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A rash of sex scandals involving holy men has many in "new India" questioning an ancient tradition.
Jayeshwari, a Bangalore-based entrepreneur, says she saw no conflict in her guru’s preachings and his personal sexual life. “He talked about transforming society, he never promised to make it an asexual society,” she said.
She and other supporters are now rallying around the beleaguered Nithyananda on a Facebook support group.
But the majority of educated India is irate over the recent incidents. Sharmila Abdulpurkar, a businesswoman in Bangalore, says the scandals have left her angry and upset. “I am a skeptic myself but what about thousands of people who had unshakable faith in these god men, who depended on them to sort out their life’s problems?” she asked.
But educated, urban Indians are often doubters when it comes to such matters. The recent spate of incidents has only made them more cynical, says Edamaruku of the rationalists association. “This swami thing is not for new India."