30 June, 2010
On the evening of March 2nd, 2010, the Tamil TV channel Sun TV aired excerpts from the video, claiming to have received the exclusive footage from an anonymous source. All this was done as a part of strategic timing, It was well-known that His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda would be living for Kumbha Mela at Hardwar at the end of February or in early March 2010. His absence thus opened the door wide for conjecture, uninformed analyses and blatant accusations. Also it was an to hijack His Divine Holiness’ plans and even prevent his participation in the Kumbha Mela, which is the world’s largest spiritual gathering, attended by over 100 million people and graced by the spiritual heads of almost all Hindu organizations, apart from many highly evolved souls.
Being an irresistible combination of sex, glamour and betrayal, the story was promptly lapped up by both the media and the public. Barely hours after the video was telecast by Sun TV, the news was picked up a host of other TV and internet channels, and found its way to national newspapers. It skyrocketed to the top of internet search lists and hogged prime time on regional TV shows.
I along with my family were planning to move to Aadeenam around this time when these horrifying turn of events happened. As a devotee living outside, it was excruciatingly painful to see how our beloved Guru’s name was tarnished by Anti Hindu elements using mainstream media.
On the 3 March 2010, Adheenam issued a press release that stated, “At this moment, we feel that a mix of conspiracy, graphics and rumor are at play in these recent events that have unfolded. We are working on a legal course of action and will come up with updates in due course.” On March 4th, the statement was uploaded on the ashram’s website, as well as on Youtube. But barring a few seconds’ telecast on a couple of channels, no TV channel bothered with this statement.
Again, on 6th March, Paramahamsa Nithyananda issued a video-recorded statement explaining that nothing illegal was done either by him or his organization. The TV channels which found it appropriate to telecast the offensive 8-minute video nonstop for three days could not find the time to broadcast this two-minute statement even once. A forty-five minute press conference held by the ashram merited no more than a passing mention in any channel. Almost simultaneously with the TV telecast, the video started doing the rounds on Youtube. The words ‘Swami Nithyananda’ became the 6th most searched word internationally on Google.
Simultaneously, there was a blog and tweet blast on Youtube, with the number of tweets touching phenomenal 1.5 million on March 13th and 14th. When an attempt was made to track these tweets, it was found that an unnatural majority of the tweets had originated from just 3 cities in the world – San Jose, Chennai and Coimbatore. Evidently, someone was on the job night and day in these cities, generating the tweets.
In less than a week since the news broke out, Paramahamsa Nithyananda had become a household name – for the wrong reasons. With each day, the media frenzy seemed only climbing, with endless speculation about more videos, a slew of allegations, and national attention that was evidently excessive for a seven-year-old spiritual organization with no more than a few hundred full-time volunteers.
When we took up an informal comparative study of news reports in different media, astonishingly, even a casual examination of the case was enough to show that what appeared to be the truth was in fact a heady mix of fact, fiction and conjecture.
In just a few minutes after the video had been aired on Sun TV, there was a flash news stating that an enraged mob had attacked the ashram – which in fact did not happen till a number of hours later.
At the end of two weeks, we were certain that there existed reasonable evidence that the entire operation, from the moment the news hit TV to the sensational follow-up, had been conducted with the fine precision typical of a well thought-out and strategically planned attack.
around one and a half months later, I shifted to aadheenam on June 25, 2010 along with my wife and 2 kids. We were clear rest of our lives is going to be with Divine. There was no other better way to exist than to be with Him.