I have been asked to write a foreword to this book which is a reply to OM RADHE's book "IS THIS JUSTICE?". Why I should have been selected for this honour, I am unable to say; but I cannot refuse it.
India is a country of many religions and religious cults. Though in this diversity of religious cults there is unity of religion, for, all these cults converge to one point, still this diversity has made us simple and credulous in matters of religion. This simplicity and credulity has emboldened many a person of the type of DADA LEKHRAJ to becom (sic) apostles of new faiths which really have no religion in them.
To start with, DADA LEKHRAJ commenced a SAT SANG and soon gathered round him simple and credulous, though influential, persons. In their simplicity and credulity, they looked upon him with religious veneration and soon the woman folk got introduced into this SAT SANG. The bubble, however, burst when the institution of "OM MANDLI" was organized and the women refused to return home to their duties, wives, broke from their husbands, daughters from their fathers and sisters from their brothers. It looked as though thewhole (sic) fabric of the society was getting shattered and these "GOPIES" would say that they would cluster round their "KRISHNA" and had forsaken their home ties.
The truth dawned on the public and they gathered together to put an end to this heretical "MANDLI" and its preachings with what success is shown in this book. The "MANDLI" and its organizers have been sufficiently discredited and the "MANDLI" has legally been declared to be unlawful. The "MANDLI" however is said to continue to exist though in a then different garb.
OM RADHE has cried for justice but one may ask her, "Is it justice to break the domestic peace of several homes, it is justice to separate the wives from their husbands, it is justice to snatch away young children from their parents to be kept and maintained in the MANDLI, and is it justice to attempt to break the very fabric of the society by the misguiding and heretic preachings of the MANDLI?" I would say to her, "Before you cry for justice to be done unto you, you do justice unto others."
- Hyderabad (Sind),
- Dated 15th June 1940
- Doulatatram Bulchand
Om Radhe, as an Author of a book with a question for its title "Is this Justice" is before the public. The Public of Sind have witnessed the exposure of Om Radhe and the Om Mandli so much and so well that Om Radhe's appearance before them as an Author of a book with a pathetic title would cause little of no stir.
The book as it is written stands self condemned; however on account of its various mis-statements and exaggerations and the asperations cast by the Author on some highly esteemed Members of the Public, it is necessary to issue this true and authenticated version of the other side of the picture. Besides Om Radhe's very act of publication of the Memorandum in a challenge thrown against Anti Om Mandli Workers which must be taken up and answered.
It is never-the-less to be painfully recorded that Om Radhe and her Guru Bhai Lekhraj whose proper place should be elsewhere still enjoy liberty to carry on their activities. We might as well exclaim "Is this Justice?" But it may now be hoped that by the full acquaintance of the hollowness of the case for the Om Mandli, the public will feel caused to give their final burial to the Om Mandli.
"The Om Mandli" says Om Radhe "was started at Hyderabad about 4 years back." She asserts "not one word was whispered against the Mandli and its ideals for over three years." Elsewhere she finds fault with the finding of the two worthy gentlemen (The Learned High Court Judges, the Honourable Messrs: Lobo and Kalumal) for giving vent to their ruffled minds and making a categorical statement "that Dada Lekhraj knows nothing of religion and has not practised any." She adds "Dada Lekhraj could not found the Om Mandli and give religious discourse for 3 1/2 years, against which nothing was alleged, without knowing something of religion."
Even if an institution could be supposed to acquire sanctity by prescription or lapse of time, Om Radhe's statement in the Memorandum that the Mandli had an existence for the period of 3 1/2 years before it came to be challenged is contradicted by facts stated in a leaflet issued by the Om Mandli Committee much earlier than the Memorandum under discussion. A leaflet purporting to deal with the origin and the history of the Om Mandli contains the following statements. In the beginning of the year 1936 the greater importance upon the understanding this one word "Om" was laid and the institution was styled as "Om Mandli." In the same year Dada Lekhraj aling with his family went to Kashmir on a holiday for six months. In October 1937 the Mandli formed its Managing Committee. On 17th February 1938 Dada Lekhraj with the consent of his family members made a will transferring all his moveable and immoveable properties to the Om Mandli, the Managing Committee being the Executors."
So even according to the report issued by the Om Mandli Committee itself, the Mandli came into full being by the end of the year 1937 or by the beginning of the year 1938.
Any public action embracing the majority of men and women of a society takes a long time to take effect. For Om Radhe to say that "not one word was whispered against the Mandli for over three years" is an attempt to mislead the reader. The discontentment at home following the unnatural and sudden rebellion of hitherto peaceful and loving daughters and daughters-in-law, the general wonder at the abnormality found inside the Mandli, the whispers of the baffled and disgusted neighbours-all these took time to make noise. But not four years as Om Radhe says. Barely six months. Truth is stranger than fiction. Nobody would believe it at first, the modern educated people refused to believe it. But the facts, figures, incidents, complaints were all there.
And as early as March 1938, the reports and queries began to appear in the local papers e.g. the Swatantra (note: Swatantra Vaartha - The National Hindi Daily?), the Nawanjivan, the Desh Mitra and the Sind Daily News about the various strange and abnormal incidents that had been witnessed by those who had attended the Om Mandli Sat Sanga. Open letters appeared in the Press penned by responsible persons who had visited the Mandli and Bhai Lekhraj was again and again asked questions to answer and satisfy the Public but he would not, because he could not reason or explain. He relied only on his uncanny powers of influence over the women-folk who owing to their ignorant and blind faith and under hypnotic influence never asked questions or argued but accepted and followed whatever he said.
The Bhaibund Committee (elsewhere called "Anti Om Mandli Committee") formed as a result of the demand of a Public Meeting to investigate facts regarding the Om Mandli started its work in May 1938 i.e. within less than six months. The Committee, after making a thorough and searching inquiry into the affairs of the Om Mandli published its report in the various local papers in the beginning of July 1938 vide Daily Sind News dated 4th July 1938. Thus the assertion of Om Radhe that not a word was whispered against the Mandli and its ideals for over three years is false and baseless and a myth invented only for the purposes of misleading the public.
The chief grouse of the Mandlites is that the latter had no legal right to interfere into their behaviour much less critize it. The Mandli was suppose to be "a private group of men and women devoted to the eradication of social evils". If it was a private institution and for the good of the people-well and good. But it was not. There lies the whole conflict. No institution can be private where the membership role is over three hundred of different kinships, most of whom pay for its maintenance and upkeep. Om Radhe tells us that the founder Bhai Lekhraj gave it tan, man and dhan i.e. body, mind and wealth. In short all. But so did the others. We have a definite proof of this. The Bhaibund community is a fairly rich community and the Members could well afford to contribute. And they did, and still do. The widow's savings, the married womens' jewellery, the unmarried girls dowry-fund-all these have gone into the general pool, and to say nothing of the "things" they borrowed" from their homes when they ran away! An institution is a collective growth depending on the resources of dhan of all the members according to their capacities. From the reports in the press and elsewhere, is unwise to to believe that Lekhraj alone contributed, others have equally contributed their quota to the Mandli. Only the foolishly credulous would believe Om Radhe's assertion that the Mandli "believes in no advertisement or propaganda and receives no offerings or contribution." The propaganda has been intense and made in order to lure more wealthy members who would instinctively (that is the trick.) give away their tan, man and dhan after having lost their individuality through self-realization. The advertisement has been no less. The outward saintly appearances, the Om uniform, the ostentatious sewing classes and primary school-all free. Why, you even get food and clothing free. All you had to do was to become its member. And you had bus-rides, excursions, daily picnics ......Oh yes, a thoroughly jolly time was guaranteed. You had only to enrol yourself. Short of a Free Coupon in the papers it was a advertisement out and out and a pretty clever one at that. Om Radhe goes further. She adds with her winning smile, "It is a purely family institution of Dada Lekhraj" Well! That beats us at least. But we suppose she is not being very impertinent. You see, once you give your tan, man and dhan to the somebody you become ONE with him, and since all the Mandlites whether male or female have entered Om Dada body and soul, they have become one with him-the result, one family, private. Only the family has grown so large and so noisy that is has become a public nuisance and the public has stood up in anger. Moreover the vaunted programme of the Om Mandli of saving the world and of inaugurating a New Age, i.e. social work, makes the purpose of the Mandli a public one, Om Radhe is too much under the hypnotic influence of Bhai Lekhraj to have a correct view about him would be obvious. Or there might be a tacit understanding between the Gyan-father and Gyan-daughter that although each of the knows the stuff of which the other is made, yet in public, they have to sing a different song, in other words, she has to bestow all the praise upon him to the point of proclaiming him as Lord Krishna and he has to shower all the glory upon her by certifying her a Yogeswaria normal practise of mutual give and take. The Bhaiband Committee consisting of highly respectable men, appointed by the citizens of Hyderabad Sind in May 1938 have, after an elaborate inquiry into the affairs of the Om Mandli, made the following report about the Avnasi Gyan of Bhai Lekhraj. "The founder of the Om Mandli Bhai Lekhraj is a master of hypnotism and some of the Sakhies have also been trained by him into that nefarious art. With the aid of this Black Art, he, with his powerful gaze thrown from his magic laden eyes hypnotises youthful women and when they are completely under his sway, he sports with them, plays "Krishna, Lila", makes them dance, rocks them in swings, exchanges with them morsels of food, embraces them, bathes with them in the same tank, in short out-rages commons of decency". One wonders whether this is the Avnasi Gyan of Gita inbibed by Bhai Lekhraj which Om Radhe, under a delusion, is priasing so much. The investigation of the Bhaibund committee and the depositions of some inamtes of the Om Mandli as well as the very truths divulged by Om Radhe in the course of her cross examination in Court (Marked A) have completely opened the eyes of the Public of Sind as to the nature of this so called Gian.
Perhaps one would forgive Lekhraj if he kept his Gyan to himself. He has in his fold tender minds, impressionable and growing. Om Radhe who is the President is herself inside twenty five years; she is young, unsophisticated and yet only a girl budding out to life. What knowledge of religion can she give? What experience did she have to talk about the "purity of married life". Leave aside Om Radhe who is only a tool. What right has even Lekhraj to talk about the purity and cleanliness and self denial? He never denied himself the physical joys of this mortal world; he led a luxurious life, he had children if we go deeper it has been worse than normal.
"In addition to the imparting of religious knowledge" says Om Radhe, "ideas of cleanliness of life and significance and purity of the marital life... ... and nothings of true home and hearth were also emphasised in the discourses that were given to the Members". The Bhaibund Committee in its Report gives an entirely different version of the Mandli, it says,
His (Lekhraj's) constant and continuous advice to maidens and married women is to set at naught the advice of the parents and husbands and continue to come to him and if their parents and guardians put pressure on them to leave them altogether and reside with him".
"For women duped in his possession, he keeps all luxuries ready, rich food, appetising sweets, luscious fruits, almonds and pistachio-nuts are always ready for them." "To make women oblivious of their husbands and parents and their responsibilities, he supplies them all sorts of comforts." "He incites Sakhies to deny to their husbands their conjugal rights. The constantly dins into their ears that their husbands are passion-ridden and lascivious. On that account they are never to be given their marital rights and in order to put their husbands off, they are taught all sorts of tricks and dodges. An amorous husband is to be told that she is having her menses, that she is sick, and if he continues to be insistent, he is to be delivered a knock-out blow or smashing kick. Such is the teaching given for making and maintain a home. No wonder that hundreds of erstwhile peaceful and happy homes have been ruthlessly broken up by the Mandli.
Let us take for granted our children need more discipline and spiritual education than what they get at their schools. But is this the reason why these children should be taken out of their natural environments and taught to disobey their parents and to he harsh and callous towards their kith and kin, and to live as if they owed no obligation to the Society in which they were born? Would any sane man call this discipline?
"The Om Nivas" says Om Radhe, was started for the benefit of the children (male and female) in order that they might be brought up in a disciplined life and given spiritual and secular education in tender age amidst clean surroundings so that they might become the future reformers of a backward community." The Bhaibund Committee's Report says "To conceal his real purpose and with a view to show himself off as a lover of education, Bhai Lekhraj has nominally opened an infant school and boarding house in his place "Om Nivas." Here also the same series of lies and mis-representation masquerading in the guise of Truth and Light are being imparted to these young and impressionable children. Poor innocent girls, who know nothing of marriage and the process of birth are taught that men are tyrants, that pregnancy is painful and therefore marriage it to be avoided." "These children are hypnotised into unconsciousness for hours at an end." To cheat the parents into the belief, that their children are not wasting time in the Om Nivas, a sewing class has been opened which is more for their entertainment than for their training. There are no fixed hours of work, The whole day is wasted in idle merriment and in devising ways of enticing new members."
It is known of many youngsters who having left Mandli for good have deeply regretted the years they wasted while they were there; many of them have even gone back to shcool, perhaps a little wiser for their mistake.
THere are two kinds of revolutionaries - destroyers who destroy in order to re-build and those who destroy because it is in their very blood to destroy. We shall give Bhai Lekhraj all the benefit of the doubt before placing him in one of the either category. Perhaps he really meant to start a social group of women and men who would enlighten, educate and raise our community. It was rich enough he knew that; all it wanted was the effort, the co-operation and the spirit of service. With roseate ideas surging inside his imaginative brain and with a jingling pocket to match, this might-have-been Social Leader started his work, his mission of putting into practise his picturesque and suddenly begotten theories. We can quite imagine the dreams he must have had and the baffled disappointment when they lost their colour and changed into night-mares. Bhai Lekhraj after all was a human being he could not stand the strain. He had no right to try his human frailty against the boulder of temptation, behind which lay the terrible fall. Temptation is no joke, few men have virtue to resist the glitter of spoils and even these few cast their eyes downwards. Bhai Lekhraj therefore, fell and which his fall trouble arose. Om Radhe's version of the cause of the trouble if of course entirely different. She puts the blame on some "mythical personal differences of some important members of the Bhaibund Committee with the Founder Lekhraj." She narrates the following three causes.
- 1. Bhai Lekhraj marrying his daughter outside his Community against their wishes to a Teacher in a Local School.
- 2. Refusal of three married women to render conjugal rights to their husbands.
- 3. Refusal of Bhai Hassomal Thakurdas's daughter-in-law Mrs Rukmanibai to live in her father-in-law's house but rent a house close to Om Nivas.
The above causes according to Om Radhe led to the creation of an uproar by the Mukhi and the Panchayat against the teachings of the Mandli. What a mischievous inferences! The first cause is undoubtedly frivolous. There are no caste restrictions of any kind in Sind Hindus specially so in Hyderabad. The only stir that was causes by this Marriage emanated from a statement issued by Lekhraj at that time, that a child begotten of this daughter and the school master would be the future Avatar of Hindus. It is six years that this marriage took place but there has been no issue as yet.
The second cause is the direct result of Bhai Lekhraj's fall referred to above. His teachings. They instead of showing his women disciples the straight path of virtue and love and duty led them down the devil's avenue of foolish disobedience, unjust rebellion and obstinate disregard of social conventions.
It was not the "personal differences" with Bhai Lekhraj of "some" important Members of the Bhaibund Community that led to an agitation being started against this teachings but the harmful teachings of Bhai Lekhraj followed by girls and grown up ladies, who in their respective positions in their families as daughters and wives took to abnormal courses of conduct: marriageable daughters declining to get married and married wives refusing to live with their husbands without any justification whatsoever; that led to the differences of their important Members with Bhai Lekhraj. Om Radhe instead of successfully defending herself only justifies the action of aggrieved parties. The aggrieved parties enumerated by Om Radhe are typical of the wide-spread disruption which resulted from the teachings of Bhai Lekhraj. Whoever led the agitation and whoever followed the agitators were doing as much for their own good as for the good of the public.
Bhai Lekhraj was therefore summoned by the panchayat and requested to induce these women to to do their husbands. "This" says Om Radhe "the Founder could not do as firstly he had no right to do so, and secondly reason of cruelty and mal-treatment was behind these causes". The true facts are however as stated under:-
After the unhappy situation, referred to in the proceeding para, was created by the teachings of Bhai Lekhraj one of the husbands who was denied conjugal rights by his wife, actually applied to the Panchayat asking for permission to re-marry. The Panchayat realising its duties and responsibilities to the Community waiting in deputation on Bhai Lekhraj. It pointed out to him that his teachings of non-marriage and celibacy were leading to the disruption of the life and requested him to persuade the ladies to go to their husbands. He gave no excuse of mal-treatment of the woman as indeed there was no grounds for such a complaint. The Panchayat felt that Bhai Lekhraj being the author of the mischief caused, should be brought round to undo the mischief. At that stage it is extremely interesting to note that Mr. Bhagwandas, Deputy Superintendent of Police, intervened and brought his pressure on Bhai Lekhraj to persuade the woman to go to her husband. Bhai Lekhraj who was very adamant with the Panchayat yielded at once to the pressure of an official and one word from him to the woman was sufficient and did the thing. This is borne out from the Bhaibund Committee's Report. This incident shows that the Bhai Lekhraj had a strong hold over the women. The pretext of non-interference of Bhai Lekhraj on ground of no locus standi of causes of mal-treatment suffered by women are after thoughts and inventions of Om Radhe to shield Bhai Lekhraj.
Perhaps Om Radhe is under the belief that it gives pleasure to the Important Members of the Bhaibund Committee to agitate and cause agitation against the Mandli. No sane man is Anti without a reason, a well grounded justification. Perhaps she think they have no work to do, no business to mind, no near cones to spend one's leisure with, nothing but sit hours on end and talk about the doings of the Mandlites.
"Meetings and deliberations" says Om Radhe "were held and absurdly grotesque opinions about the Om Mandli were formed without any attempts on the part of the Panchayat to think rationally until it was decided on the 21st June 1939 that the institution must be stopped". That the Committee of the Bhaibund formed no grotesque notions about the working of the Mandli is clear from their Report. The Committee held 22 sittings of an average of 3 hours each, examined a great many witnesses, most of whom had attended Mandli Meetings and many were even Members. Invitations were issues to several disciples of Bhai Lekhraj and some of them did give evidence and admitted the facts. Bhai Lekhraj was himself interviewed twice by all the Members of the Committee. Their findings were therefore founded on actual facts and corroborated by a mass of evidence of eye witnesses. Om Radhe would say that there were no attempts on the part of the Panchayat to think rationally.
May be the Committee committed a vast blunder in not calling on her to give her a likewise interview. But did not she have her say in the open court? Was not that chance enough got her valiant little heart to pour our her vituperations and what-not? The decision of the Panchayat with regard to the stopping of the Mandli was arrived at after elaborate and thorough investigation the veracity of which has never been questioned by the Public.
"In the attempt to carry out this decision" continues Om Radhe, "an infuriated crowd of Bhaibunds collected on that very evening outside the premises of the Om Mandli, formed an unlawful assembly and threw stones........." Om Radhe suppresses the fact that it was in fact the Panchayat who brought the Police and dispersed the crowd and brought about quiet in the locality. The gathering of the crowd was a proof that here was considerable resentment on the part of the public against the Mandli which was disrupting homes, breaking up families, wounding the religious feelings and sentiments of people and all this under the cloak of pseudo religion of the High Order and philosophy. From the evening of 22nd June 1938 to the next few days, the Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Bhagwandas say with Bhai Lekhraj and the Committee to bring about peace and Bhai Lekhraj declared in his presence to disband the Mandli altogether and actually informed the Panchayat and the Magistrate of it. But they soon went back on the written promise they had given to the District Magistrate, Deputy Superintendent of Police and Committee and shifted the Om Mandli to the premises of Om Nivas.
The District Magistrate, Mr U. M. Mirchandani is one amongst a million. Duty for him is first and foremost irrespective of any blood or family relationships. And yet Om Radhe with her sickening temerity calls him an ally to the Anties. "The District Magistrate" she accuses "far from realising his responsibility allied himself with Mukhi Mangharam who in his relation and began to interfere in the affairs of the Mandli." A narration of the events will show the generally impartial attitude taken by the District Magistrate whom it is the height of folly of Om Radhe to call an ally. Immediately after Bhai Lekraj went back on his word and shifted Om Mandli to Om Nivas premises, the public prepared a mass representation with more than 1500 signatories (Marked D) and made an appeal to the District Magistrate to take action against Bhai Lekhraj and his Om Mandli. This was followed by a deputation who waited upon the District Magistrate on30th June 1938 and the Committee was surprised to see that the Mandli representatives also there who had evidently been given the same time. The Committee objected but the District Magistrate a chivalrous and generous gentleman advised that it was better that both sides heard each other in his presence. The District Magistrate after dismissing the Committee sat with the Mandli people aline and the Committee was afterwards told that the President of the Om Mandli would after consulting with her Committee, offer terms for compromise. The Committee was dis-satisfied, because it desired the disbandment of the Om Mandli altogether as actually promised by Bhai Lekhraj. Yet Om Radhe accuses the District Magistrate and says, "finally far from giving protection to the Mandli, the District MAgistrate began to stipulate conditions to the Committee of the Mandli to satisfy Mukhi Mangaram and others ........." The Committee was called by District Magistrate who informed it of the terms of the compromise agreed to, by the President of the Om Mandli. These terms of compromise were reluctantly accepted by the Committee who them published them along with their implications (Marked B).
Om Radhe calls the District Magistrate as ally because he is a relation of Mukhi Mangharam. True. But why does she deliberately pass over the fact that Bahi Lekhraj is also a relation of the same Mukhi Mangharam. He is the leader of the Community and as such owes duty to the Public. The District Magistrate if anything, was dealing with the Mandli most generously. Even the Public has a grouse against him that he was not firm from the very beginning and did not take any drastic action which he should have. He was much too chivalrous and ignored the emphatic voice of the public which beseeched his intervention by a representation signed by over 1500 people long before any undesirable incidents exposed later on.
"When his (District Magistrate's) behests were not complied with, says Om RAdhe, "five of us including the founder Bhai Lekhraj, his wife Om Jasoda, and his daugher-in-law found themselves suddenly served on the 17th August with an order under Section 112 Cr. P. Code to the show cause why they should not be bound down under Section 107 CR. P.C." The so called behests of the District Magistrate were only admonitions to observe the terms of the compromise offered by Om Radhe herself in place of a former undertaking of Bhai Lekhraj to disband his Mandli. The Mandlities who had promised to abide by the terms of compromise not only in letter but in spirit as well, hardly kept them for a day. The District Magistrate was and inclined to be kind towards a seemingly women's movement and they had no intention of changing their method of work. It is utterly false and even mean of Om Radhe to write about the District Magistrate as a ally of the Panchayat. Due to the District Magistrate's leniency, the Mandli was emboldened from day to day not only to flagrantly flout the very compromise they had themselves made but even after the proceedings under Section 107 Cr. P. C. were launched and the City Magistrate had ordered them to suspend mixed satsangs they still carried on, caring nothing for the Magistrate's order.
The best way of fighting against criticism is to stay where one is and face it. Bhai Lekhraj had another ingenous way. It reminds one rather than of a coward, but it has worked well and that is all he wants. He ran away. He wanted to run away to far off places. Nepal was in the air we believe amidst mountains and forests which no Bhaibund public will be able to penetrate to demand its kidnapped daughters and wives; but that was rather a deep leap and before preparing for such a dangerous expedition our human Bhai Lakhraj decided to move out a foot to test the ground. He ran away to Karachi. But what says our harrassed Om Radhe? "The Mandli" says she "on account of the lawless methods employed by Mukhi Mangharam and his adherents include Bhai Hassomal, had to leave Hyderabad and come to Karachi". To attribute lawless methods to Mukhi Mangharam and his adherents who are by temperament peace loving and law abiding citizens is a gross perversion of facts. Being the Chairman of the Committee it was of course the bounden duty of Mukhi Mangharam to espouse the cause of his Community. But his activities have been strictly on the defence side of legal, peaceful and persuasive nature. Let any body go into the matter and contradict it. it was not on account of the so called "lawless methods" that the Mandli had to leave Hyderabadand go to karachi. The reason why Om Mandli left Hyderabad and went to karachi is obvious. The Mandli felt that in a big and cosmopolitan city like Karachi, it would be easy to carry on its nefarious activities and defy the public opinion. And as we have said, Lekhraj was testing the ground and training his unfortunate disciples in the art of running away.
The Anti-Om-Mandli Committee and its President Mukhi Mangharam have been called many abusive names and heaps upon heaps of unjust accusations. Lawlessness, illegal means, personal quarrels etc. The next is that Mukhi Mangharam and the Committee harassed the parent parents and husbands to get their children and wives out of the Mandli. Rather of a joke. But one is pat to get cynical over the down right lie. Let us quote Om Radhe herself. "In this connection I take this opportunity to make a grievance of the fact that the District Magistrate of Hyderabad had privately asked the Mandli to supply him with the list of Members. When this was given to him, he, without any justification passed it on to the Anti-Om-Mandli Committee with the result that undue pressure was brought on the Members to leave the Mandli. Parents were subjected to harrassement and they were told that their children will no longer be sage in the Om Nivas building."
The List of the Members of the Mandli was supplied to the Committee by the District Magistrate with the consent of Bhai Lekhraj who had previous promised to comply with the request of the Bhaibund Committee. This list was necessary for the reason that the Committee wanted to verify if the pa rents shown therein were really willing to permit their children and wards to attend their Mandli, and the Committee have used it only to that extent. It was certainly a duty of the Panchayat to inform the parents of the evidence that had been collected by the Committee and explain to them as to what was happening in the Mandli under the cloak of religion and philosophy. If a reasonable explanation inspired by duty and service towards Society is mistaken for harrassement, one can find no words to express the contempt, the dispair and sorrow to the extent folly can descend.
We have elsewhere show the outwards how, the ostentatiousness of the Mandli. Outwardly no Member was taken to Karachi without a written permit. Outwardly. The permits which Om Radhe now and then flaunts at us are nothing but a farce through and through and fit only for the gutter, they are of no value. Of course Om Radhe would say "before…""Before going to Karachi" says Om Radhe the "Committee of Om Mandli made it clear that they would take only such inmates of their the Om Nivas who had the express permission of their parents to accompany the Mandli of Karachi." It will not be difficult to understand Om Radhe is putting up the theory of previous express permission to cover up the immoral action of Bhai Lekhraj in virtually kidnapping from Hyderabad to Karachi the girls most of whim were minors, from the guardianship of their parents and wrongfully keeping them in the two bungalows hired by him in the names of some third persons. It is well known that the so called previous permission of the guardians was procured from them by resort of the girls to low tricks taught them by Bhai Lekhraj and such guardians who yielded did so under the belief that the visit to Karachi would be a short one, a sort of excursion. The depositions of girls given in 107 Cr. P. C. proceedings (Marked a! amply discloses what tricks the girls were taught for obtaining the needful permission to save Bahi Lekhraj and his Om Mandli from the clutches of the Law. Om Radhe in order to make an impression about the Mandli's scrupulousness adds:- "After a few days when 15 girls came to Karachi without the written permission, the Mandli sent a telegram To Mukhi Mangharam."
This was a clever device adopted by Bhai Lekhraj to safeguard himself against the police action which might have been taken against him at the initiative of the guardians of the girls of which he felt full confidence that the girls once having reached his fold at Karachi would not find it possible to get out of his influence. Though one rather fails to understand how the telegram referred to above was a substitute to the fifteen permits of the fifteen run away girls!
"For that purpose" says Om Radhe, "the proceedings against the picketers at Hyderabad were exploited for finding such material and the girls were tutored to give stereotyped and wholly improbably and absurd stories against the founder."
The girls were tutored. This is the chief accusation. A perusal of copies of the depositions of these girls need to be made (marked A). The girls who gave their evidence were once members of the Mandli. Their parents were not only definitely against Lekhraj for his abducting away their daughters, but were employing all sort of desperate and pitiful means to have them back. Some of the parents' ceaseless efforts were awarded. The rescued girls back in the arms of their happy mothers realized the nature of the place they had escaped from and wanting to help the social workers, they volunteered to give their evidence. Om Radhe might snigger, let her. We are concerned only with truth. However strange that truth might be. Tacetus comforts us a lot when she say "Truth is established by investigation and delay; falsehood prospers by precipitancy."
The girls who gave depositions belong to very respectable families and have narrated their own personal observations and experiences. They bear no enmity to either Bhai Lekhraj or his Om Mandli. Far from giving wholly improbably and absurd stories, their depositions give a consistent and logical account of Bhai Lekhraj and his Om Mandli from the time of their first connection upto the time when these girls were rescued by their parents. These deposition not only confirmed what had appeared in the press about Om Mandli from time to time but corroborated the vast mass of evidence upon which were based the proceedings of the Bhaibund Committee. That these statements were not improbably or absurd may also be gathered from the fact that their evidence was considered trustworthy by very respectable Leaders and Journalists and above all the Tribunal of High Court Judges appointed by the Government of Sind. Resolutions passed by the various institutions and associations of Sind (Marked C) may be referred to. Finally it may be submitted that if Bhai Lekhraj or Om Radhe had honestly believed that the evidence given by these girls and women against them was false, the only course for them was to have prosecuted them under Section 193 I.P.C. In the absence of their challenging these depositions either in the Law Court or later before the Tribunal appointed by the Government specially for this purpose, one is inevitably led to believe that the statements contained therein are neither improbably nor absurd.
Suppose for the sake of argument they were improbable and absurd. What happened to Om Radhe herself when she gave her evidence in the open Court?
"I was summoned" says Om Radhe, "as a defence witness with the malafide purpose of putting the questions the answers to which might be used on their imperfect and dishonest interpretation to inflame public opinion and arouse feelings of animosity among the credulous."
Instead of presuming about the the motives behind the fact of her being summoned as a witness or nature of the interpretation put on her deposition, Om Radhe would have been credited with some honesty and straight-forwardness if she had appended for public perusal a copy of her deposition in Court. In this connection, the copy of the deposition (Marked A) which speaks for itself, may be referred to. It will be readily seen that there can be only one natural and reasonable interpretation of her answers and it is this that they lend support to what was said about Bhai Lekhraj and his Om Mandli in the Press, and on the platform, in the report of the Bhaibund Committee and the depositions of the girls and women. Apart from the fact that Om Radhe's conduct in the Court was hypocritical and that she tried her level best to evade most of the pertinent questions put to her whatever little she admitted, perhaps in the spirit of a bravado was sufficient to condemn Bhai Lekhraj and his Mandli for all times. She admitted that Bhai Lekhraj kisses and embraces her and other girls, although this, she said, was done in the spirit of Gyan Father. Even according to that defence of such actions of Bhai Lekhraj, his conduct would not be tolerated for a moment not only in the Hindu Society but in any civilized community of the world. No Gyan Father ever indulges in kisses and embraces extended to grown-up girls of 20 or more. No wonder that even Om Radhe's Advocate found fault with her for having made that admission and told her that it was fatal to her and her Dada. By the substance and spirit of the admissions in the open Court, Om Radhe put the seal of confirmation on what the girls had previous deposed and the Public of Sind realised vividly more than they had done before what a veritable den of darkness the Om Mandli was!
And it was mainly this that raised the wrath of most of the people of Sind, the admission of the President herself sort of seconded the stories of the girls hitherto supposed to be tutored. Sadhu Vaswani successful founder of Womens' Home himself came to Karachi to investigate. When he suggested segregation of the sex, the Mandlites deprived much of their fun became annoyed and strongly objected.
"A letter signed by the Hindu Ministers" says Om Radhe, "was given to Mr Vaswani and his mob on behalf of Government that males will live separately from females. The Mandli Authorities then hired the adjoining bungalow at Rs. 275/- per mensem and transferred the Om Mandli there and the Ministry expressed satisfaction at this arrangement. But Mr. Vaswani again threatened his march on the Secretariat on the ground that he wanted complete segregation of husbands from wives, daughters from their parents, males from their female relations." Note, the sarcastic language-separation of husbands from wives. Why could not one hand live with his one legal wife instead of letting his wife mis with other men and he with their wives. Is it a colony of Free Love? And how many husbands were there in comparison to the wives?
Sadhu Vaswani has world wide fame for his piety and the fact that he joined the movement against the Om Mandli proves without the least doubt the righteousness of the Public cause. His call to his countrymen which is reproduced in his own words here below admits of no such compromise as mentioned above.
"My appeal" said Saddhu Vaswani "is to all my countrymen. The Om Mandli is a den of darkness. Close it down without delay. Your children, my dear Sindhi countrymen are your richest treasure. Bring out all your children from the dark den of Om Mandli. And let all young widows come out of its poisonous atmosphere. What a shame that immoralities should go unchecked in this Land of Vedic Rishis."
Om Radhe grossly and deliberately misrepresented Sadhu Vaswani when she fathers on him the wish of separating husbands from female relations. On the contrary, Sadhu Vaswani definitely wanted that wives separated from their husbands and daughters taken out of the rightful guardianship of their parents, in the sacred name of religion and philosophy, should be forthwith restored to their husbands, parents and relations respectively. Sadhu Vaswani's agony to see this "Den of darkness" closed down went to the extent that he actually ordered jail along with 12 others for the people's cause.
The formula of the segregation of the female members from the male members of the Om Mandli, acted upon nominally for some time was only a ruse on the part of Bhai Lekhraj to see that no action was taken by the Government against the Om Mandli. But even then the manner in which the segregation was effected in the adjoining bungalow showed that it was only a farce and an eye-wash. This is borne out from the letter of the Chief Secretary to the Government written to the President Om Mandli dated 20th March 1939 to the following effect.
I am directed to state that the Government understand that this separation has been carried out in the sense that the male members have been accommodated in a separate bungalow adjoining the Om Mandli premises and divides them by a thin wall.
I am directed to say that this arrangement is open to obvious object that the segregation is only nominal and that access can easily be had to the premises by men living in the adjoining bungalow.
I am therefore to suggest that genuine segregation of the men-folk should be effected by arranging accommodation for them at some considerable distance from the Om Mandli.
- Your faithfully,
- Sd/- I. H. Taunton
- Chief Secretary to Government</blochquote>
It would be obvious from the perusal of the above that Om Mandli failed to carry out the arrangement agreed to, between the Mandli and the Ministers. The Sind Government was to obtain the decision of a Tribunal which they appointed to go into the matter and pending the decision of the Tribunal, the application of Section 144 Cr. P. C. (Marked E) against the Mandli was ordered.
Om Radhe complains "The Hindus had moved heaven and earth to get the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908 repealed in the Central Assembly but it is now considered good enough to be applied to their women and children whose only sin is to think differently from others."
Let us repeat, whose only sin is to think differently from others. A nice flippant way of trying to get away unpunished from the mischief done; and rather typical of all Om Radhe's former impertinent baby-faced assertions. Most thinking, individually and collectively, ultimately leads to action. Om Radhe may well belittle the Mandli and wish us to believe that the thinking done by Om Mandli was without a purpose i.e. without any effect on the lives of its Members. But the public of Sind could not afford to be credulous treat the Om Mandli as people thinking differently, because it was visible to them daily how life in the family was being disrupted and how most undesirable and despicable things were being done under the cloak of spirituality and religion and how their whole movement was a great danger to Society. It was thus not only a sin of thinking differently but the sin of living differently and the sin of devastating homes and creating utter ruin in families. If the Mandli's existence had not been challenged at that stage, the rot might have been set in so deeply as to need very drastic measures.
The application made under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908 made by the accredited leaders of the Hindu Community (Marked D) may also be referred to, for the grounds which moved leaders of the Hindu Community and the Legislative Assembly Members to ask the Sind Government to ban the Om Mandli. Attention is also invited to various affidavits of very responsible persons and journalists (Marked D) filled along with Applications.
Om Radhe has in her defence cited the speeches of the Premier K.B. Allahbux and the Honorable Minister Sir Ghulam Hussein in charge of Law and Order delivered by them in the Assembly in the debate on the adjournment motion of R.S. Gokaldas Mewaldas, M.L.A and says "If this is what the Premier and the Honorable Minister in charge of Law and Order said and felt, it is impossible for the Mandli to put up a better case in refutation of the necessity and propriety of a wholly unconstitutional Tribunal and the injustice of the very thought of applying the Criminal Law Amendment Act to the innocent persons merely because Government became helpless to protect the Mandli on account of the threats of Satyagraha, resignations of the Hindu Ministers and attitude of the Hindu Members."
Om Radhe appears to be excessively impressed by the views aired by the Ministers in their speeches which every body knew at the time, were made in order to cover the indifference they had hitherto shown to the voice of the Public. But when the Ministers realised their responsibility an offer was made by them to the Public to appoint an impartial Tribunal and await its findings. If Om Radhe thought at any time that the Mandli had a case such as put up for the Mandli by the Premier and the Honorable Minister in Charge of Law and Order, she should have ventured to appear before the Tribunal and stated her case. Instead Om Radhe started spurning the choice of the Judges of the Tribunal nominated by the very Ministers who had laboured to put up a case for her. The application of the Criminal Law Amendment Act was made in the pursuance of the confidential report of the Tribunal. After reference of the matter to a Tribunal, the Sind Government had no alternative but to implement the findings and recommendations of the Tribunal and so the question of the wishes to protect the Mandli and the obstructions put up by the agitators against such wish of the Ministers as Om Radhe fondly imagines can not arise.
"On the contrary" says Om Radhe, "the two gentlemen appointed as Tribunal although apprised that they had no legal status to justify their holding an enquiry of this kind, that the procedure proposed to be adopted militated against the very inception and notions of the expression "Tribunal" appears to have been only too anxious to finish their task and contented themselves with the recording of the evidence in camera of certain interested, biased and tutored witnesses put forward by the Anti-Om-Mandli-Committee without any means of testing truth or falsehood by any cross examination. In the face of these facts, it was inevitable that the kind of Tribunal should have only been too eager to send an exparte report to condemn the Mandli, its Founder and all what it stands for?"
The above passage of Om Radhe aptly summarises the base and malicious attacks which she has directed against the Tribunal appointed by the same Ministers whom elsewhere she has praised so much. The public can easily realise that the evidence of the former inmates of the Om Mandli given in the City Magistrate's Court and the affidavits filed along with the applications made by the representatives of the various organisations together with Om Radhe's own admissions in the Court had furnished ample grounds for the Government to have taken actions against the Om Mandli even without appointing a Tribunal. But the Government before resorting to direct action against the Om Mandli considered it advisable that an impartial inquiry should be held into the various allegations that had been made and therefore decided to appoint an executive Tribunal of the status of High Court Judges with appropriate terms of references (Marked F) for hearing the case of both the parties. The Government seem to have been very rightly advised not to invest the Tribunal with any legal powers under any Code whether Civil or Criminal. A regular trial of the matter would have led to the exposure of the private lives of many girls both married, unmarried and widows including Om Radhe herself and marred their future. The whole matter was a delicate one and there was a consensus of opinion that the inquiry should be held in camera and the necessity of lawyers should be dispensed with. The fact that the Tribunal was not invested with legal powers or status afforded no reasonable ground or proper justification to Om Mandli for not putting up its case if it had any.
Om Radhe has made a grievance about the procedure adopted by the Tribunal. It is a fact borne out from the letter of the Government to Om Radhe (Marked F) that she was ased to appear before the Tribunal with the view to help them in deciding upon the procedure to be followed in the enquiry.
As a matter of fact she did first agree to put in her statement simultaneously with that of Anti-Om-Mandli-Committee but backed out afterwards. The Judges again and again requested her to co-operate with them and lead her side's evidence, but she refused because she knew she had no case against the most serious allegations put up against the Mandli.
Om Radhe accuses the Tribunal of being contented with recording the evidence of certain "interested biased and tutored witnesses". Why would she not cross-examine them and expose their falsehood?. That Om Radhe was asked by the Tribunal to lead her evidence before them cannot be denied by her in view of the acknowledgment of such invitation in the following terms:-
"I have received a notice served on me yesterday by a bailiff of the court requiring me to appear before you on 31st instant at 11 A.M."
The Judges of the Tribunal were charged with a very grave responsibility and they were men of long experience and mature judgement and could not be misled by any interested, biased or tutored witnesses. Instead the witness were throughly cross-examined by the Judges and nothing was left out to mere conjecture or surmise.
Om Radhe who had an Advisor wrongly chose to boycott the Tribunal and one wondershow she can at all say that the Report of the Tribunal is exparte. It is worth-while perusing the remarks made in connection with the above by the Sind Observer in its issue dated 19th May 1939.
"It does not lie in the mouth of any person connected with the Om Mandli to declare the findings of the Tribunal to be exparte, themselves being responsible for the boycott of the Tribunal. Why did they fight shy of presenting their case before the Tribunal? BEcause they had no case and felt they could not convince two impartial gentlemen of the uprightness of their cause and their work."
Se then after hearing an over-whelming mass of independent evidence brought from every strata of society and after its thorough scrutinization by the Tribunal, the Honorable Judges found no alternative but to express their opinion in the following most significant words that:-
"The garb of religion is used to cover Dada Lekhraj's activities. He knows nothing of religion and has never practised any. His cult furthers the object he has in view. He is God, the members of the Om Mandli to whom he imparts Gian become Gods; a God can commit no sin...... They can not sin."
"It is our deliberate conclusion that the institutions Om Mandli and Om Nivas are not only useless but are a canker on Society."
"The interests of society in general and of Hindus in particular demand their suppression."
Extracts from some evidence led before the Court
I do hereby on solemn affirmation state that
- My name is Miss ...... Father's name ......
- Religion --Hindu Caste -- Bhaiband
- Age about 18 Occupation Nil
- Residence Hyderabad Sind District Hyderabad Sind
To Mr. Balchand
I know Dada Lekhraj, Om Radhe, Om Radhika and other members of the Om Mandli and Om Nivas. I joined there for 6 months. I did not then come into contact with Dada Lekhraj as he had gone away to Kashmir and other places but the time that I saw him in Om Mandli I heard him saying that any one who takes "Gian" in Om Mandli becomes God Himself and that he himself was "Brahma" i.e. God Himself. He used to preach that there was no difference between males and females and that whatever was done by males and females inside Om Mandli became sanctified. He preached no restraint in sex matters between males and females who were members of the Om Mandli because on account of Mandli Gian whatever they did could not amount to sin. He preached also against wives meeting their non-member husbands who were considered as dogs without Om Mandli Gian. He preached against marriage and said that marriage was a sacrifice to Kali ...... He used to say that Guru Granth Sahib was composed on ink and paper and hence no homage was to be paid to it but that homage be paid to him. He decried the sanctity of Kanah Sahib ..... He spoke jeeringly of Vedas and other Scriptures too, saying that all these scriptures had emanated from him and that homage should be paid to him alone. He said that the parents were uninitiated dogs and hence deserved no veneration and that if the Members of the Om Mandli were coerced against being Members of the Om Mandli, they should kick those parents who prevent them from going to Om Mandli. He enjoined Members to dine in Om Mandli alone and touch no food of outside persons. I came to know all this during my first period of 6 months' membership but during this period I had hardly come in close personal contact with Dada Lekhraj. During the first 6 months I had seen Dada Lekhraj embracing those ladies and girls who used to go in a trance and fall in his lap. After this period of 6 months I went for some time out of Hyderabad and hence I did not go for a few months to the Om Mandli. After this Om Nivas came into existence and the activities of the Om Mandli was expanded by opening a school also there ...... When I rejoined the institution after the break referred to above, I saw considerable degeneration in the moral tone of Dada Lekhraj as I saw him making girls sleep in his lap and embracing and kissing them and also pulling their breasts and touching them all over the body. He used to ask the girls also to kiss him and keep their hands on .... The girls used to feel abashed but had no power of resistance. He used to pay more court in this connection to ............ because she has chubby cheeks and is very fair in her look and well built body ........ I used to hate my mother thereafter as she used to present me from going to Mandli. I did not care even for my brother though he used to beat me, because there was irresistible urge in me to go to the Mandli in defiance of the wishes of all my relations. For 10 or 11 days my parents had kept me confined in a room but I refused to be cowed down and began to harass my parents by adopting the method taught to me by Dada Lekhraj such as taking no meals, taking no bath, leaving hair untied and seating myself at one place without moving. I had adopted all these methods in toto for 11 days with the result that my mother permitted me to go to the Mandli.
Further Examination-in-chief reserved
- Sd/- SOBHSING
- 28-1-39 City Magistrate, Hyderabad.
- Recalled and re-affirmed
- To Mrs Mulchand
Lekhraj used to tell us that whatever transpires inside the Om Mandli should not be divulged to any outside the Mandli. There were further instructions to us that is anyone was inquisitive about knowing the Gian inside Om Mandli, he should not be informed anything about it but he may be told to join the Mandli and then know it. We were told that the Om Mandli was like a Masonic Lodge and hence the secrets of it should not be divulged. After the picketing trouble at Hyderabad, the Om Mandli people went to Karachi ........ My parents told me that if I go away secretly to Karachi they will die away but I did not care for their death and was determined to go away. After about two months I got an opportunity to run away with Om Mandli Member by name ......... We got down to Om Nivas bungalow near Clifton. Adjoining to this Om Nivas bungalow there was another bungalow also hired by Dada Lekhraj in name of ......... for keeping kidnapped girls there. The rent of both these bungalows was Rs: 500 and it was paid by Dada Lekhraj. There was a third house also near Soldier Bazar where Dada Lekhraj was himself living and pass his day there. He used to go to his residential hosue near Soldier Bazar late in the night. He used to pass 4 or 5 nights per week in the house adjoining Om Nivas where kidnapped girls were lodged. The mess was common for all the inmates of both the houses in Om Nivas but bath arrangement for all was made in the house of kidnapped girls. I had remained in Om Nivas building at Karachi for 4 to 5 days. On the next or 3rd day of my going to Om Nivas at Karachi, Dada Lekhraj came to pass a night there in the house of run-away girls ........... In the main hall on the ground floor ... was sleeping on a cot with a quilt over her. Dada Lekhraj pulled her quilt and raised it up. After this he raised her shirt and played with her breast. .............One day he called me to meet him there. He took me to a room. He embraced and kissed me there and passed his hands over my body. This court paid by him to me appeared of peculiar significance. He asked me to kiss him also but I felt shy and did not do so ........ I somehow felt that I could not speak out. My mother had come on the next day of my going to Om Nivas but he turned her away. She came again after 4 or 5 days for taking refreshment with her. She took me in a car but instead of taking me to any place of refreshment took me direct to Hyderabad. While I was being taken away by my mother the inmates of the Om Mandli were making gestures to me not to go. I saw my mother taking me to Hyderabad with two males. I kicked up a row in the car and caused considerable damage to it. At Hyderabad I again kicked up a row. My mother helplessly told me to go away and then all began to weep. I felt some remorse and postponed going to Karachi. After about a week I realised my position and said to myself from what hell I had been saved.............
Cross examination by A.P.P
.................In this bungalow of kidnapped girls there were about 100 kidnapped girls and 15 to 20 married women and widows. Dada Lekhraj used to kiss, embrace and play with the breasts of married women too. All this was being openly done by him. No girl or woman had power of showing resentment though the lineaments of their faces used to betray their inner feelings of resentment at the misconduct of Dad Lekhraj .............. One Mahomedan, whom Dada Lekhraj has named as Rishi and who wears Dhoti and Shirt, also lives in the Ashram. He had been given a room to live there. He is not a Sindhi but Urdu knowing man. All the males living inside the Om Mandli are very free with girls living inside Om Nivas and hence anything is inferable from such intimate conduct......... Whenever strangers used to come at the time of Satsang very discreet conduct was maintained by all the inmates of the Om Mandli and we passed off as inspired beings. The Satsang was held every morning from 7.30 to 9.30 and three times a week in the evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. Some people used to come to Om Nivas by appointment and some for initiation. The girls used to speak with each other about court paid to them by Lekhraj and they used to feel seemingly elated by his court. Dada Lekhraj used to say that he was Lord Krishna and would collect 16008 Gopis like Lord Krishna. I also did not like the conduct of Lekhraj inwardly but outwardly I had no power of expression. I did not consider Lekhraj as Krishna but professed with others that he was Krishna. I did not consider myself as his Gopi. THough I used to think of speaking against him but the words which used to fall from my lips were of his praise and not condemnation. I had not spoken to any one of the things referred to now before returning from Karachi. My parents had felt very aggrieved and annoyed at my persistence in going to Om Mandli and Om Nivas at Hyderabad. Even the Bhaibund community itself felt resentment at the going of girls to Om Nivas.
Beyond kissing and embracing Lekhraj did not do anything further in presence of males.
Dada Lekhraj had power in his eyes. Whenever he stared at any girls, tears used to fall from her eyes. After this the girl used to follow him madly. First time when Dada Lekhraj put antimony into my eyes and stared into them I felt nervous and shaking of the body. I can not say whether Lekhraj used to misbehave with married girls in the presence of their husbands. No text book of any religion was allowed to be read inside the Om Nivas. Occasionally he used to take up Gita in his hands but it used to fall from his hands and he never read any passage from it. He sued to say that Gita does not want to remain in his hands and that inward inspiration was the Gian required in the Om Nivas. Since 2 to 3 years Gita is not even touched in Om Nivas. For young children a book of Gita is kept but it is kept for showing only to others and never a lesson is given from it to children. Dada Lekhraj has invented his own method of teaching from the alphabet and written lessons for children. For example one lesson was that a Jogi living outside and praying for his life had not attained Mukti but a person entering Om Nivas attains Mukti immediately after entering it and that all inmates had attained Mukti in one week's time. Lekhraj spends over Rs 3000 or 4000 per month on the maintenance of Om Mandli and Om Nivas. All kinds of dry and fresh fruits and sweets are daily served there to all the inmates. All inmates are provided with clothes also and these clothes are always white clothes which include white shirts. There were one car and one bus for Om Nivas purchased by Lekhraj. The school and sewing class were only an eye-wash. In the sewing class the clothes of girls living there were only sewn.
- Sd. SOBHSING
- 31-1-1939 City Magistrate, Hyderabad.
I do hereby on the solemn affirmation state that
- My name is ....
- Father's name is ....
- Religion Hindu
- Caste Bhaibund
- Age about 17
- Occupation Nil
- Residence Hyderabad Sind
- District Hyderabad Sind
- To Mr Motiram
I was a member of the Om Mandli for about two months. The only "Gian" that Dada Lekhraj gave to the Members of the Om Mandli was that the parents be treated as dogs and that no heed be paid to them nor should they be obeyed. He further used to say that whatever was taught to them in the Mandli should not be divulged to anyone outside the Mandli and that the Members of the Mandli had full control over their bodies and that their parents had no right to interfere with them ...... On the last Holi occasion I had seen Dada Lekhraj misbehaving with ........ by seating them on his bed over which the flowers were spread and kissing and embracing them there. It was the usual practice for Dada Lekhraj in the Mandli to embrace and kiss all grown up girls and women living in the Om Mandli. In this connection he used to pay more court to fair skinned girls and women than to others ..... Dada Lekhraj used to come and pass 2 to 3 nights per week in the house of run-away girls. The night on which Lekhraj used to come to sleep there used to be called a golden night, as on that night the girls whom Lekhraj used to like most used to meet him alone in a separate room ......... I was brought to Hyderabad by my cousin as I had fallen ill there ...........
No X Examination by other counsel
X Examination by A.P.P.
I had not spoken of Holi affairs which had disgusted me, to any one when I had seen them, as we were enjoined not to speak out the Mandli affairs to outside people. The Karachi life in Om Nivas was not to my liking. I returned to Hyderabad about 1 1/2 months ago ............
I do hereby on the solemn affirmation state that
- My name is ....
- Father's name is ....
- Religion Hindu
- Caste Bhaibund
- Age about 16
- Occupation Nil
- Residence Hyderabad Sind
- District Hyderabad Sind
- To Mr. Balchand
I have not yet completed my 16th year. I joined Om Mandli about a year ago. My brother's wife took me to Om Mandli................He preaches defiance of parental authority and advised trampling parents under feet. I used to see Lekhraj closeted with Om Radhe at Hyderabad and they used to emerge after some hours stay. He used to kiss and embrace all grown up and attractive girls.......... I used to get disgusted but I had no power of expression to say out my feelings...........Lekhraj has a magnetic power in his eyes. If he stares at the eyes of any girls he over-powers her. He had similarly over powered me once by an intense glance into my eyes. He loved passionately Om Radhe..........I mean by passionately loving that Lekhraj used to........with them. Some of the male members were openly mis-behaving and some were mis-behaving on the sly........Lekhraj used to say that he was himself Lord Krishna and that he may be worshipped. Accordingly he used to be worshipped by Krishna by the inmates of Om Mandli. He used to play "Ras Lila" with Mandli girls called gopies. The Ras Lila was generally confined to good looking grown up girls and women only. All girls and women who took part in Ras Lila used to wear ringing anklets and flower crowns.............He himself also used to wear such ringing anklets and flower crowns. The girls taking part in "Ras Lila" used to feed Lekhraj with butter, bread and sugar. He used to pay this compliment back to the fairest of the girls dancing with him. I was under secretary to Dada Lekhraj. There was no economy of any kind of food, fruit and sweets for the Members. The best quality things were supplied for the feed of inmates. Dada Lekhraj has his own funds but those were supplemented by rich members such as daughter-in-law of............who paid Rs. 7000 to Dada Lekhraj. The sister-in-law of.....had donated to Lekhraj Rs. 7000. Three other ladies pay monthly a sum aggregating Rs. 150. Ratanchand Surtani pays him Rs. 400 a month. Lekhraj used to say that is the secrets of the Om Mandli are divulged to outside by any member he or she will be expelled. We therefore did not speak of anything of the Mandli to the outside people. Once I had seen bath being taken in Om Nivas by certain inmates of Om Nivas. This was a disgusting bath. All grown up girls and women were seen taking bath with only short drawers, the remaining body being naked. Lekhraj too was wearing only drawers. The female bathers numbered six only among whom 4 were grown up girls and two women. Five of these females were the pick of the Members of the Om Mandli.........No girl who was not taking bath was permitted to enter the bath room but I had gone there suddenly having run away from my house......I had remained at Karachi in the bungalow where kidnapped girls were kept by Lekhraj. Lekhraj had hired another bungalow also in which he opened Om Nivas. Both these bungalows were adjoining. I saw many indecent occurrences at Karachi in the 3 bungalows in the occupation and control of Lekhraj and his Om Mandli people..........I had seen all this with my own eyes........I had peeped in through the curtain out of curiosity and then seen the ugly spectacle........Ii had shrunk back in horror of seeing the nefarious act. Lekhraj suspected on the movement of the curtain that someone had lifted the curtain and hence on the following morning he had scolded all the girls sleeping in the hall for disturbing his sleep by peeing inside the curtain.........I do not want to say further with regard to the incident of that night...........My brother's wife had brought me to Hyderabad from Karachi. After a few days stay at Hyderabad consciousness dawned on me as to how I had been rescued from a living hell.
No X Examination by any other accused
X Examination by A.F.P.
While at Hyderabad I sued to go to Om Nivas only at day time. I used to pass about 9 hours daily in the Om Nivas. My parents were opposed to my going to Om Mandli..........I first refused to divulge anything of Om Mandli to my parents and others at Hyderabad. I told them to go and see everything with their own eyes at the Om Mandli. I had seen these some of the disgraceful things described by me. I did not disclose Om Mandli secrets to my parents because I thought these would shock my parents and they would feel enraged and compel me to leave Om Mandli. I was under a spell and hence I could not tell my parents of what I had seen in the Om Mandli..............
Dada Lekhraj had got himself photographed at Karachi..............In one photo there is sone and the same morsel in the mouth of Lekhraj and Om Radhe and in another photo Lekhraj has Om Radhe on his Lap. We used to be taken for pic-nics to sea-side. We used to dance and make merry at night time on Clifton Sands. We used to return from beach at about mid-night time. Lekhraj had told us once that he would take us out of Sind to a country where we could not be molested by any one.
- Sd. SOBHSING
- 31-1-1939 City Magistrate, Hyderabad.
I do hereby on the solemn affirmation state that
- May name is Om Radhe
- Father's name Lekhraj
- Religion Atma
- Caste Atma
- Age about 23
- Occupation To take Gian and serve out Gian
- Residence Karachi
To Mr. Vishindas
I am the President of the Om Mandli. The basis of Om Mandli teaching is that every one of God and that Om Mandli itself is God. Each inmate of Om Mandli is also God and such Gian is taken by every Member of Om Mandli. I do not know Vedas because I have not read them. I take every one as Braham i.e. God. I see no difference between what I call my own and of others. I see no difference between male and female. I can not say whether there is any agitation among the people against Om Mandli.
- Q : Do you read papers?
- A : I hear no evil, talk no evil and do no evil. (Note She replies in English). Again says I read but I pay no heed but again she resides from this statement.
- Q: Do you want to give a straight reply whether you read from the papers or not?
- A: I do not want to give any other reply than the one I have already given
- Q: Who are the members of the Om Mandli and how many?
- A: Males, females and children are the members of the Om Mandli. They all number about 200. About 60 or 70 are non-residential members, and the remaining are residential. The children residential members number about 40 or 50, and residential adult females about 15 or 20 and adult males 10 or 12. The male children number about 10 or 12.
- Q: Does the Mandli believe in enlisting more male or female members?
- A: We are indifferent whether the members enrolled are male or female as everyone is entitled to get Gian without any restriction of caste or creed.
- Q: Are Bhaibunds bearing any enmity toward Om Mandli?
- A: I cannot say whether Bhaibunds are bearing any enmity as I consider everyone as Braham.
- Q: Have you taken gian ?
- A : I still take gian.
- Q: Do you consider Lekhraj as Father?
- A: We consider him as Gian Father, similarly as Christ and Krishna are considered as Father by their respective followers.
- Q: What is the approximate expenditure per month of the Om Mandli?
- A: I am not prepared to answer this question.
- Q: How many bungalows Om Mandli has hired in Karachi?
- A: 3 bungalows. One in Soldier Bazaar, and two at Clifton.
- Q: Do you use antimony in the Mandli?
- A: I am not prepared to answer this question. Again she says we use not only ordinary antimony but also Gian antimony which was used by Krishna and Christ, and Nanik and Mahomed also.
- Q: Do you know hypnotism?
- A : I do not know what is meant by hypnotism, but I know hypnotism of Gian. Every person is a magician having Gian, just as Christ and Krishan were. I know hypnotism which Christ and Krishan possessed. I picked up this Gian of Christ and Krishan in the Mandli.
- Q: Do you fall in trance owing to this Gian?
- A: I am in permanent trance like Prophets on account of Gian.
- Q: Do you lose your consciousness on account of Gian?
- A: We become conscious as well as unconscious at the same time just as in sleep a person becomes conscious as well as unconscious. Lord Krishna has also stated that be Brahmachari while living in Grihist and also be non-eater and non-drinker by even eating and drinking.
- Q: Do you observe any difference between Brahmachari and Grihasti?
- A: We observe no such difference, as lotus flower though in water is also out of water.
- Q: Do you believe in the institution of marriage?.
- A: We believe first in Gian and then in marriage as Sita and Ram had Gian before they married.
- Q: Do you believe yourself in marriage?
- A: We believe marriage as mere companionship (Note- This reply is given in English) We consider the marriage between Ram and Sita as companionship Marriage which is above five vices.
- Q: Do you consider non-members as Gianis?
- A: I can’t say anything about non members of Mandli.
- Q: Do you permit Mandli members to marry a non-Mandli Member?
- A: It is left to the choice of the Member concerned but Mandli has only to give Gian.
- Q: Do you prevent minor girls from going to their parents?
- A: They are not prevented from going to their parents.
Cross Examinated by Mr Balchand
Pokardas was my father but I do not consider him so not because my father is dead but because I take Gian from Lekhraj and also live with him as daughter.
- Q: Is your mother alive and is she a member of Om Mandli ?
- A: Yes
- Q: Since how long has Om Mandli come into existence?
- A: 3 to 4 years.
- Q: Is one Mahomedan who is called Rishi also been given Gian of the Mandli.
- A: Yes.
- Q: Does he dress as a Hindu?.
- A: Yes he dresses as a Hindu and he has always been doing so.
- Q: Was he given a separate room at Hyderabad?
- A: I do not remember whether he was given a room at Hyderabad.
- Q: Has he been given a separate room for living at Karachi in Om Nivas?
- A: He is living there like other and has got no separate room for living there. Again she says he has got a separate room for living there like others.
- Q: Do girls go to him in his room?
- A: I can't say whether they do or do not go to him.
- Q: Do you visit Rishi in his room?
- A: I can't answer this question. Let the questioner see it himself.
- Q: Is he married or unmarried?
- A: He may be asked to answer this question whether he is married or unmarried.
- Q: Has he got wife?
- A: I can't answer this question.
- Q: Does he consider every grown up girl as his wife?
- A: The Gian of the Mandli is that every person male or female is a "PURUSH" and the whole "PIRKRITI" is his wife. The Mandli therefore does not recognize the distinction of husband and wife.
Om Radhe Recalled and reaffirmed
Cross Examination by Mr. Balchand.
The Rishi translates Sindhi discourses into English and teaches children English. He name is Mr. Murtaza. I do not know whether he has passed any examination. He joined our Mandli about 2 years ago. He messes with us and his utensils are the same as those of ours. He does not work and hence no remuneration is paid to him. He imparts Braham Vidya in English. He freely mixes with the inmates of the Om Mandli. I do not know whether he is a previous convict I have got my faith in all scriptures including Granth Sahib. In our Mandli no scripture of any religion is kept nor is any scripture read. Oral discourses are given from Gita. I consider paying homage to Granth Sahib as idol worship. Similarly I consider it idol worship to pay homage to any religious scripture as I am "Aham Braha Asmi" i.e. Bhagwan and hence I have not to bow before any scripture. I am different from the God as He is conceived because I am living and moving God. I can not quote any relevant passage from the Gita in support of my above view but if I look into the Gita I might find it.
- Q: Do you discourse in Om Mandli that worshipping Granth Sahib and other scriptures is equal to idol worship.
- A: I consider that worshipping means to follow what is in sacred books and not in bowing only.
- Q: Is it the teaching of the Om Mandli to pay no formal homage to Granth Sahib and sacred books?
- A: We consider it idol worship to pay homage only, but to follow the instruction therein is to worship the scriptures.
- Q: Is Kanah Parsad considered sacred by the Om Mandli.
- A: Yes the Mandli does not consider the sacredness of Kanah Parsad which is comprised of sugar, flour and ghee. The Mandli's Kanah Parsad is the teaching of the book itself.
- Q: Was Kanah Parsad brought to the Mandli by any Khalsa at any time previously and was it not accepted by Mandli people.
- A: I do not remember it.
- Q: Would you accept Kanah Sahib if it is offered to you.
- A: I will decide it when it is offered to me.
- Q: Had you gone to a temple of Sikhs before you joined Om Mandli.
- A: Yes, I had gone to a Tikarna (Sikh holy place) which may be of Bawa Isardas. I had accepted Kanah Sahib before I joined the Mandli.
- Q: Have you ever taken Kanah Sahib (Sikh toli) after joining the Mandli.
- A: No. I do not need it also as I have got already Kanah Sahib of self-realization.
- Q; Is it the teaching of Om Mandli that Kanah Parsad is composed of any flour, sugar and ghee and that it is not sacred.
- A: No.
- Q: Do you consider that Kanah Prasad is sacred and would you take it?
- A: I can’t answer this question until Kanah Prasad is offered to me.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj call himself Krishna?
- A: No.
- Q: Do you dance with ringing anklets?
- A: Girls do so similarly as is done in schools on festival occasions. I and certain other grown up girls also join.
- Q: Has Dada Lekhraj also joined you in such a dance?
- A: He has been witnessing only such dances and feeling happy over them.
- Q: Does anyone act for Lord Krishna in the dance?
- A: No, as each one of us is "ATMA".
- Q; Is feeding of Lord Krishna done in such dances?
- A: No.
- Q: Are Atu and Jagu members of the Om Mandli?
- A: Yes.
- Q: Is Atu or Jagu a photographer and had any of them taken any photo of Lekhraj and you?
- A: I do not remember this.
- Q: Has Lekhraj ever made you sit in his lap?
- A: I do not remember this. But I do not consider it objectionable to sit in his lap because I consider him as a spiritual father and superior to the usual father owing to his leading me from hell to heaven.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj call girls of the Mandli as Gopies?
- A: No.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj embrace girls?
- A: Yes he does so as a spiritual Father should embrace his children, because he considers all female inmates of the Om Mandli, whether children or adults, as his own daughters (Balkies).
- Q: Do all the female inmates, whether children or adults, take Braham Vidya in Om Mandli?
- A: Yes
- Q: Do you consider it objectionable, or a sin, while teaching Braham Vidya, that Dada Lekhraj embraces the persons to whom he imparts Braham Vidya?
- A: We do not consider it objectionable nor a sin, as we all inmates of Om Mandli do no evil.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj kiss girls while giving Gian?
- A: He does so because he does it as Gian Father.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj tell girls to kiss him?
- A: To my knowledge I do not know it.
- Q: Has he kissed you in Gian?
- A: Yes he has kissed me several times as a spiritual Father.
- Q: Does Gian increase because of kissing and embracing by Dada Lekhraj?
- A: This kissing and embracing has nothing to do with Gian, because he kisses as a Father would kiss his daughter.
- Q: Do other males also kiss and embrace girls while getting Gian?
- A: No other males do so as this is the privilege of Dada Lekhraj as he is Gian Father to all.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj treat his daughter and daughter-in-law differently from other girls in the matter of kissing and embracing?
- A: He loves them as he loves other girls but I have not seen whether he embraces and kisses them also.
- Q: Do you all sit without any objection on his bed?
- A: Yes, we do as we have no objection.
- Q: Were (.............................) Members of the Om Mandli? (*Note:- These are some of the girls who exposed the doings in the Om Mandli.)
- A: Yes.
- Q: Is Dada Lekhraj above sin because he is a Gian Father?
- A: Yes he does no sin being Gian Father nor can he do any sin as he believes he is "AHAM BRAHAM ASMI" and above sin.
- Q: Has Dada Lekhraj reached that stage of spirituality that whatever he does cannot be a sin?
- A: Lord Krishna knew that he was Braham after self-realization and hence was above sin. Similarly Dada Lekhraj also considers himself as Braham and above sin and can commit no sin, like Lord Krishna.
- Q: Does Dada Lekhraj pull the breast of girls?
- A: He does not do such things of evil.
- Q: Is pulling of breasts of a girl evil?
- A: I do not know this.
- Q:How many receptacles of antimony are kept in the Mandli?
- A: About 6 or 7
- Q: Is there any Gian in the antimony which you have put in your eyes?
- A: No.
- Q: Do all inmates use this antimony?
- A: Yes.
- Q: At what age children are admitted into Om Mandli?
- A: At the age of 5 Years. There are many children of that Age as Members of Om Mandli.
- Q: Are these children also given the Gian of the Mandli?
- A: Yes.
- Q: Do girls fall in trance in Om Mandli?
- A: Yes they do fall in trance and see visions of God in that trance as Arjun had seen visions of God.
- Q: Do girls of tender age fall into such a trance?
- A: Yes
- Q: Do adults also fall in such a trance?
- A: Yes all males and females do fall in such a trance?
- Q: Who gives Gian in the Mandli?
- A: Every male and female member of Om Mandli takes and gives Gian which I mean "Atam Gian".
- Q: Is screaming done in trance?
- A: No screaming is done in trance by any but all falling in trance talk of what they see like Arjan before Krishna.
- Q: Is a new member initiated into the Gian by girls only?
- A:Yes as Miran used to give Gian. Again says males also give Gian.
- Q: Do you preach in Om Mandli that husband and wife should not believe in Grahast?
- A: Yes we do preach that they should live as Sita and Ram as Lord Krishna lives in Anasakati i.e. without desire.
- Q: Does Lekhraj live in Grahast in Om Mandli?
- A : He lives in Van Prast. His youngest child is about 10 years old.
Further cross examination reserved. Soon after the Mandli was banned by the government and the case withdrawn from Court.
- City Magistrate
- Hyderabad Sind
Settlement arrived at through the intervention of the District Magistrate of Hyderabad
Anti Om Mandli Bhaibund Committee's Announcement.
At the public meeting organised by the above enquiry Committee a suggestion was made that on behalf of Bhaibunds a deputation should wait on the Collector and also present a memorandum to him on their behalf. The Committee met the Collector on 30th June and 5th July 1938. At that meeting three Devis on behalf of Om Mandli were also present. They stated that "the object of theirs was to do religious propaganda and give Gita Gyan and not create any rift amongst the people and if any people have suffered or gone astray, they were prepared to put a stop to such things and not do such a propaganda in the future.
The Collector, after hearing both sides put forth certain suggestions to the Om Mandli Committee, reply of the acceptance of which they gave after three days in writing to the Collector. The following are the conditions:-
- 1. The Satsang at Mandli will take place for ladies only.
- 2. Bhai Lekhraj or any male will have no direct or indirect connection with either "Om Mandli" of "Om Nivas".
- 3. Mandli will be established at their old premises in Khatubund lane and not at Om Nivas or any other place.
- 4. No girl or lady will be able to go to either Om Nivas or Om Mandli without a written permission of her guardian (i.e. the old letters of permission from the guardians will be considered as cancelled and in their place new ones will be taken).
- 5. If Mandli permits any such person without the permission of the guardian, then the guardian will draw the attention of the Committee, and also write a letter to the Mandli then Mandli will see that such a person is not allowed to come in or enter.
- 6. The time for Om Mandli Satsang will be made so convenient that it will not interfere with the household work or duties of those who come.
- 7. Om Nivas will remain a school only for children (girls) and a written permission from guardians will be very essential for their admission. And without the school hours no male members will be able to visit Om Nivas.
- 8. Bhai Lekhraj's residence will have no connection whatsoever with "Om Nivas"; both will be separated from each other.
- 9. Such spiritual and religious teachings will be given at Om Mandli, that, it may not interfere with the ordinary working of the life of members, nor they will create any rifts amongst them or their homes, nor will they spoil the social status of the community. The teaching should be such as not to create a breach of peace in the City.
It is quite evident from the Collector's conditions that whatever members of the public do not like that their daughters, sisters, children should go to Mandli, they will inform the management of the Mandli and the Mandli will not admit persons nor will it encourage such persons to come to Mandli.
Mr. Udharam Mirchandani, the Collector has taken lot of interest in this connection and has dealt with both sides impartially and according to justice, for which this committee is very thankful to him. These were such matters as could not have been settled without him.
- NARAIN SHEWAKRAM
- Secretary, Anti Om Mandli
- Bhaibund Committee.
Some resolutions of Panchayat, Social and Religious Bodies
Resolutions of a vast Public Meeting at Holmstead Hall Hyderabad Sind.
"This Public Meeting of the citizens of Hyderabad, while inviting the attention of the Sind Government to the satanic activities of the Om Mandli, strongly urges on them to exercise their Special Powers and declare the Om Mandli as unlawful and to restore the girls and ladies confined therein to their parents and husbands respectively and also to hold an inquiry in the past nefarious activities of the Om Mandli and bring the offenders to book.
This Meeting further confirms the resolutions of the Hyderabad Dal Panchayat in connection with the sending of a strong deputation to Karachi to wait upon the Sind Government."
- 9th February 1939.
- Citizens of Hyderabad.
- The President
- Bhaibund Committee
- Hyderabad Sind.
A meeting of the Bhaibund ladies, held under the auspices of the Bhaibund Nari Sabha on the 10th February 1939 passed the following resolutions.
- (1) This meeting of the Bhaibund ladies while drawing the attention of the Government to the exposure of the Om Mandli, urges on them to put an immediate stop to the Om Mandli, and file legal prosecutions against Bhai Lekhraj, Om Radhe, Messers. Atu Advani, Rijhumal, Jagumal, Naraindas, Diamal, Ram Navalrai and others who have participated in kidnapping minor girls and wrongfully entertaining them and adopting improper course of conduct towards them.
- (2) This Meeting while appreciating the strong efforts of the Bhaibund Committee for the last 10 months to get the Om Mandli closed, requests them to leave aside all other activities and press for the immediate banning of the Om Mandli and assures the Committee that the ladies would be prepared to give all possible help to them.
- (3) This Meeting appeals to the citizens of Hyderabad to organize a complete hartal in order to impress on the Government the necessity of ordering the immediate closing down of the Om Mandli and visit the offenders with exemplary punishment. In case Government fail to respond immediately, further steps be adopted to compel Government to do the needful.
- Secretary Bhaibund Nari Sabha
- 10 February 1939 Hyderabad Sind.
At its Meeting on 12th February 1939, the Managing Committee of the Khudabadi Amil Panchayat unanimously resolved that the Om Mandli and its teachings are detrimental to the Hindu Society. The Managing Committee sympathised in particular with the Bhaibund Community for their susceptibilities having been injured by the Om Mandli. The Amil Panchayat will offer all legitimate help for the purpose of putting a ban over the Om Mandli teachings and activities so as to prevent their harmful results
- Sd: Joint Secretary
- Amil Panchayat
- 12 February 1939 Hyderabad Sind
Resolution passed at a Meeting held under the joint auspices of different social bodies working in Karachi and elsewhere in Sind.
The Circular was signed by
- 1. Mrs. Kamla Devi Hiranand.
- 2. Mr. Hiranand Karamchand, Editor "Hindu".
- 3. Mr. Tarachand Lalwani, Municipal Councillor and Editor "Karachi Daily".
- 4. Mr. D.M. Tahilramani of the United Press.
- 5. Rai Sahib Gokaldas Mewaldas, M.L.A. (Now Minister)
- 6. Mr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President, Sind Provincial COngress Committee.
- 7. Mr. Karsondas Manek. M.A. Editor "Daily Mirror".
- 8. Professor Ghanshyam Jethannd, M.L.A. Leader of the Congress Party in the Assembly.
- 9. Mr. Choitram Valecha M.L.A.
- 10. Seth Hotchand Hiranand M.L.A.
- 11. Mr. D.D. Choudri, President, Arya Samaj.
- 12. Mr. Ram Sahai, Secretary, Hindu Maha Sabha.
- 13. Seth Valiram Nenumal, Secretary, Hyderabad Panchayat.
- 14. Rai Sahib Sahai Issardas Parumal, Retired Income Tax Officier.
- 15. Mr. Lilaram Jethmal, Retired Judge.
- 16. Mr. Shamdas P. Gidwani, President, Hindu Maha Sabha.
"From the facts concerning the Om Mandli which have now seen the light of the day, through sources external as well as internal, this public meeting of the citizens of Karachi has been convinced that the activities which are being carried on within its precincts are absolutely harmful to public morals, have destroyed many homes and are undermining the very foundation of the Society. This meeting, therefore, is emphatically of the opinion that these activities be immediately stopped and urges on the Government of Sind that immediate effective measures be adopted to end them"
- 19th February 1939
"This Meeting of the Nava Jivan Shewak Sahda, while drawing the attention of the Sind Government, strongly urges on them to use their special powers and declare the Om Mandli as unlawful and restore girls and ladies to their relations immediately and hold as an inquiry into past criminal activities of the Mandli and bring the offenders to book.
- Nava Jiwan Shewak Sadha
- Hyderabad Sind.
- Nava Jiwan Shewak Sadha
- 19th February 1939 Hyderabad Sind.
To, Mukhi Harkishindas Dal Panchayat, Hyderabad Sind.
- 1. This Meeting of the Mirpur Khas Panchayat strongly condemns the satanic activities of the Om Mandli and urges upon the Sind Government to declare the Om Mandli as unlawful under their special powers and restore the girls and ladies to their relations immediately. The Meeting further request the Government to appoint an Inquiry Committee to submit their report on the criminal activities that have been hithero carried on in the Om Mandli and award severe punishment to their offenders.
- 2. This Meeting appreciates the efforts of the Hyderabad Dal Panchayats and fully sympathises with them.
- 3. This Meeting resolves to send copy of the above resolutions to the Sind Government and Tharparkar Hindu Members of the Sind Assembly with a recommendation that they should carry on a very strong agitation against the Om Mandli and get it banned for ever.
- HARCHANDRAI SETH MANOOMAL
- President of the Meeting.
- Mukhi Mangharam
This Meeting of the Panchayat of Amerket is unanimously and emphatically of the opinion that Bhai Lekhraj, by starting his Om Mandli, has disgraced the Hindu particularly the Bhaibund Community and urges on the Chief Minister to award severe penalities to this hypocrite of Bhai Lekhraj and his associates and close down the Om Mandli.
- Sd/- SHANKERSING
- Secretary, Panchayat
- 22nd February 1939 Amarkot
The Puj Panchayat resolves that it has been shocked to read the exposures of the Om Mandli which have appeared in the Newspapers and is surprised to find that in the sacred name of Om Mandli immoral and criminal activities are being carried on and that the pure atmosphere of the Hindus life has been vitiated and many families are bitterly crying against the Om Mandli. This Panchayat further considers that if the Om Mandli is not forthwith declared illegal and put a stop to its immoral and criminal activities will spread even to the villages and disturb their quiet, peaceful life and spoil their happiness. The Panchayat therefore urges upon the Sind Government through this resolution to declare the Om Mandli unlawful as early as possible and award appropriate punishment to the offender.
- Sd/- MUHKI
- 22nd February 1939
- Puj Panchayat, Bubak
This Meeting of the General Panchayat, while inviting the attention of the Sind Government to the perverse activities of the Om Mandli strongly appeal to them to take appropriate measures to declare the Om Mandli unlawful and restore the girls and ladies now confined in the Mandli to their relations.
- SETH CHAINRAI V. JUMANI
- Shikarpar Hindu General Panchayat
- 24th February 1939 Shikarpur Sind.
The Special Conference of the Punjab Mahabir Dal look with much contempt and hatred at the activities of the Om Mandli and its founder Dad Lekhraj in preaching against the Hindu Shastras and spoiling happily running homes. It requests the S.D. Pritindhi Sabha, Punjab to depute Missionaries to Sind who may move the public against the influence of the Om Mandli and save people from this disaster. Moreover this conference urges the Sindh Government to take a serious action against the Society which is bent upon corrupting the Hindu folds."
- Mukhi Mangharam Gurdinomal
Jagiasu Hassabrim Atmasing Panchayat Hyderabad assembled in Temple Bhai Chaubrim on 28th and passed resolution condemning Om Mandli and Lekhraj. It requests Sind Government to dissolve Om Mandli it being dangerous to Hinduism. It was also resolved that Panchayat has full sympathy with Committee appointed to take steps to close Om Mandli. Further it was resolved Jagiasu Panchayat was prepared offering satyagraha and work side by side with Committee.
- Jagiasay Hassabrim
- Atmasing Panchayat
- 1st March 1939. Hyderabad Sind.
The Byragi Mandal is of the view that the Om Mandli and the Om Nivas started by Bhai Lekhraj are very dangerous and their teachings have created suspicions in the public. This Mandal is attracting girls of respectable families to the Om Mandli and the Om Nivas by means of hypnotism and resorting to objectionable practises, he should be ordered to leave Sind.
- Mukhi Mangharam
- Above Gulzar Hotel
- Cantonment Karachi.
Om Mandli danger to religion and morality, People very much agitated. Kindly dissolve Om Mandli.
- Bhaibund Sabha
- 1st march 1939. Hyderabad Sind.
- Mukhi Mangharam
- Above Gulzar Hotel
- Cantonment Karachi.
Om Mandli irreligious immoral. Strong resentment here. Pray for immediate suppressions.
- Bhaibund Melap Mandal
- Hyderabad Sind.
- The Honourable Chief Minister
- Sind Government,
- 1. Sir Ghulam Hussein
- Honourable Minister
- Sind Government, Karachi.
- 2. Nilchaldas Vazirani Esqr.
- Honourable Minister
- Sind Government, Karachi
- 3. Sadhu Vaswani
- 90-A Depot Line, Karachi.
Hindu religious susceptibilities sentiments solely wounded by Om Mandli's suicidal irreligious teachings. Town seathing with unrest. Sindwork Merchants Association Hyderabad strongly denounces its organisers and prays for its immediate abolition.
- President Work Merchants Associations
- Hyderabad Sind.
- 6th March 1939
Some of the Representations by the Public to the Government
Karachi, 27th February 1939.
- The Chief Secretary
- Sind Government,
Application under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
- 1. Harkishindas Gurdinomal
- 2. Khanchand Gopaldas
- 3. Shamdas P. Gidwani
- 4. Lokamal Chellaram and
- 5. Mangharam Gurdinomal
The Petitioners above named submit that Petitioner No: 1 is the Mukhi of the Dal (combined) Panchayats of Hyderabad SInd, No: 2 is the Vice-President of the Amil Panchayat at Karachi, No: 3 is the working President of the Hindu Maha Sabha, No: 4 is one of the leading citizens of Karachi and the headmen of Sahta Community and No: 5 is the Chairman of the Committee appointed by the public of Hyderabad to investigate into the activities of the Om Mandli and request that you will be pleased to move the local Government to declare the "Om Mandli" an unlawful assembly or unlawful association on consideration of the following grounds:-
- (1) That this Om Mandli Association was first started at Hyderabad ostensibly for imparting religious education to Members of all communities.
- (2) That the founder Lekhraj succeeded in hoodwinking several parents of various girls into the belief that heir girls and women folks will get more religious minded and turn out to be better girls and women.
- (3) That as a matter of fact the petitioners have been since then convinced that the object of the founder was a sinister one, and that on the contrary no religious training is imparted to the inmates of the Mandli. That on the contrary the inmates are taught to forget themselves in all directions and lead a dissolute and immoral life.
- (4) That the petitioners are convinced that the founder practises either hypnotism or mesmerism or some sort of black magic and he also compels all entrants to the Mandli to apply to, a particular sort of antimony to their eyes. That the various devices deprive the inmate of their free will and judgement.
- (5) That the petitioners are further convinced that the inmates are definitely taught to hate their husbands and their parents and relations and to have nothing to do with any non members of the Om Mandli.
- (6) That the Petitioners also are convinced that the inmates are terrorised and made to believe that if any inmate leaves the Om Mandli and goes to her husband or parents she will by any manner of means be compelled to re-seek or re-enter the Om Mandli and them her fate will be anything but bearable.
- (7) That the parents and relations of the girls had their suspicions as to their moral life which was led inside the Om Mandli but they had no convincing proof till lately.
- (8) That after the parents of the 7 girls, namely ............. succeeded in freeing them from the Om Mandli and the depositions of 5 girls in Court, the entire Hindu Community is full convinced that their children and wives are living an absolutely disgraceful life inside the Om Mandli.
- (9) That the petitioners have received information which they believe, that the founder's previous life had not been above suspicion in the moral sphere and that he used to live a rather dissolute life. That the entire Hindu Community are convinced that all along the one studied effort of the Om Mandli is to get away with him to the jungles and mountain and this has given reasonable ground that he may at any time take away the female inmates including minor children to some for distant place and dipose of them.
- (10) That the five girls mentioned in para 8 above have given evidence in the public court which have been fully published in all papers and that has naturally put not only the parents and relations of the inmates in an exceedingly excitable mood but has created a very deep feeling of resentment through the entire Hindu community. In this connection certified copies of the depositions are attached herewith. That the petitioners submit that it has been only the definite, persistent and vigorous effort of their part and on the part of the other leading citizens that they have been able to restrain the Hindu public from creating disturbance and taking to force in freeing the inmates from the unholy hold that the founder has over them.
- (11) That there were meeting of very large gathering both at Hyderabad and Karachi and that many Panchayats in Sind have been agitating over this question and demanding that this Association be declared unlawful and the Government should take immediately a decisive step to prevent the further mischief. That the petitioners submit that only the law abiding Hindu Community of Sind has so far restrained itself from losing their balance, for which they have very grave cause and reason.
- (12) That the petitioner submit that the nature of things is such that it is difficult, nay almost impossible, to have recourse to ordinary Courts of law. As submitted above, the inmates have lost their independent judgement and will have almost lost all feelings of shame, that it is now impossible for them to make up their minds to leave the Om Mandli voluntarily.
- (13) That the Petitioners submit that the evil influences of this institution, though at present mostly confined to one Community, is likely to spread to other communities also, as its portals are open to all.
- (14) That the petitioners further submit that the women folk who attend his so-called sat-sangs frequently faint away- embracing and hugging Lekhraj and calling him "Krishna" and be would respond to them as his "Gopies". The impersonating as Krishna by Lekhraj is extremely objectionable and violates the religious susceptibilities of the Hindus.
- (15) That affidavits in support are attached.
The petitioners in support are attached.
The petitioners subscribe themselves as your most obedient servants
- Sd/- Harkishindas Gurdinomal
- Sd/- Khanchand Gopaldas
- Sd/- Shamdas P. Gidwani
- Sd/- Lokamal Chellaram
- Sd/- Mangharam Gurdinal
I, Shewakram Khubchand Daswani, state on solemn affirmation as under:-
- 1. That I have known Lekhraj Khubchand, founder of the Om Mandli since the last thrityfive years. His age at present in 54 years.
- 2. That I was his partner in the concern of Messers Lekhraj Shewakram at Calcutta.
- 3. That some 8 years ago, he and I were passing by a place where a Sadhu was saying that he could initiate any one into a scret provided he paid him a handsome sum. That there-after Lekhraj used to visit this Sadhu and in a few days he withdrew from his account a sum of Rs 10,000. That thereafter he gave up his connection with business.
- 4. That Lekhraj always lived a very luxurious life and is a very clever man.
- 5. That I know it for a fact that he did not live a pure moral life.
- Sd/- Shewakram Khubanchand
- Identified by
- G.J. Waswani
Solemnly affirmed this 25th day of February 1939
- Before me
- Sd/ SOBHSING
- City and Sub Divisional Magistrate.
- Hyderabad Sind.
I, Dr. Tarachand J. Lalvani, state on solemn affirmation as follows.
- 1. That I am the Editor of the "Karachi Daily" and am a Medical Practitioner.
- 2. That I have had occasions to visit the Om Mandli several times and I have attended their Sat Sang also very frequently.
- 3. That I have seen women fainting and embracing and hugging Lekhraj who would call him "Krishna," "Krishna" while he would respond to them as "Gopis." The impersonating as Krishna by Lekhraj is extremely objectionable and violates the religious susceptibilities of the Hindus.
- 4. That I found the Mandli devoid of any real religious atmosphere.
- 5. That I am aware of the extent of the public feeling against the Mandli and I verily believe that its continued existence is a source of grave danger to the Society and to the maintenance of public peace.
Sd/- Tarachand J. Lalwani Depondent
- Identified by me
- G. J. Vaswani
Solemny affirmed before me at Karachi this 24th day of February 1939
- Before me
- 24-2-39 First Clas Magistrate, Karachi
I, Hiranand Karamchand, state on solemn affirmation as following:-
- 1. That I the Editor of "Hindu" a daily newspaper issued at Karachi.
- 2. That I have visited the Om Mandli once.
- 3. That in my presence I have seen young girls of nine to 12 years in unconscious and semi-conscious condition clinging to him. They appeared to me to be under some hypnotic, two of them were lying on his lap and one of them was lying in a state of half embrace. Two other girls were holding him by the arm and the leg.
- 4. That the Mandli is a source of danger to a healthy society and should be closed down.
Sd/- Hiranand Karamchand Deponent.
Identified by me G.J. Vaswani
Solemnly affirmed before me at Karachi this 24th day of February 1939.
Sd/- First Class Magistrate, Karachi
I, Mrs Kamla Hiranand, state on solemn affirmation as follows:-
- 1. That I am the wife of Editor of "Hindu" Daily Newspaper issued at Karachi.
- 2. That I have visited Om Mandli on two or three occasions.
- 3. That in the course of conversation with Bhai Lakhraj he told me that men were generally "Rakshas saroop" and girls were "Laxmi saroop" and therefore "Laxmi saroop" could not associate with "Raksha saroop" husbands. Unless, therefore, men took gian from Mandli and became "Ram saroop" they were not fit persons to be associated with.
- 4. On other occasions, he characterised parents of the girls as "Kansas".
- 5. On one occasiosn, when I visited Mandli, I saw about five girls in a state of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness. One of the girls was lying on his chest, one or two on is lap and about 2 girls were holding him by the arm or leg. One of them were sheding tears. The girls appeared to be under some hypnotic influence.
- 6. The teachings in Om Mandli appeared to me to be very unnatural and will be having a very baneful effect on society and should therefore be clsoed.
- Sd/- Kaml Hiranand
- Identified by me
- G.J. Vaswani
Solemnly affirmed before me at Karachi this 24th day of February 1939.
- Before me
- First Class Magistrate, Karachi.
I, Karosndas Manek, state on solemn affirmation as follows:-
- 1. That I am the Editor of "Daily Mirror" an English Daily.
- 2. That I have visited the "Om Mandli" and their Sat-Sangs very frequently.
- 3. That I have had discussions with Lekhraj whom I have found to be singularly ignorant of the knowledge of the scriptures and devoid of all devotion or religious fervour. His calling the institution a school is more make-believe which is intended to deceive into the notion that he is imparting religious education of which he knows nothing.
- 4. That the Mandli is serving no useful purpose. It on the contrary is getting to be a hot bed of corruption and is breathing indiscipline and perverse notions about religion, morality and religious teachings of whim a sad mockery is being made.
- 5. That I am aware of a deep resentment amongst Members of all communities with regard to the Mandli which is rightly regarded as a menace to public peace and domestic happiness and unless it is immediately closed down, very serious consequences will follow thereafter.
- Sd/- K.N. Manek
- Identified by me
Solemnly affirmed before me at Karachi this 24th February 1939.
- Before me
- First Class Magistrate, Karachi.
I, Hasmatrai Vishindas, Merchant residing in Hyderabad Sind, state on solemn affirmation as followers:-
- 1. That I am a Merchant doing my business at Hyderabad Sind.
- 2. That I was introduced to Om Mandli by my wife Shrimat Gopibai on my return from abroad and became its Member on this representation that there was a great Gian therein.
- 3. That subsequently I found Lekhraj styled himself as "Krishna" and God and the inmates of the Mandli as "Gopis".
- 4. That in my presence I found him running down the Granth Sahib and other Hindu Scriptures.
- 5. That I have seen Lekhraj taking all sorts of liberties with the girls in Om Mandli including embracing, kissing, dancing, sporting with their .............. which indeed is contrary to the morals of any Society.
- 6. That I have seen girls and ladies going in trance when Lekhraj stared at them and the girls consequently faling into unconsciousness.
- 7. That feeling disgusted I asked my wife to stop visiting Mandli but she declines and on the contrary left me and went and stayed with her mother who herself was a Member of the Mandli.
- 8. That since then my wife refused to render conjugal rights to me and has gone and lived in the Mandli.
- 9. That I actually hold letters of Lekhraj address to me wife instigating her to leave my protection and go over to his Mandli and live with him.
- 10. That is the Mandli is not immediately banned, it is bound to have tremendous effect of the Society and consequently a danger to public peace.
- Sd/- Hashmatrai Vishindas
- Karachi, 23rd February 1939.
- To, Honourable, The Chief Minister
- Sind Secretariat
We, the following Members of the Sind Legislative Assembly, with to state the following for your earnest and favourable considerations:-
The "Om Mandli" is an institution about the activities of which very disquieting disclosures have been made in the Courts of Law and also in the Press and on the Platform. These disclosure have greatly agitated the public all over Sind. Apart from this, you are well aware that the "Om Mandli" is seemingly an educational institution where education imparted is of such a perverted nature that under its influence pupils, both major and minor refuse to recognize their parents and relatives and absolutely decline to go to them. This has resulted in disruption of the homes and if this state of affairs is allowef to continue, it is sure to effect social structure of our province. The evil influence of this institution, though at present mostly confined to one community, is likely to spread to other communities also as its portals are open to all.
We are anxious to bring to your notice that the public are so agitated over this matter that there is likelihood of its serious consequences if no effective action is taken to end this evil without delay.
We, therefore, strongly urge, in the interests of the well-being of the society and domestic happiness that immediate action be taken by Government against the "Om Mandli" to put an end to this evil.
- We remain,
- Your most obedient servants
- Signed by a large number of
- Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Orders against the Om Mandli under Section 144 Cr. P.C.
The Sind Government Gazette March 1939
Order under Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code.
- (1) Jasoti wife of Jagumal
- Om Mandli and Om Nivas
- (2) Om Radhe daughter of Pokardas
- Om Mandli and Om Nivas
Whereas it has been made to appear to me that you go to and visit the premises occupied at Marachi by the Om Mandli and Om Nivas.
And whereas in view of the facts herein-after set out I consider that the directions herein contained are likely to prevent disturbance to the public tranquility and that speedy remedy is desirable.
Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1989, I hereby order you to abstain from going to or visiting that premises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by the institutions commonly known as Om Mandli and Om Nivas and from admitting or causing to be admitted any female inmates of the said institutions to any place where are or may for the time being.
This order shall remain in force for fourteen days from the date of its service.
Statement of material facts
The Om Mandli and Om Nivas were started at Hyderabad by Bhai Lekhraj Khubchand Kirpalani, some three years back. In 1938, an agitation was started against the Om Mandli and Om Nivas by the Members of the Bhaibund Community on account of the teaching given therein and the influence to which the inmates of those institutions who were mostly young, were subject to. In August 1938, proceedings were instituted against some Members of the Om Mandli and some of their Opponents under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The proceedings against the former were quashed and those against the latter are still pending.
The Om Mandli and Om Nivas were thereafter shifted to Karachi and Bhai Lekhraj Khuchand also same over to stay here. Some of the girls who had left the Om Mandli gave evidence in the case under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. These witnesses made serious allegations against the character of Bhai Lekhraj and they stated that the inmates of the Mandli were to believe that there is no difference between males and females and that whatever was done by them inside the Mandli was devoid of all sin. They also stated that married women were asked not to associate with their husbands while the children were advised to avoid their parents. It was alleged that Bhai Lekhraj impersonates Sri Krishna, calling the female inmates as his Gopis and that the arrogates to himself the powers and attributes of Godhood. It was further stated that the inmates, both young and old, were put into a trance by hypnotic of occult influences.
The President of the Om Mandli, Om Radhe, was also examined in this case. She stated that all the males and females residing in the Mandli fell in a trance and that Bhai Lekhraj kisses and embraces the girls as their spiritual father. The disclosures made during the trial of this case further inflamed the public mind and an application was made to Government requesting that action should be taken under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908.
Government have appointed a Tribunal to enquire into certain matters touching the Om Mandli and Om Nivas. The Hindu Community is very much exercised over the situation and feeling is running very high. There is thus every likelihood that unless some speedy rememdy is taken and Bhai Lekhraj and other males are prevented from visiting the Om Mandli and Om Nivas or meeting the inmates of the institutions, the public tranquility will be seriously threatened.
Given under my hand and seal of the Court, this 23rd day of March 1939.
District Magistrate Karachi
Order under Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code.
"(1) Lekhraj son of Khubchand
- (2) Atu G. Advani
- (3) Murtan alias Rishi
Whereas it had been made to appear to me that male persons come to and visit the premises occupied at Karachi by the Om Mandli and Om Nivas.
And whereas in view of the facts hereinafter set out I consider that direction herein contained is likely to prevent disturbance to the public tranquility and that speedy rememdy is desirable.
Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on my by Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1989, I hereby order you to abstain from admitting or causing to be admitted into the premises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by the institutions commonly known as Om Mandli and Om Nivas any male visitor or male member of the said institutions.
This order shall remain in force for fourteen days from the date of its service.
Statement of material facts
Note:- These 2 orders were extended subsequently to a further period.
"The Sind Government Gazette May 4, 1939 "Order under Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code "No. C-55/39
- (1) Jasoti wife of Jagumal
- Om Mandli and Om Nivas
- (2) Om Radhe daughter of Pokardas
- Om Mandli and Om Nivas
Whereas an order has been issued by me under Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, on 18th April 1939, directing you to abstain from admitting or causing to be admitted into the premises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by the institutions commonly known as Om Mandli and Om Nivas any male visitor or male member of the said institutions.
And whereas the said order which contains a statement of material facts on which it is based was served on you 23rd March 1939 at 11-15 P.M.
And whereas while the aforesaid order expires on 1st May 1939, the circumstances leading to it continue to exist.
Now therefore in exercise of the power conferred on me by section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, I hereby order you to abstain from admitting or causing to be admitted into the premises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by the institutions commonly known as Om Mandli and Om Nivas any male visitor or male member of the said institutions.
This order shall remain in force for fourteen days from the date of its service.
Given under my hand and seal of the Court, this 1st day or May 1939.
- No: 249-11 H (s)
- Government of Sind
- Home Department (Special)
- Sind Secretariat, Karachi
- 24th March 1939
- I. H. Taunton Esq: W.C.S
- Chief Secretary to the Government of Sind
- To, The President
- Om Mandli
Subject: Appointment of Tribunal to inquire into the "Om Mandli" affairs.
I am directed to inform you that the Tribunal appointed to inquire into matters connected with the Om Mandli will hold its first sitting on Monday, the 27th March 1939 at 11-0 A.M. in the chamber of the Honourable Mr C. M. Lobo (Charles Manuel, assistant public prosecutor for the Crown), at the Secretariat. It is not intended to record evidence at this preliminary sitting but to decide upon the procedure to be followed in the inquiry.
I am therefore to request you to make it convenient to be present at the time and place abovementioned along with such representatives, other than legal practitioners, as you may desire to assist you.
- Sd/- I.H. Taunton
- Chief Secretary to Government.
Before the Honourable Judges of the Tribunal appointed to inquire into the affairs of the Om Mandli.
Statement of the Panchayat Committee
1. we may be permitted at the outset to briefly trace the history of the Om Mandli Institution, its growth and activities and then state our case on the three issues set out in the reference before the Honorable Judges.
2. Some 2 1/2 to 3 years ago one Bhai Lekhraj Khubchand aged about 52 who had retired from his jeweller's business at Calcutta set up a satsang in his house which he called Om Mandli where it was said that divine knowledge would be imparted to girls mostly, which neither his occupation nor his education or his anticedents fitted him for. He train some young girl disciples. to give sermons to visitors and also initiate them in what was called "Gian" i.e. self realisation by putting himself of his girl disciples and the seeker alone into a closed room for hours together from day to day.
3. As the Institution developed and its aims and objects gradually known, there was general criticism in the local papers and Bhai Lekhraj views on social topics and religion were challenged but Bhai Lekhraj avoided any honest or straight discussion and maintained a solid silence.
4. About this time last year when things had reached a serious stage because of a very large number of complains, a general meeting of the Public was called at Hyderabad and a Committee of prominent people was appointed to investigate into the complains received and the evils alleged. The Committee after a large number of sittings where many statements of those who had attended the Mandli and were its Members and had authentic knowledge of the Mandli affairs were recorded. On the basis of this, Bhai Lekhraj was interviewed twice by the Committee but failed to secure any satisfactory response from him. The Committee then after due deliberations arrived at the following conclusions:-
- a. Under the guise and outside veneer of high sounding philosophy, a systematic ridicule of Hindu Sacred Books was going on with a view to infuse and spread disrespect and contempt for the faith/
- b. Places of worship and prayer like temples and churches were being dubbed as bedlams and the worshippers as fools and priest and preachers stigmatised as hypocritical charlatans and the poor girls and women were duped into the belief that salvation could only be attained through him and the Mandli and that too within one week.
- c. That Bhai Lekhraj was a master hypnotist who has infused this art in some of the girl disciples also and with its aid carried women and children with weak minds into trances and thus brought them under his sway and hallucinated them into the belief that Dada Lekhraj was Lord Krishna and the girls his Gopis and that the history of Mahabharat was repeating itself. With these ideas Bhai Lekhraj played upon their fancies, sported with them and outraged all canons of decency and decorum.
- d. By the aid of his Black Art he rendered girls unconscious and in that state of insensibility, some screamed, some laughed uproaringly and some wept and wailed, hailing Bhai Lekhraj as Lord Krishna. They would then go and embrace him and hug him, their vision having been blurred and judgment between right and wrong warped.
- They looked pale and anaemic and in short Bhai Lekhraj was bringing the disease of hysteria amongst them.
- e. He taught them to defy parents and guardians and to set at naught their advice, force their permission and failing that to run away to him.
- f. He constantly dinned and literally hammered into the minds of married women disciples to deny their husbands conjugal rights calling them as lustful dogs and demons and only fit to be beaten and kicked if they asked for their marital rights.
5. The situation was accentuated when some married women refusing to live with their husbands as formerly gave them their voluntary consent to re-marry. Thereupon the husbands approached the Panchayat for permission to re-marry as otherwise monogamy is a recognised custom among the Sind Hindus. The Panchayat refused and called upon Bhai Lekhraj to restore them their wives. He refused to do so and this created great excitement amongst the public at large. Bhai Lekhraj shifted his Mandli to a place outside the town proper, which he had recently built and called it as Om Nivas where to deceive the public and to conceal his real purpose and show himself as an Educationist and Social Reformer he opened a school and a boarding house. At this time a memorial signed by hundreds of people was submitted to the District Magistrate of Hyderabad invoking Government help, copy of which is submitted herewith (Ex. A). Through his intervention a settlement, though not to the satisfaction of the public, was arrived at by the Mandli in the following manner:-
- a. That the Mandli and Sat-Sang was to be thrown open only and exclusively to women and girls;
- b. That they had to obtain newly written consents of parent and guardians;
- c. That any education calculated to loosen the social fabric of the bonds of family life or disrupt peaceful homes will not be given.
6. This agreement was not all observed by the Mandli and things were just the same or worse than before. The Committee then started a campaign of peaceful persuasion in front of the Mandli where, with folded hands, the visitors were requested not to set at naught the Mandli's solemn undertaking. But this was all in vain and the protest was given up. After this the public of Hyderabad started picketing the Mandli premises and the District Magistrate of Hyderabad of Hyderabad, apprehending breach of peace, applied Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code against promoters, the proceedings of which are still pending before the City Magistrate, Hyderabad. Copies of defence evidence are attached herewith (Ex: B). At this time about October last 1938 Bhai Lekhraj migrated to Karachi due to public outcry and set up his institution there. Several girls, both minor and major from Hyderabad, were made to run away to him without the permission of the parents or guardians. Some of these were restored after weeks and months of separation either through the persistent pressure of the parents or guardians or by Criminal Courts, proceedings of which are still pending, or through the good offices of the Honourable Chief Minister. Finally in response to the great excitement among the people a memorial was sent to the Government (Ex: C) with the result that the Government have been pleased to set up this Tribunal to go into the matter with three specific terms of reference about which we beg to state as follows.
1. Improper and unhealthy influences in the Institution
This is proved by:
- a. Trances which are brought among young girls, women and weak-minded men by some mysterious process of hypnotism or black art which brings about hallucinations, wrong ideas of religion and God, breaking up of nerves affecting their health. His hypnotic influence is so great that the women take of their valuable ornaments at this bidding.
- b. Deceiving people by false pretences that he will give them salvation within a week which can be had nowhere else - neither by prayer nor by austerities nor any other means nor so quickly "while you wait" He boasts that he has acquired this power of imparting "Gian" for the benefit of the humanity after great trouble by spending several thousands of rupees. It is a potent fact that no true "Gian" can be bought in the market. What he has really bought is some hypnosis or some other mystic, sinister and perverted yogic power which easily affects weak and susceptible minds. His Satsang is a ruse to gather the company of young girls and women about him, making them believe the he is God Incarnate.
- c. Imparting of "Gian" (self realisation) by young girls to youthful visitors closeted alone for hours together. This is a temptation which is unhealthy and undesirable and many young men visit the Mandli purely on account of this sex attraction.
- d. Residing together of women and men of impressionable age with wrong notions of marriage.
- Even amongst of foreign denominations whose civilisation is different such congregation is not allowed; hence how much so is this promiscuous living together fraught with danger to our society.
- e. Influencing the inmates of the Institution not to give out information or to leave the place by secret signs, injunctions and admonitions and threats.
- This is done with a view to deceive the public as to what is really going on inside the Institution. A belief is created amongst the inmates that if they divulged the secrets of the Mandli or ran away or if by means of Courts parent secured them, the fate had so designed that they would be brought back to the Mandli and they shall have to pay for their infidelity. This has infused dread in their minds.
- f. Women and girls are influenced or duped to remain in the Mandli by all sorts of luxuries Bhai Lekhraj supplies them with rich food, appetising sweets, fruits, scented soups, pastes, perfumes, clothes and beautiful beds all free. Then he has cars and buses to give them joy rides. Their days pass in eating, enjoying and making merry with no work to do. It is not surprising therefore that the girls which have such comforts and company feel miserable on return home until they get habituated again to their normal life after the influences are warded off.
- g. Bhai Lekhraj uses a sort of magnetic antimony on the inmates which draws them to him and affects their senses. At no educational institute or religious Sat-Sang, use of this special antimony prepared or adulterated by him with is encouraged or urged. Seldom is an inmate without it. It is suspected that this stuff has something to do with hypnotism which is worked through the eyes.
II. Teaching as subversive of the morals and good conduct
This is proved by:-
- a. Inmates are taught to disobey their parents and not to listen to their advice and to start a campaign of implacable revolt to compel them to give permission to visit the Mandli. Inmates when restored to their parents go without food for days together and when at last they are pinched by hunger they take their own food cooked by themselves out of moneys sent to them by Lekhraj. For days they continually wail refusing to take bath or tie up their hair until the poor parents are moved to give them permission to go, however so unwillingly and reluctantly.
- b. Married women are enjoined not to offer conjugal rights to husbands and even permit the latter to remarry on the please that they have not realised their self. Apart from the fact that this has broken up erstwhile peaceful homes and made the contented life of a husband and a wife miserable it has produced prejudice amongst the public in respect of unmarried girls in the Mandli and likely grave apprehension with their parents for their future disposal in marriage if they continued to live therein.
- c. The so called school is merely a name where no education of any sort to improve their body and mind is given. Instead wrong notions of marriage and child-birth are inculcated amongst girls of tender age. It is not a fact as alleged that husbands are brutal or so lustful and inconsiderate that they would demand conjugal rights of a weak or sick wife. It is a false excuse especially taught to defy their husbands however humane and reasonable they may be. Bhai Lekhraj does not want the affections to be transferred to any one but himself.
- d. The founder of the Institutions Bhai Lekhraj and his disciples indulge in vile abuse against the community, the Committee Members, parents and use filthy language towards them and thus bring about utter contempt for them.
- e. Bhai Lekhraj abuses Holy Scripture and inculcates hatred for Hindu religion so that the girls when they go home to their parents and guardians they hurt the feelings and religions sentiments of their relations and create quarrels and bad fellow feelings.
- f. Bhai Lekhraj's teachings are blasphemous in respect of God and border on rank atheism.
It is proved by:-
Bhai Lekhraj either through hypnotism or some other uncanny influence or wrong teaching brings about such a perverted state of mind among the inmates that the girls bathe with or before him half-naked without feeling abashed. Under probably the belief that he is divine, the women and he indulge in premiscuous kissing, hugging, dancing, and sleeping together and all this is offensive and immoral socially according to Hindu ideals. With us even sitting alone with women folk, be they relations, is not proper. But Bhai Lekhraj has caused his women inmates to lose all sense of modesty and shame and under the garb that he is their Dada, Baba and even God he sits in their laps, sports, with their bodies, sleeps together under the same cover and even creates jealousies amongst them.
- Karachi Sd/- MANGHARAM
- 30th March 1939 Chairman
Notification by the Government of Sind
The Sind Government Gazette
Karachi, Thursday May 18th 1939
Notification by the Government of Sind
Home Department (Special)
Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th May 1939.
No: 249/3-H (S). Whereas the Governor of Sind is of opinion that the association at present known by the name of Om Mandli and Om Nivas constitute a danger to public peace.
Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (XIV of 1908), the Governor of Sind is pleased to declare that the said association whether continuing under the same of allied names or ostensibly dissolved and purporting to operate or work through or under any specified person, and every branch thereof established, maintained, operating or working in any place or area within the Province of Sind are unlawful associations within the meaning of Section 15 of the said Act.
- By Order of the Governor of Said
- I.H. Taunton
- Chief Secretary to Government
The Sind Government Gazette
Karachi, Thursday May 20th 1939
Notification by the Government of Sind
Home Department (Special)
Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th May 1939.
No: 249/3-H (S)
Whereas in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (XIV of 1908,) the Governor of Sind has by notification No: 249/3-H (S) dated 18th May 1939, declared the association at present known by the names of Om Mandli and Om Nivas to be unlawful associations.
And whereas it appears to the Governor of Sind that the premises occupied or described in the schedule hereto annexed (hereinafter called the said premises) are used for the purposes of the said unlawful associations.
Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by sub sectio (1) of section 17-A of the Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (XIV of 1908), the Governor of Sind is hereby pleased to notify the said places for the purpose of said Act.
Name or description of Association Name or description of place Om Mandli Two storyed building (ground floor and first floor) without-houses on Victoria Road known as "Belle Vue" owned by Setif Tayabji Lotia. Om Mandli Two storyed building (ground floor and first floor) without-houses on Victoria Road known as "Faiz-E-Hussaini Building" owned by Faiz-E_Hussain Trust. Om Mandli A separate ground floor block in the compound of the building of the "Belle Vue" owned by Seth Tyahji Lotia. Om Nivas Two storeyed building (ground floor and first floor) with outhouses on Reay Raod hearing new Survey No. 10 sheet 8 and old Survey No. 25, sheet F-11 at present in charge of Official Assignee, Judicial Commissioner's Court, Karachi.
- By order of His Excellency the Governor of Sind
- I. H. Taunton
- Chief Secretary to Government
The Sind Government Gazette
Karachi, Thursday May 24th 1939
Notification by the Government of Sind
Home Department (Special)
Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 24th May 1939.
No: 249/3-H (S)
In Government notification, Home Department (Special) No: 249/3-H (S) 20th May 1939, notifying certain premises used by the Om Mandli and Om Nivas insert the world "Karachi" after the following words appearing in the second column of the schedule appended to the said notification.
- (1) Victoria Road
- (2) Victoria Road
- (3) "Belle Vue"
- (4) Reay Road
- By order of His Excellency the Governor of Sind
- I. H. Taunton
- Chief Secretary to Government
- The Chief Minister
- Government of Sind
- Subject: Banning of Om Mandli and Om Nivas
On behalf of the Anti Om Mandli Committee, I have the honour of referring to your Notification No 249 3-H (S) dated 20th May 1939 declaring the association known by the name of Om Mandli and Om Nivas as constituting danger to the public peace and as such unlawful associations within the meaning of S. 13 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and to state that while my Committee expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Government for issuing the above order, it is grieved to find that as yet no definite steps have been taken by the Government to put its order into force which is being flagrantly violated by the principles members of the Om Mandli and Om Nivas.
It is needless for my Committee to recount here the facts which led to the agitation in the Hindu public of Sind in general and the Bhaibund Community of Hyderabad in particular, ultimately resulting in the issue of the above notifications, as the Government are already well aware of the same. It was as early as in May last that the above said associations were declared unlawful and surprising as it may appear, that Mr Lekhraj and Shrimati Radha have inspite of the order of the Government, banning the said associations, carried on their nefarious designs with impunity.
Although Government were pleased to notify the 4 premises mentioned in the schedule attach to Notification dated 20th May 1939, one of these very premises namely Belle Vue on Victoria Road continues to be retained by Mr. Lekhraj for unlawful purposes and still more that he has hired other bungalows in which rest of his disciples are housed. As an instance bungalow N. 3 on Clifton Bridge bears the signboard of Om Radhe where number of the inmates of the Om Mandli have been seen time again meeting for the same old purposes. Similarly, Bungalow No: 1 which is opposite the Bungalow No: 3 and yet another bungalow on Adam Road on the left side of the Bridge known as "Silver Nest" owned by Mr. B.T. Thakur of the Central Bank of India Karachi. My Committee regrets to observe that no less than 17 girls and 45 males are residing in the said bungalow contrary to the express order of Government contained in their notifications above.
It would be interesting to observe that the girls and women of Om Mandli have been constantly seen moving about in the old white bus belonging to Mr Lekhraj and in fact mess together in a common kitchen, thereby openly flouting the lawful authority of the Government.
While Government were pleased to direct the confiscation of funds belonging to the said unlawful associations and have issued a communique warning the landlords against letting on hire any premises to the above associations, still in effect it is found that the communique is honoured more in its breaches than in its obsvervance.
The Secretary of the Anti Om Mandli Committee has filed an affidavit incorporating the above facts before the District Magistrate and requested for action to be taken against the delinquents for willfully disobeying the orders and directions issued by the Government but my Committee is very much disappointed to find that the machinery of the Government is moving at a snail's speed and virtually tolerating the prans of the organizers of the unlawful associations without bringing the offenders to book. Copy of affidavit is attached herewith for perusal marked "A".
Attention is respectfully invited to the provisions of Criminal Law Amendment Act whereby Government are invested with powers to make orders effective of execution and in particular I would refer to S. 17 (1) and (2) of the said Act whereby persons responsible for carrying out the objects of associations declared to be unlawful are liable to punishment. Under S. 17 (a) Cr. L. A. Act, the District Magistrate has the power to take over possession of notified places and evict thereform any person found therein.
My Committee is confident that the Government will give its earnest consideration to the grievances of public, vindicate their rights and take suitable action against the defaulters who have wilfully disobeyed the directions issues to them. Such associations must be put down with a strong iron hand and in the interests of public good, they must be uprooted without any further delay and therefore request that Government will be pleased to devise ways and means to remedy the evils which are cutting at the very roots of the loyal and law abiding Hindu Community, at their earliest convenience.
- Thanking you.
- I have the honour to be
- Your most obedient servant
- Dated 31st August 1939.
Appointment of the Tribunal
Terms of reference and conditions of the Tribunal consisting of 2 High Court Judges, the Honourable Mr. C.M Lobo and the Honourable Dewan Bahadur Kaloomal Pahlumal appointed by the Government of Sind.
- 1. 1. Whether persons residing in or visiting the Om Mandli or Om Nivas are subjected to any improper or unhealthy influence. If so, what is the nature and effect of these influences.
- 2. Whether the teachings given in the On Mandli and Om Nivas is subversive of moral and good conduct.
- 3. Whether any improper practises are indulged in these institutions.
- 2. The proceedings of the Tribunal shall be held in camera.
- 3. Parties shall not be allowed to appear by a Legal Practitioner.
Some letters in Press and a few Editorials of important daily Papers of Sind
Some letters in Press and a few Editorials of important Daily papers of Sind.
The Cult of "Om Mandli" against Vedic principles
Recently press comments have appeared in various newspapers about the Founder of "Om Mandli" and his cult. By reading these comments, one, well versed in the highest Hindu Vedic Philosopher, find that neither the Founder has made his cult clear to the Public, nor the papers have thoroughly understood his cult. The Indian Social Reformer has to some extent grasped it, but not to the full extent. Most papers do not know the aim and object of the Founder: for their enlightenment and that of the Public, India as well as Foreign, I make an effort to make clear his cult.
None can deny the fact that highest Vedic Philosophy, called Upanishad-Vidya, expounded in Sanskrit, can not be understand, much less realised, by ordinary man, who has not discarded from the objects of senses. In order to understand that Upanishad-Vidya, the Ancient Great Indian Philosophers propounded five schools of through which with Vedanta-Darishan, make complete set of six philosophy_the unity with Brahman, which difficult is confirmed by hundreds of verses both in Bhagvat Gita and Upanishads.
The very first Sutra (aphorism) of Brahman-Sutras, enjoins the control of speech, control of senses, control of mind, control of Prana (vital airs), control of body and lastly practise of Samadhi (voidness of all activity-mental and material). This is the cult of Vedas and Bhagvat Gita. But how does this self-styled Masiah (sic), the Founder of "Om Mandli" Lekhraj style Samadhi? He says there is no necessity of these means, and Samahdi can be achieved without it; how? by hypnotising a man. He used his hypnotising powers on women and girls, who having no will power to resist, fall pray to it, by becoming unconscious, life less and pale and at time subject to shrieks and thus come under his clutches the more when, after the effects of hypnotism subside, he tells them that now, "you have become one with Brahaman", That is how he deceives them. At the time he preaches them with unity of Brahaman, he tells them to fix their gauze into his eyes without twinkling (unheard of in any religion or any sect of it). That is the secret of initiating his women disciples to the kingdom of God. After they are thus initiated to God-hood,, he tells them "now that you have become God, you must abstain from co-habiting with your husband".
Though he counts about two hundred women as his disciples, most of his ill fated lot, which is doomed to destruction, bears near or distant relationship to him. The males are about a dozen. these women having caught the infection, have carried their nefarious doctrine disease to their homes, have taken vow of celebacy with their husbands, some of them have one as far as they have given in writing to their husbands to go and take another wife they like. Thus ruination has spread in many families where peace and tranquilty resinged before.
There are other conditions prevailing in his Mandli which help him in decoying the women and girls. He has nearly emptied his well-earned treasure of two or three lacs in providing palatial comforts for his disciples; all attractive objects of five senses, sufficient to destroy disciple's discriminating power, are there: the luxuries of fine dressed to wear, costly scent, choice fresh and dried fruits, rich Indian Food three times a day, upto-date furnished rooms with carpets and cushions, motor-cars to take women around, are provided by him. All the four senses are satisfied to the full extent; only the fifth sense, called the "Upasthindriya" in Sanskrit remains, the forible denial of satisfaction of the fifth sense is impressed by this Mesiah. Does it fit in, I ask, with the natural instincts of human beings and does it appeal to common sense leaving aside the injunctions of the Vedas? Where would this poor fifth sense find its satisfaction, I leave it to the reader's conjecture; it being impossible to control the fifth without controlling the four.
Now in summing up the cult of this Mesiah, I once more make clear that it stands against Hindu Vedic Doctrines. Scripture first propounded Karmic Theory (doing good actions) and make it to accumulate virtues. Then they advocate Upasana (meditation) of Sacred Syllable "OM" is order to make mind pure and free from sins o as to be capable to understand the theory on Unity with Brahaman and work it be practising after observing the means via tranquility, self restraint, Uparati (cessation of all worldly activity) patience in suffering, attention and concentration of mind. This New Awatar does not believe in Karmic Theory nor the Upasna of Om, on the contrary order his disciples to discard the two. True, he has given to his Society the name as Om Mandli, but that is only to deceive the public into the belief that his creed is associated with Vedic Doctrine, otherwise he would not prohibit Upasna.
Scriptures assert that a man attains realisation after innumerable births; but this Lekhraj says that man can attain realisation in an instance. Simple look into my eyes I shall send you into Samadhi and you become one with Brahaman:
SIND OBSERVER dated December 3, 1939
THE "OM MANDLI"
we have studiously avoided taking part in the controversies connected with the Om Mandli of Hyderabad, now in Karachi. The present writer has not even seent he face of Dada Lekhrak nor did he visit at any time the Om Mandli either in Karachi or at Hyderabad. He is a disinterested spectator of events upto-now although some news about the Mandli has been published in this journal time to time as in any other newspaper.
We are not at present much concerned with the cult and the teachings of Bhai Lekhraj who, it is said, considers himself to be a Sri Krishna imparting spiritual knowledge to the girls called "Gopis" surrounding him.
It may be he is leading a revolt against some of the pernicious social customs and practices prevailing amongst the Bhaibund community. But a social reformer need not style himself as a modern Sri Krishna nor should he have an exclusive attachment of women devotees, most girls of tender years and of marriageable age who should have other guardians and care takers than this Bhai Lekhraj.
A Teacher of women
He himself revealed no promise of being a teacher of mankind till very recently, all his life-he must be over 55 years life of age-being spent making money in the market place. He was a successful businessman. The money he has gathered in business, he seem to be devoting to propagating his cult with himself as the centre of devotion and bestower of spiritual bliss.
It is noteworthy that women are attracted by his gospel more than men and that, too, women of his own community, and not of other communities. He probably knows how to play upon their feelings, and hypnotises them to believe what he preaches. we do not cast any aspersions on the purity of his personal character and the high-minded idealism of which he is possessed according to his admirers. But he must take care of those who gather round him and the girls.
A HARD HEADED BUSINESSMAN
But it is a dangerous game for one who has had no spiritual unfoldment, till he made some lakhs of rupees as hard-headed business and reached a fairly advanced age, to surround himself with young girls at an age when they should be married out and become mothers. It is siad that marriage and maternity are not encouraged by his institution nor are the girls being trained according to report, for a higher and noble occupation, which transcends all the urges of sex.
According to law women who have obtained majority-those wo are above 16 years of age-whether married of unmarried are mistresses of themselves and can act as they please. A married woman has duties towards her husband and children if any, but the law of restitution of conjugal rights has almost fallen into desuetude, and no court enforces a decree of this nature in these days against a recalcitrant wife.
Husbands are themselves left with the option of marrying another wife or to be without one, the first wife having played the jilt towards their husband on account of the teachings of the Om Mandli.
Minor Girls in the Mandli
What we are most concerned with in this connection is the asylum given to minor girls by Mr. Lekhraj, who have left the guardianship of their parents or closest relations. We have with us a list of ten girls between the ages of 12 and 15 who are int he Om Mandli and whose parents and guardians demand their return.
The matter has been reported to the police as they are minors; they have made some enquiries but no action has been taken because Bhai Lekhraj says that they are at liberty to go away, and there there is no compulsion exercised against them. It appears he is quite sure they will not leave him and his Mandli where they get better food, better clothing and better company of fellow girl students.
Some of these girls belong to the well-to-do families of Hyderabad and can be as comfortable at their home, but they have no intention of returning there. It is difficult to sustain a case of kidnapping and unlawful custody against the Dada because the inspection of the Om Mandli is open to all, and nobody is kept there against her will. Even if the girls are forced to go home, it is said they will run back to the Mandli.
They are cursing him
It is true that some mothers and father are cursing this Dada and a deputation of mother, deprived of their daughters, waited a few days ago upon the Chief Minister at Karachi. Unless it is proved that the Om Mandli is an undesirable institution, destructive of moramorals and a place of nuisance, the law seems powerless to reach it. And it is difficult to adduce such proof.
The Dada seems to posses the winning cards, as long as the girls are loyal to him, and as long as he has the money to run this institution, which must be fast depleting considering the style in which it is maintained.
We are not enamoured of this man either as a new Mesiah or as anybody having anything to teach. He has been able to bring under his hypnotic influence little girls out of their teens and made some of them the hot gospellers of his so called message.
BETWEEN YOU AND ME
THE DAILY MIRROR Wednesday 15th February 1939
Two Mass Meetings
During the last week-end I attended two mass meetings at Hyberabad-one convened by the local congress to educate and mobilize public opinion in favour of the States 'peoples' movement to secure representative administration and the other called by representatives of all Hyderabad Panchayats to voice their resentment against the Om Mandli. The first was a very modest performance. A few hundreds of people were present in the Holmsted Hall most of them loyal Congressmen who consider regular attendance at all congress meetings simply a matter of duty. Usual speakers, usual speeches, usual resolutions and usual applause.
The other meeting was something extra-ordinary in the comparatively placid town of Hyderabad. About two thousand and five hundred men and a couple of hundred of women drawn from all sections of the population who had attended it were moved and swayed by deeply felt sentiment of wrath against the Mandli. Time-old distinctions between Bhaibunds and Amils, stubborn divisions of castes and sub-castes were all forgotten and driven in back-ground before the common calamity which they sincerely believed was towering upon not only their own town but upon the whole province of Sind. Something drastic had got to be done and it appeared that the town had risen like one mand determined to do or die. There was unusual fire in the speeches, still more unusual fire and steel in the responses and applause. Unprecedented Unity.
Amongst them were parents, uncles and aunts, relative and friends of girls - scores and scores and scores of girls - who had been torn away from their bosoms against their will by some power, the mystery of which they had not hitherto been able to solve. In the ominous silence and the roaring responses that alternatively emanated from the audiences, I felt I was hearing pathetic sobs of helpless mothers and uncontrollable out-bursts of infuriated fathers and mothers. Congressmen had clasped hand with non-Congressmen, Samajists sat shoulder to shoulder with Sanatani Brahmans, old Sufis discussed common plan of action with parctical men of business. Prof. Jetham and Mukhi Mangharam Dr Chimandas and Maharaj Vishnu all singing the same war tune.
What is the significance of all this? A whole city, like one man, has concentrated upon the activities of a single individual. None has time or inclination to think of anything else. Om Mandli has got on their nerves. It sounds a ghost story from Arabian-Night but never-the-less it is true. One feels it is only when the city is free from the "infernal" spell of this Om Mandli (some called it Om Mandi (Market). Prof. Jethmal called it Om Khandli) that Hyderabad will be able to divert its energy and attention to some other useful and constructive pursuit.
My reader will not have an idea of the magnitude of the calamities until and unless he sees the mental agonies of the victims with his own eyes and hears what tortures their souls have gone through with his own ears from their lips.
Krishna and Kansa
By the courtesy of Mukhi Mangharam and his brave daughter who have voluntarily taken upon their shoulders to combat this mysterious influence, I had an occasion to meet two of the ex-inmates at the Mukhi's Residence in the Khatubund Lane just adjacent to the Hyderabad Om Mandli house. By the way I thought it was a remarkable coincidence that both the "kaliyugi Krishna" (Dada Lekhraj and the "Kansa" for Mukhi has been branded as such by the Dada) should have been norn in the same quiet by-lane opposite Parwarshah Jo Pir.
Tomorrow I will narrate at length what I heard from these two girls here. Before the harrowing tales which these girls divulged, the recorded evidence pale into mere insignificance. As some of the speakers in the Holmsted Hall meeting rightly remarked, it appears that the stories hitherto revealed are not only not exaggerated but simply understated.
Harmful to Public morals Institution of Om Mandli Government urged to intervene
SIND OBSERVER TUESDAY February 21st, 1939. _________________________ HARMFUL TO PUBLIC MORALS. _________________________ INSTITUTION OF OM MANDLI. _________________________ Government urged to intervene. _________________________
Spirited speeches condemning the institution of "Om Mandli" and the disastrous effect which the teachings of founder Dad Lekhraj had on religion and morality were made at a largely attended public meeting hall on Sunday evening at the Raachaugh Recreation Ground. Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of the Sind Provincial Congress Committee, presided.
The following resolution was adopted:--
- From the facts concerning the Om-Mandli which have now seen the light of day, through sources external as well as internal, this public meeting of the citizens of Karachi has been convinced that the activities which are being carried on within its precincts are absolutely harmful to public morals, have destroyed many homes and are undermining the very foundations of the Hindu Society. These activities have caused deep resentment in the minds of the people. This meeting therefore is emphatically of the opinion that these activities be immediately stopped and urges on the Government of Sind that immediate and effective measures be adopted to end them.
- After preliminary remarks by the President Dr: Choitram P. Gidwani who criticised the Mandli in severe terms, Mr D.D. Chowdhury moved the above resolution which was passed by the audience unanimously.
- Supporting the Resolution Mr Chowdhury said that the Om Mandli was responsible for the breakdown of so many happy homes and should therefore be stamped out by the Karachi public as was done by the public of Hyderabad.
Blot on Hinduism
"The Mandli was a blot on the great Hindu Community," said Mr H.S. Pamnani, M.L.A and quoted various religious couplets from ancient poets and philosophers, that the doctrine of Dada Lekhraj asking women to refuse conjugal rights to husbands was opposed to all the cannons of all religions. The evidence of the four girls in Hyderabad made their heads hang down in shame.
Mr. Karsondas Manek said Dada Lekhraj claimed to be Krishna. But, when the speaker went to Hyderabad to make inquiries he found this modern Krishna not believing in the ancient Krishna, nor in His teachings of the Gita.
This modern Krishna, unlike the ancient one, taught women to rebel against their husbands and treat them as dogs. Quoting Mahabharata, the said Lord Krishna had taught quite the opposite.
Must be driven out
Proceeding Mr. Manek said, what he heard from four minor girls in Hyderabad had convinced him that Dada Lekhraj should be driven out from the city overnight, in order to maintain the purity of religion and the sanctity of Hindu homes. The speaker said he had no doubt that Dada Lekhraj has some strange power by which he could maintain a right rigid hold over innocent girls.
Prof. Jethmal Parsram, pouring ridicule on the precepts of the Om Mandli, said he had failed to find anything like this cult throughout history.
He was also convinced that Dada Lekhraj has some power which was not drawn from yoga or any religion. It was animal power over powering innocence. So many ensauries were heaped in the Om Mandli, he said, that it could only be a house of sin.
He further said that in order to get the true evidence in the case against Dada Lekhraj the girls in the Om Mandli must be free from his influence.
Real test of power
Describing at length his experiences in the Mandli, Dr. Tarachand J. Lalwani said if the Dada had any real power he must let the hospital authorities perform the proposed operation upon him without the aid of chloroform. This would be the real test of his strange power.
He further recounted that in the Mandli's Sat-SAng men and women were made to sit opposite each other and songs based on the tunes of the latest cinema songs were played. Young men fell into a trance in these sat-sangs. In such an institution people went with motives other than religious, he opined.
Pandit Loknath and Seth Lokamal also made fervent speeches condemning the Mandli's doctrine of God-hood in a week.
Shrimati Kamala Hiranand in a critical and thoughtful speech, recounted what she had seen and heard about the Mandli. People got gyan and saw God in a week's time in Om Mandli, it was claimed. She said such a thing was absurd and ridiculous. Our ancient "Rishis" would not have wasted their lives if "gyan" were easy.
Describing the ways of the Mandli, she felt that the Dada was running the show of the Mandli for his own pleasures. She substantiated her opinion by describing what shameful scenes they had witnessed at Hyderabad when girls were found clinging to the clothes of Dada Lekhraj and crying in a trance for embracing Krishna. Apparently there were under some hypnotic influence. What sort of "sat-sang" or religion was this, she asked? She stress that is the Dada had given "gyan" to the girls, let him allow the girls to go out to their parents and spread the "gyan" instead of forcing the parents to make recourse to law.
Mr Shamdad Gidvani said that the Panchayat was God, and by defying it Dada Lekhra had defied God. Referring to the Maharaj Libel Case, he said the Mandli should be closed down, the sooner the better for the Hindu Community.
The meeting then concluded.
THE OM MANDLI
THE SIND OBSERVER Saturday February 25th 1939
If the Chief Minister of Sind uses his persuation with Mr. Lekhraj, said to be a very stubborn man, to hand over the girls and boys in his possession to their parents and guardians, whatever their age, the will certainly have achieved something for which the Hindus of Sind will thank Khan Bahadur Allahbux.
But we are of the opinion that it is only just a small matter. The entire institution must be banned and the Om Dada must be made to take his trial in the case pending before the City Magistrate of Karachi. There is no reason why those cases should not be proceeded with, whatever fate is in store for the Om-Mandli. If criminal acts have been committed, the criminal law must take its own course.
Mr. Lekhraj, inspite of his reputed hypnotic power and determined will, does not seem to posses enough courage to attend as witness in the case now going on before the City Magistrate of Hyderbad. The Civil Surgeon of Karachi certified him to be suffering from appendicitis, which subsequently appears to have turned into stone in the bladder.
Mr. Lekhraj is quite hale and hearty at present but will avoid appearing in the Hyderabad Court by all the strategems of pleaders and the certificates of doctors, for it will be derogatory to the "Lord Sri Krishna of Sind" to appear in a court of law presided by a mundane magistrate and to subject himself to cross examination at the hands of the willy pleaders, more willy than even a merchant like Lekhraj.
There should at no time be any question of any person in the Om Mandli being kept any longer under the custody of the guardianship of Mr. Lekhraj. He is entitled to have his wife and children. But all the rest must be sent to their homes by the Om Mandli being banned under the law.
We warn Government that public indignation with regard to the Om Mandli is at bailing point and it will be very unwise not to take some immediate drastic action to appease public feeling and soothe the lacerated hearts of parents and guardians who have boys and girls in this wretched home.
After the Om Mandli is abandoned, a problem presents itself to the leaders of the Hyderabad Bhaibund Community. Some of the small boys and girls of the Om Mandli have come from families and homes which can not afford the style of living to which they have been accustomed by the liberality of Mr. Lekhraj. There are many girls who are grown up, who probably wish to have some decent education to fit them up for life; and there are some widows and some women workers who are being supported from the purse of Mr. Lekhraj.
THE OM MANDLI - THE RAKE'S PROGRESS
THE SIND OBSERVER
dated Friday, February 24th 1939
According to the founder of the Om Mandli Mr Lekhraj, its activities are two-fold; educational and religious. Hyderabad having become too hot place for him any longer to live in, on account of the social opinion he has created against himself, Mr Lekhraj has transferred his activities to Karachi where he has hired two large bugnalows for the boarding and lodging purposes of the inmates of his Mandli. Their number is said to be in the neighbourhood of about 200 and all the heavy expenditure of running the Mandli is borne by Mr. Lekhraj from his own funds and the money and jewellery brought by women of the rich Bhaibund Community who have entered his Mandli.
The purely education activities of his Mandli are in their infancy and there is not such a thing as properly arranged classes with trained teachers and all those things associated with what is called regular educational institutions.
The Government of Sind can immediately depute a senior educational officer to ascertain what exactly is the secular education imparted in this Mandli and whether it is worth anything. This, it seems to us, is animportant point is as much as the impression is being sedulously created far and wide that boys, girls and grown ups are being trained here to fit them well in life and for good citizenship.
The Om Mandli has become notorious, not on account of its ordinary educational activitie, such as are generally associated with a boarding school for small boys and girls, but for what are its religious doctrines and activities. The public have had a glimpse of these activities from the evidence tendered by Om Radhe, the President of the Om Mandli, before the City Magistrate of Hyderabad in a case now going on before him. The main purpose of the Om Mandli according to her, is to impart Brahma Vidya (the knowledge of God) to its inmates. The Brahma who imparts it is Dada Lekhraj. He is the Living Incarnation of the Deity. He is sinless. He is more than a Prophet, the very God himself. Whatever he touches is sanctified whether the body or lips of women. The inmates of the Om Mandli, boys, girls and grown up women, wives, daughters-in-law, and daughters are above evil, above the impulses of sex as their association with and residence in the Om Mandli have made them spiritual beings, to whom the body is just a vehicle to house the God within; and whose daily sat-sang is to them the occasion of which they are and behave as Atmas or Souls, embracing and caressing one another and chiefly under their Gyan Guru or Father completely forgetful of the distinction of sex.
Om Radhe, a woman of 23, like several others, falls into trances and at that time pours forth Gyan or spiritual knowledge. And verily through the mouths of the babes of the Om Mandli their Gyan Father pours forth divine knowledge: Om Radhe has no objection to sit in the lap of Dada Lekhraj and to be hugged and caressed by him (if nothing worse happens) for his is her Gyan Father, the Incarnation of the Deity, who has led her from hell to heaven.
The evidence given by the Lady President of the Om Mandli in the Hyderabad Court is move than sufficient to damn the Om Mandli, its founder, its leading lights, and to compel the Government to close it down as an undesirable institution perverting the morals of men and women, disrupting families, alienating children from fathers and mothers and preaching to them the doctrines of hedonism in the guise of the Atma Gyan. The doctrine "I am God" preached by some school of Hindu religion, has been deliberate perverted to give a long rope to the inmates, the founder and the workers of the Mandli. As Members of the Mandli they are sinless; in their trances they are possessed of the spirit; and afterwards they are not responsible for their actions, even when they are immoral and hideous.
This man Lekhraj himself all his life a hard-headed Bhai bund businessman, suddenly receives light from heaven, converts himself into a Sri Krishna, surrounds himself with Gopies, feeds and dressed them well, separates them from their fathers, mothers and husbands, forbids conjugal relations, refused to allow little children to see their parents, much less does he hand them over to them, keeps them under strict control and custody like prisoners within walled enclosures, pours into their ears day in and day out an endless stream of perverse teachings, making them inebriates and having having thus got control over their reason and banished the sense of decency from them uses them as his toys, the Pied Piper of Hyderbad.
The innocent children in charge of this man will become victims of mental perversion and sexuality, which is a danger to Society. He can not be the Krishna all the time, for young and middle aged women Gopis for long. He has to die one da and these women, who are being brought up on such an erotic diet, will seek fresh Krishnas to lead the life of rakes. We therefore think that the rake's progress of the Om Mandli has to be immediately stopped by constituted authority.
If that is not done, we are afraid, the public will take the bit between their teeth and exhibit their indignation publicly of which the minister in charge of the law and order must take note.
If an institution is to be judged by the scamps that live ini t or make a living by it, there are some men in the Om Mandli, who have been attracted to it like birds of the same feather. We do not think that they are so over-powered by the "Holy Ghost" of Dada Lekhraj that within the twinkling of an eye they have transmuted themselves from base metal into gold. They are there for the money of Lekhraj and the good time they are having.
We are very sorry for the poor girls who are captives there. Their chance of a married and decent life will be nil if this Om Mandli continues any longer. No man has any right to keep a boy or girl or even a grown up girls, who has even reached the age of discretion against the wishes of their parents and guardians. The inmates of the Om Mandli being duped, talk of their father being Lekhraj, their own parents who gave them birth being strangers, whom they refuse to recongize. They are taught a few rotten lessons about Aham Brahma Asmi about Gyan, about their spiritual rebirth in the Om Mandli and other things which they repeat parrot-like.
The Government of Sind ought to bring pressure on Lekhraj to hand over immediately all the minor boys and girls in the Om Mandli to their parents and guardians, and then force him to close down the institution for the sake of public peace and tranquility. We think he should also be advised to take a long voyage for about two years and thus save the girls from his hypnotic influence. His life has passed his meridian; but the future life of the grown up girls and little children in the Mandli is damned for ever. They can not always live in a state of trance or coma. They have to face and live life. They must be saved from this self styled father of theirs and saved from their erotomania.
CLOSE DOWN OM MANDLI SADHU VASWANI PLEADS AGAIN
THE SIND OBSERVER
Dated Friday March 10th 1939
Sadhu Vaswani has issued the following statement:-
"Sinister reports against satyagrahs; don't trust them. Put them in the waste paper basket; they come from a tainted source.
The Satyagrahis held street meetings yesterday in the Old town to organise for the coming march on the Secretariat on Saturday. At the "Om Nivas" there as a big crowd last evening; a satyagrahi volunteer was there and there sat the heroic young man__thin in body but strong in will power, Ghanshyam who has resolved to fast to death if the Mandli is not closed down. The police made no arrests on Tuesday though the law was broken by the Satyagrahis, as procession marched to the Om Nivas without police permit. And there were no arrests yesterday.
"I expect there will be arrests on Saturday where there will be a march on the Secretariat. The march will be a breach of Government Orders. I and some other satyagrahis will offer ourselves for arrest. The arrest will be the first stop to the success of Satyagrahs. When the arrests are made, let the public be true to the teachings of satyagraha; let all behave with self-control. Satyagraha triumphs in prison. Government in Sind still believe in force; the Satyagrahi relies on the Higher Power which no force can conquer.
"The Premier's pleading in favour of the Om Mandli as reported by the A. P. is an insult to the ideals and intelligence of the Hindu Community. The Premier takes his stand on the plausible plea of democratic freedom of an association and argues as though politics and social morality have nothing to do with each other. Surely a true democracy respects the voice of public opinion. The Mandli is anti social for it breaks down homes and human values and human rights. Surely it is parents who must teach their children the way of living; no outsider__Bhai Lekhraj or any other individual can take away the parent's rights. The family is the basis of civilisation and this Mandli has proved a breaker of families. The Mandli is a cordon against Hindu homes and an insult to Sri Krishna and the Hindu Rishis' ideal and the sacred teaching of "OM". Would the Premier be allowed to tolerate for a day a Mandli which would insult the Prophet of Islam as the Om Mandli is insulting Sri Krishna every day? Here in the Mandli is an ordinary mortal impersonating as Sri Krishna and giving to young impressionable girls and credulous women a teaching which means disruption of homes and democracy, the three are one' and this agitation against the Om Mandli is also a movement for purified democracy and true freedom.
"My Countrymen. This Mandli has thrown many girls and women into the abyss. The Premier's pleading is not a plan for freedom but a call to race suicide. Let us be aware lest liberty turns into license. Let us not forget that the guide to freedom is the great Gospel of Social Morality. You can not save freedom by selling the souls of girls and women. Save democracy, I say, by closing down the Mandli without delay."
TRIBUNAL OF INQUIRY FOR OM MANDLI GOVERNMENT SOLUTION TO END IMPASSE
THE SIND OBSERVER
dated Friday March 10th 1939
The "Sind Observer" understands on good authority that the Minister after prolonged deliberation yesterday have decided to appoint a Tribunal of three Judges to go into the various allegation that have been made against the Om-Mandli and thus find a solution for ending the present impasse.
Personnel of Tribunal
The Tribunal will be an executive tribunal of inquiry and will record evidence by both the parties and head their case. Its personel is not yet definitely known but it is gathered that it will consist of High Court Judges and the names of Mr. Rapchand Bilaram, Retired Judge, and for some time Judicial Commissioner's of Sind Mr C.M. Lobo and Mr Weston, two of the present Judges of Judicial Commissioner's Court are being mentioned as likely Members of this Tribunal.
A full Cabinet meeting was held, it is further learnt at the Government House in the morning at which all Ministers except Mr. Dialmal who is on tour were present. The Cabinet meeting is believed to have devoted a good deal of time to consideration of the Om Mandli tangle.
The Government have tkaen the decision to appoint a Tribunal following upon an application made by Mr. Khanchand Gopaldas, Advocate, and four others, urging the Government to take action against the Om Mandli under Section 19 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. The evidence given by seven girls who were formerly inmates of the Om Mandli in the security proceedings case which is now proceeding at Hyderabad in connection with the affairs of the Mandli was filed along with the application and further some affidavits were also enclosed to support it.
It is also learnt that on the receipt of the application, some enquiries were made by the Ministers in connection with the affairs of the Om Mandli. The Honorable Mr. Nihchaldas C. Vazirani, Minister for P.W.D. is reported to have also interrogated four of the seven girls, former inmates of the Om Mandli, who gave evidence at Hyderabad concerning the Mandli and cross examined them on their evidence.
It transpires that the ministers were not of the same minds among themselves as to the course of action to be taken.
It is believed that while Mr. Nihchaldas emphasised the importance of the evidence of the former inmates of the Mandli and the "affidavits" that had been filed along with the application and suggested that these constituted enough grounds for the Government to take action against the Mandli, other Ministers felt that to satisfy the dictates of justice, an impartial inquiry should be made into the various allegation that have been made regarding the affairs of the Om Mandli, before Government took any direct action.
CLOSED DOWN THE OM MANDLI
THE SIND OBSERVER
dated Saturday March 13th 1939
The Om Mandli Tribunal's report having been submitted to the Government some days ago, it is at present under the latter's consideration. A Press report attributed to the Chief Secretary to the Sind Government stated that Dada Lekhraj had been called upon to the show cause, if any, within seven days, why the Om Mandli should not be declared an unlawful association under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908.
This report has set in motion all those who are in the pay of Dada Lekhraj, pleaders, barristers, touts etc. who have been making money at his expense, to make a last desperate effort to save him and his Mandli from the inevitable fate in store for them, in view of the findings of the Tribunal going completely against his undesirable and immoral institution, which should be closed down in the public interest.
We should welcome the publication by Government of the evidence recorded and the findings at by the Tribunal so that the public of Sind might know what a poisonous institution, destructive of morality, decency, clean personal and family life and of natural parental relationship with children is children is being nursed in the midst of the people of Sind, which is to their shame and disgrace. It is well known that it is in the interests of the unmarried adult girls of the Om Mandli and many young women living there that the evidence was asked to be taken in camera so that their future may not be entirely blasted. After sometime things will pass into merciful oblivion, and those unmarried girls will have a chance of getting settled in life removed from the obnoxious influence of the super-hypnotists of the Om Mandli.
The Om Mandli may cease to exist and Bhai Lekhraj may run away to some place to hide his diminished head but the future of those girls recklessly and irresponsibly trained in the Om Mandli is a problem left for the Bhaibund Community--the bitter legacy of a man with a swollen head that he is the incarnation of Sri Krishna.
Dada Lekhraj and those in his pay are prepared to go any extent, spend any amount of money, spell further ruin on the future of the remaining inmates of the Om Nivas as long as there are pleaders to fight for them, and newspapers to publish their propaganda.
Here is no question of the ordinary rights of citizenship being infringed; here is a question of an immoral and unhealthy institution being immediately closed down for the sake of social purity.
To refuse to place their case before the Tribunal, when invited to do so with the full assurance of being provided with every reasonable facility required by the Om Mandli because conscience made cowards of its managers, and now to come forward to say that it is only a one-sided affair and therefore Government should not take any action (as does the "Daily Gazette") is like asking Government to abrogate its primary functions of safe guarding public morality by abolishing dens of vice masquerading as "Associations of God".
The Public of Sind are anxiously awaiting for the decision of the Government on the findings of the Om Mandli Tribunal and it is to be hoped it will be made known very soon.
A Thin Line
THE DAILY MIRROR
dated Thursday 18th May 1939
It is a very thin line that divides real genius from stark madness. Genius is self forgetful and so is madness. The only difference is that whereas lunacy forgets, completely and for all time, the very fact of this having forgotten, genius maintains intact the memory of things which it does not, or can not recollect, for the time being.
Om Radhe would have been a genious if she only she had crossed that thin line. Look at her infinite capacity for self forgetfulness. mark her wonderful tenacity of purpose. And above all, observe her reckless loyalty to and her unshakable belief in the "Dada". Let the whole of Sind with one voice denounce her man, she Om Radhe would go on believing in him as long as she lives. Even if Lord Krishna were to appear to her in person and tell her that Lekhraj is an imposter. I am quite sure, she would get the Lord turned out of the Nivas of hand him over to one of the Om girls to be initiated unto Brahma Vidya. Whatever may be the ultimate fate of Mr. Lekhraj's soul after it leaves the old Bhaibund body, whether it goes to purgatory or paradise. of Om Radhe. I can stand a guarantee for the soul of Om Radhe. For a faith such as hers though deplorably deluded-shall deserve a bette reward from her creator.
The Tribunal's award and the subsequent ultimatum of Sind Government appear to have left her undismayed. The findings of the two learned judges that "the women young and dold, boys and girls, of the Bhaibund Community have all taken leave of their senses and subjected themselves to hardships and persecution just to pander to the low desire of a well-known character and libertine of their community through the art of hypnotism evokes from Om Radhe only a short retort. The hypnotism, she is not tired of repeating for the thousandth time, is the hypnotism of Gyan, of love. Her logic is plain. Her syllogism is unchallengable. She argues in Barbara.
- Om Radhe is free from all sins and vice
- Om Mandli is Om Baba's projection.
- Therefore Om Mandli is free from sins and vice
She will not be told that her major premise may be substantially incorrect. Who, she will argue, is competent to pass a judgement upon Om Baba? Such a one must either be a gyani or an agyani. If he is a gyani, he will recognize the Braham in Om Baba; instead, if he slanders the Om Baba, why, surely, he must be an agyani_ and woe betake him. I don't think even Aristotle can argue with such a soul.
According to Om Radhe. Om Baba's sacrifice for the community is unparalleled in modern times. There at least I think I can prove to her to be wrong. The sacrifices of Lekhraj for the Bhaibund Community has a parrallel and that parallel is the sacrifice of Om Radhe.
Radhe's appreciation of Baba
Now hear what Om Radhe has to say for her Baba. His conception of women is not in terms of sex "writes she to the Sind Government but in terms of mother and daughter." You may smile a sceptic's and remind her of the kisses and embraces which the Om Baba is alleged to distribute so very lavishly amongst the fair members of the Mandli - but that will not confound her. They are expressions of parental or fraternal affection, she will argue and if you do not desire to be condemned as an agyani you have got to agree with her.
"The libertine" Om Radhe proceeds "is up against the unclean and sordid outlook of his Society-the cruelty of men to women, the mockery of their marital life, their low and premature customs, the hypocracies of their religion and the sinful atmosphere of their temples which makes them hang down their heads with shame before the civilized world". What a stupendous all-embracing programme. Why should the activities of such a great and religious reformer be interfered with only because, the Om Baba, and she Om Radhe have the honour to differ from the people and the Government of Sind about the interpretation and significance of trifles such as kisses and embraces.
A layman like my reader may ask which is the more important of the two. The stupendous programme of social and religious purification or kisses and embraces. And if the Om Baba has really made unparalleled sacrifices for the programme why does he not sacrifice kisses as well? Or is it kisses and embraces for which all this unparalleled sacrifices has been made.
OM MANDLI BANNED
THE SIND OBSERVER
Dated Friday May 19th 1939
The Om Mandli has been banned under Section 16th of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908 and the Government of Sind deserve thanks specially of the Hindu public for doing the right thing in accordance with their wishes. But for a few disgruntled people, well provided with funds by Dada Lekhraj, there is none among the Hindu community of Sind, so poor as to shed a tear for the fate that had overtaken the Om Mandli and the Om Nivas.
After the agitation had started and Hindu opinion asserted itself the Om Mandli became the dead self of its former self. Several inmates have left; some of them prominently associated with Dada Lekhraj have disappeared; and there hardly a few inmates left now. The sentence of death was first pronounced by Hindu Public opinion and it was carried out by the Government under the powers of law vested in them.
The existence of the Om Mandli became a source of public disquiet and disturbance of the peace. The Government had to enforce Section 144 and mount policemen on guard to preserve the peace. As this state of thing can not continue for long, Government appointed a Tribunal to investigate the affairs of the Om Mandli, and the report of the Tribunal was a documentary damnatory of the activities of Dada Lekhraj and his associates. It was found to be an unhealthy institution destructive of morals and whose existence a blot on decent society. What else can the Government do but to ban this institution and bring peace to the people.
It does not lie in the mouth of any person connected with the Om Mandli to declare the findings of the Tribunal to be ex-parte they themselves being responsible for the boycott of the Tribunal. Why did they fight shy of presenting their case before the Tribunal? Because they had to case and felt that they could not convince two impartial gentlemen of the uprightness of their cause and their work.
The constitution of the tribunal has been challenged as bring illegal. What happened? Some respectable citizens of Sind approached the Government with a petition mentioning their grievances against the conduct of the Om Mandli; and they prayed that investigations should be made. Government appointed a Committee--let us not call it even a Tribunal--to report on the question just as it has power to appoint any Committee to enquire into the grievances of the citizens when publicly made. The Om Mandli is a public and open institution to which were invited men, and women, remaining or not remaining on its premises. Its own secrets were revealed before a Magistrate in Hyderabad by Om Radhe herself. The appointment of the Tribunal thus became necessary. It had no powers to prescribe penalties. It had only to report as to what it thought of this institution on the evidence placed before it. The proceedings were held in camera for the sake of the unmarried girls and grown up women living there. Action could only be taken by the Government because the Tribunal had no power of pronouncing judgement before it. There is nothing unconstitutional or illegal in the procedure.