Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his sports academy have been showered with gifts and donations aplenty. After Haryana sports minister Anil Vij donated Rs 50 lakh to the organisation, now another state minister Manish Grover has followed suit by donating Rs 11 lakh from his discretionary fund. These moves by the ministers have received a lot of opposition’s flak, as well as from social media users especially when Anil Vij defended the actions by saying that he owns the funds and that he can spend it in any way for the development of sports in the state. The Chief Minister of Haryana has a discretionary grant of Rs 40 crore per year, while other ministers like Vij and Grover have Rs 5 crore a year.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, a spiritual leader and also a Bollywood actor, became widely known when his movie Messenger of God released in 2015. Ram Rahim is the head of organisation Dera Sacha Sauda and also runs a sports academy. Incidentally, the games which are played in his academy have been created by Ram Rahim and they are not played at any other national or international level. Manish Grover is a BJP politician and is an MLA representing Rohtak constituency in Haryana. Grover is also the General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janta Party in Haryana.
Minister Vij had recently drawn flak when a delegation of two MLAs led by him went to Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics. Later he gave the reason of supporting of athletes from Haryana at the Games. After the ire received on his donation move, he replied by saying, “What is wrong with it? They run schools, sports are promoted there. I cannot give more than this. If I had more money, I would have given it,” he had said. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan has been mired in controversies, as he is involved in many legal battles and also because comedian Kiku Sharda was once arrested when he allegedly hurt the sentiments of Singh’s followers.