In yet another exposure of irrational beliefs exploiting innocent people, a Karnataka astrologer was revealed to dupe hapless customers and molest women.
Ramakrishna Sharma was recently arrested by the police after a sting operation by Narendra Nayak, President of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations. Sharma duped his customers by telling them that his prasads and lemons would solve their problems. According to his TV ads, he had a “solution to all problems”.
Following Mr. Nayak’s sting operation, a victim approached the police, charging the astrologer of having exploited her. She (name withheld) is a BCA graduate who, after a rough phase in her life, was lured to approach the astrologer for solutions after watching his ads on TV.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror of her ordeal, she said, “Since nothing positive was happening in my life, I decided to try my luck with this astrologer in August. He convinced me that my problems would be solved for which I needed to pay Rs 15,000 for pujas he would perform. When I said I did not have the money, he said, I could pay half the amount then and the rest, after I got the results. Hence, I paid him Rs 8,000. He gave me a variety of prasads, some that were black in colour to be kept under my pillow, lemons under the bed and so on. After about one-and-a-half months, I noticed that my problems continued, so I asked him to refund the money I had paid him. He instead told me that my father’s family had performed black magic on me. I told him I had no enemies. He went on to ask me for more money but I did not pay him.”
After repeatedly telling the woman she had to wait, the astrologer told her one day that her problems would end if she “slept with a Brahmin”. Earlier in December 2016, the astrologer and his guruji from Kerala, in the pretext of performing magic to solve her problems, forcibly lifted her skirt. She managed to escape from them, however.
On 7 January, the woman came again to demand a refund. She found his office locked. At this point of time, she heard women call out to her from inside, asking her to contact Narendra Nayak. Realising the extent of the astrologer’s crimes, and anticipating that there would be many others like her out there who had been duped by the astrologer, the woman contacted Mr. Nayak immediately.
Prof Nayak said, “When Ramakrishna Sharma was exposed by us, we were expecting that a can of worms would open up. Our predictions came out right, and there is more in store. When this rogue was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, we were expecting his victims to come out and narrate their tales of exploitation. Hence I had given my cell number to some people near the place he operated from. I had instructed them to direct any victim who wanted to fight for their rights to get in touch with me.”
The Logical Indian take
Instances of irrational zealots cheating common people are, unfortunately, aplenty. Such characters misuse and exploit people who are going through hard times for monetary gain or sexual pleasure. Ramakrishna Sharma is not the first to misguide people, and he will not be the last. We should call out irrational practices when we see them and continue to campaign against such cheats. At the same time, authorities should act strictly against people like Sharma and dispense justice to the many he and others like him hoodwinked.