Dera Sacha Sauda empire under Gurmeet Ram Rahim has begun to collapse. After he sentenced to jail for 20 years for raping two devotees, his followers are returning to Sikhism. Virender Bhatia, a Dera critic said that the reason behind Sikhs joining the Dera was the discrimination they faced by the upper caste jat Sikhs.
“The gurudwaras in Punjab are dominated by upper caste Sikhs, while the Majhabi Sikhs, Rai Sikhs, Odh and Ramdasiya communities always felt humiliated. This led them towards the Dera, which promised respect and equality.”
On the other hand, Shree Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Sabha, a state-level organisation with its head office in Kurukshetra, has started a homecoming campaign to bring the Sikhs back into their own religion. Sukhwinder Singh Khalsa who is the head of the organization said that many so-called “premis” have returned to mainstream Sikhism by accepting ‘Siropa’ at the Gurudwara under the ‘Ji Aya Nu’ (Welcome home) programme.
“The families associated with the Dera are returning in droves as the truth is out now. We are accepting them with all the humility and respect since they want to correct their mistake at the gurudwara.”
Ram Rahim came to controversies in 2007 when he imitated the attire of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji and thus hurt the sentiments of Sikh Community.