With the Radhe Maa controversy still sizzling and the self-styled spiritual guru embroiled in a dowry case, the spotlight is firmly on those that endow themselves with fake spiritual power and dubious titles. Somehow, they manage to amass followers thanks to their silver tongue and the public’s gullibility. Finally, when they are caught, if ever, it may be too late; by then they have usually amassed a huge public following, a great deal of money with which they fight cases against them and sometimes, a lot of political clout too. There are thousands of such mortals calling themselves ‘baba’ and ‘maa’ and other names offering cures, solutions and panaceas to the world’s ills, and your problems in particular. The route of all these solutions is mostly through followers’ pockets.

People need to be sceptical. There are so many persons who are taken in by these cons who also operate online, divesting you of cash as they build their empires. They know that people reach out to them at a time when they are particularly vulnerable: when a loved one is ill or dies, a job is lost, some business has failed or a life-threatening illness casts a cloud… Be wary of their claims and instead, choose a scientific way of thinking and analysing. Do not get taken in by mumbo-jumbo. People need to develop a scientific outlook and temperament.

One cannot always depend on the government or police to bust these cons. A more questioning, sceptical attitude should be used to dissect some of the hogwash that is spewed in the name of philosophy. A harder, clearer look at things is the responsibility of the people. Do not expect miracle cures and solutions there are none. Let the rationalists bloom; listen to them, do not silence their voices, like it had happened to Narendra Dhabolkar.

Con men abound in different avatars. Let us not give them opportunity to have a field day and fill their coffers while emptying yours.