and also vowed to donate eyes and body for medical research purpose.Interview of Bhakt Yodha Guru ji showered eternal blessings and 25,000 Rs. to each newly wedded pair to start the fresh beginning in their life.[10]


Plantation Drive

Dera Sacha Sauda Celebrated Birth Day of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan by Planting Trees and Setting Up Tree Plantation World Record.

After celebrating birthmonth of Huzur Pita Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan in form of a blood donation camp where 43,732 units of blood was collected, Dera Sacha Sauda celebrated birth day (15th August 2010) of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan by planting more than 43 Lakhs trees worldwide.

His Holiness Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan inaugurated this in morning by planting a "Neem" tree with his pious hands. On this occasion, members of royal family, royal daughters, residents of Aasra Ashram and all Celibate Volunteers of Dera Sacha Sauda ( Sat Brahmchari Sevadar) participated in this noble work. Guinness Book World Record Tree Plantation

Encouraging Education and Sports

In 2004 the Parampita Shah Satnam ji Educational and Welfare Society, which is affiliated with Dera Sacha Sauda, built the Shah Satnam ji Cricket Stadium in Sirsa, Haryana. Using a workforce of 10,000, the stadium was said to have been built in 45 days and have a capacity of 30,000.[11] It is spread over 100 acres, which would make the second largest in Asia.[12]


Clashes with Sikh community

In May 2007 Dera Sacha Sauda was accused of insulting Sikhism after the organisation's leader, baba Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, "appeared in an advert in which Sikhs said he was made to look like the last Sikh Guru Gobind Singh."[13] This controversy developed into a serious law-and-order problem in various parts of Northern India, as various sikh groups started riots,shutdown and disrupted public rail and road transportation.[14] At least one person was killed, and over a hundred injured in the ensuing six days of sectarian violence."[15] There was no regret from Sikh groups for vandalizing the public property and the events of rukus that followed the event of controversial dress. On the other hand in favor of peace and harmony Dera Sacha Sauda released a press note mentioning that it regretted alleged hurting of sentiments of Sikhs. The sect admitted that the ad did create misunderstandings, but that it was never intended to hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.[16] The organisation again apologised on 27 May 2007 saying, "We are pained by the developments of the last several days. We are sorry for the misunderstanding and would like to apologize to revered Shri Guru Gobind Singh."[17] However the arrogant Akal Takht rejected the apology, saying it was dissatisfied with the manner in which the Dera head had sent the apology.The apology was addressed to Guru Gobind Singh, and not Akal Takht, as the supreme Sikh body had been demanding.[18]

On 20 June 2007, additional chief judicial magistrate A.L. Kitchi issued an arrest warrant against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with a criminal case registered against him under Section 295-A of the IPC on May 20 in Bathinda.[19] The arrest warrant was stayed by Chandigarh High Court on the following day and the case was transferred to Special CBI Court.

Other Issues

In 2007 Majority of Dera followers voted for the Congress party, which forms the opposition in Punjab.The huge losses in votes infuriated ruling Akali Dal Party. Following the elections several factions of ruling Akali Dal and other radical sikh groups threatened to kill Dera chief.After he received some death threats from punjab militant groups like khalistan and other radical sikh groups, Indian government decided to provide him with Z+ security.[20]

The organization and its head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, are under investigation for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chandra Chatrapati. In february 2010 CBI filed a charge sheet against dera chief in Special CBI court,Ambala. The judgment of Special CBI court came in December 2010 in which the Dera chief was given clean chit in all the charges in the murder case.No witness in his statements gave any evidence against the Dera chief.[21] CBI also observed that Rs. 30 Lakh was given by unknown persons from Haryana and Punjab to khatta singh,former dera follower and dera chief's former driver and two electronic media channels(India TV and Tehelka ) for spreading blasphemy against Dera chief by involving him in false murder and rape cases.[22][23]Earlier Khatta Singh had falsely alleged murder charges against dera chief before a magistrate in a court.

References

  1. sikh-history.com
  2. derasachasauda.org
  3. Rajalakshmi, T.K. (2002-12-21). "Godman under a cloud". Frontline. http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1926/stories/20030103003404000.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  4. http://shahsatnamjigreenswelfareforcesociety.org/
  5. Largest Blood Donation, Guinness World Records. Accessed: May 17, 2007.
  6. Ahuja, Abhishek. "A Day at Dera Sacha Sauda". http://news.sulekha.com/newsanalysisdisplay.aspx?cid=163063.
  7. http://derasachasauda.org/en/principles
  8. Sethi, Swati (14 November 2009). "Dera followers offer to wed sex workers". The Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dera-followers-offer-to-wed-sex-workers/articleshow/5229062.cms. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  9. "Indian sect members vow to marry sex workers". BBC.
  10. [1]
  11. "A medal for this stadium". The Hindu. 2004-09-06. http://www.hindu.com/mp/2004/09/06/stories/2004090600550201.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  12. "Cricket stadium". The Tribune. 2004-09-07. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040907/sports.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  13. Raman, Sunil (2007-05-17). "India tensions over Sikh protests". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6667219.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  14. http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/sikhs-sponsored-shutdown-disrupts-rail-road-traffic-in-punjab_10074857.html
  15. "Punjab limping back to normalcy, isolated protests". The Hindu. 2007-05-19. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200705191801.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  16. "Dera Sauda regrets hurting Sikhs". CNN-IBN Live. http://www.ibnlive.com/news/dera-sauda-regrets-hurting-sikhs/40927-3.html. Retrieved 2007-05-20.
  17. "Dera Sauda again apologize". NDTV. http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070013432. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  18. "Dera Sauda again apology Rejected By Akal Takth". CNN-IBN. http://www.ibnlive.com/news/dera-apology-akal-takht-unsatisfied/top/41601-3.html?xml. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  19. "Arrest warrant against dera chief". Tribune Chandigarh. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070621/main5.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  20. http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=87779
  21. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dera-sacha-sauda-chief-gets-clean-chit-in-murder-case/719000/
  22. http://derasachasauda.org/en/component/content/article/17-print-media/304-conspiracy-against-hujur-pitaji-amar-ujala-news
  23. http://derasachasauda.org/en/component/content/article/17-print-media/305-conspiracy-against-hujur-pitaji-4-dec-amar-ujala-news

External links

Template:Wikisource Organization's website:

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