INDIA: Poster God-Woman, Who Blesses By Hugging and Dancing on Dowry row

Niki Gupta and her husband at their wedding. In the background is a portrait of Radhe Maa

By Gagandeep Dhillon/Mumbi Mirror

Victim says Radhe Maa instigated her in-laws to demand more dowry; her CA husband denies the allegations.

Radhe Maa, possibly the most decked-up of all spiritual gurus in the country and whose hoardings are omnipresent in Mumbai, has landed in an unsavoury controversy around the dowry harassment of a woman whose in-laws are her followers.

In a complaint filed with the Kandivali police, Niki Gupta, 32, has charged Radhe Maa, 49, – famous for blessing her devotees with a round of dancing and warm hugs – of instigating her in-laws to demand more dowry. Gupta, a home-maker, has alleged that her in-laws have been routinely thrashing her at the god-woman’s behest.

Gupta, who has named Radhe Maa and seven from her husband’s family – including her mom-in-law and father-inlaw – has said in her complaint that she was assaulted on more than one occasion in the god-woman’s presence. Gupta, a resident of Borivili, has also named her husband Nakul Gupta, a chartered accountant, in the complaint.

Gupta’s complaint says that Radhe Maa was involved in arranging her wedding in 2012 and had placed a demand for a huge dowry. When her parents could not meet the demand, Gupta has alleged, her in-laws began harassing her. At one point, as a punishment, she was sent to serve at Radhe Maa’s ashram in Borivali, where, she has alleged, she was made to do menial tasks and kicked and punched if she protested.

When Mumbai Mirror contacted Nakul Gupta, he denied all allegations. “Thanks for reaching out to me. These are false and baseless allegations with ulterior motives. This is purely a matrimonial dispute between Niki and myself. The matter is subjudice and with a court for last two years. I have complete faith in our judiciary and truth will surface with time,” he said.

A disciple of Radhe Maa, who did not want to be identified, said the dowry case is a personal dispute between the couple. “They have also filed for for divorce. Radhe Maa never called the woman to her house for any work. These are all false allegations.” he said.

Radhe Maa, who commands a sizeable following in Mumbai and others parts of the country, comes from Mukerian in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and she was Sukhwinder Kaur before her transformation into a god-woman. She now tours the country, addressing devotees and holding late-night satsangs.

Online videos of her satsangs show her dancing with devotees, hugging them, and presenting them with gifts. In a strange ritual, she often physically carried around by her followers.

Gupta, who did not wish to get into any details of what goes on in Radhe Maa’s satsangs as it did not have any bearing on her case, said the god-woman wears the finest of clothes, wears heavy make-up, and lives in a Borivali duplex that has all modern amenities. “My in laws harassed me for dowry for three years following the instructions from Radhe Maa. I was sent to serve her in her bhavan in Borivali where she treated me like a servant,” Gupta said.

Gupta said that so complete is Radhe Maa’s hold on her in-laws that she got her CA husband to cut short their honeymoon to Jammu and Kashmir and return to Punjab because she did not approve of the two visiting Vaishno Devi temple without her approval.

Gupta said her complaint was lodged only after she moved the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court and got the judge to issue a directive to the cops. While none from the Kandivali police was willing to go on record, one of the officers said a complaint has been lodged and investigations are on.