Here is the story of another Indian god-mother named Radhe Maa, exposing her illicit, immoral and illegal activities. According to media reports, the 48-year-old Radhe Maa was born in Gurdaspur district of Punjab as Sukhwinder Kaur, who studied till class IV. Sukhwinder Kaur was married off at 17 to one Mohan Singh. To support back up her husband’s meager earning, Sukhwinder Kaur stitched clothes as a teenager.
After Mohan Singh went to Qatar in search of a better job, Sukhwinder Kaur, at 23, became a disciple of Mahant Ram Deen Das of 1008 Paramhans Dera of Mukerian in Hoshiarpur district. Ram Deen Das gave her the title of Radhe Maa after initiating her in tantric learning.
Later, Radhe Maa moved to Mumbai and made it her base. She was at the center of controversy in Mumbai after Niki Gupta complained to police that Radhe Maa incited her in-laws to harass her for dowry. In a separate case, a lawyer accused her of obscenity on the basis of videos showing her being lifted by followers while dancing to Bollywood songs.
Radhe Maa has a temple to her name located about 2 km from the ashram of her guru at Mukerian. At Borivali, Radhe Maa has a palatial Radhe Maa Bhawan, where she holds various religious events every fortnight drawing hundreds of wealthy followers. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai and former FTII chairman Gajendra Chouhan are among the notable followers of Radhe Maa.
From tailor to controversial god-woman
Back in 2017, a Delhi cop was taken off duty after a photograph of self-styled god woman Radhe Maa seated in his office chair started doing the rounds.
The photograph, taken on September 28, shows SHO Sanjay Sharma standing next to the controversial ‘god-woman’ with folded hands and a red ‘chunri’ (stole) hanging around his neck while in uniform.
Radhe Maa, whose real name is Sukhvinder Kaur, has been accused of hurting religious sentiments, threatening, obscenity, and other offenses.
This Indian god-mother likes the color red; she almost always wears red clothes and carries a mini Trishul (trident).
Her followers believe she is an avatar of Goddess Durga, and filmmaker Subhash Ghai and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan are among her supporters. According to her official website, ‘Chhoti Maa’ and ‘Talli Baba’ are her closest followers. Talli Baba arranges her calendar.
In 2015, a TV actress Dolly Bindra had also filed a criminal case against Radhe Maa for sexual exploitation. Bindra, who is known for her participation in a reality show Big Boss, filed a complaint with the police alleging that Radhe Maa and her supporters sexually assaulted her.
Her official website www.radhemaa.com was hacked in August 2015 and pictures of her clad in a red miniskirt and boots were posted online.
The hacker, who called himself Santya Haxor, posted several pictures of Radhe Maa. Besides the ones depicting her in miniskirt, there were photos that purportedly showed her embracing two men.
In 2017, Sahil Joshi wrote a report captioned ‘Like most godmen, her image too has cracked and revealed a fragile woman’: There is a shade of red for everyone, they say. But for Radhe Maa, red is her only color. Everything about this self-styled godwoman is red – from her flashy clothes, lipstick to the lift that takes you to her four-storey bungalow in Borivali, the furniture in it, fans, curtains, ceiling, floor et al. There is nothing that’s not painted in red.
But these are details that the entire country knows by now. There are many such personal details about Radhe Maa that have become public ever since she came under the scanner in 2015 for several criminal charges, including alleged offences under the Dowry Act, indecency, fooling people for money and driving farmers to suicide.
However, when I went to meet her, the controversial godwoman displayed more shades of her character.
I first got to know about Radhe Maa through a big hoarding at Mumbai’s Western Express Highway a few years back. Later following the controversies and viral videos in 2015, I too, like everyone else, curiously devoured stories about her life. Who she was and how she became Radhe Maa – a normal girl, Sukhvinder Kaur, born in a village in Punjab and married at the age of 17. By the time she was 20, she was a mother of two children. The family’s financial condition was so bad that she used to work as a tailor to make ends meet (her husband had left for the Gulf looking for job opportunities leaving Sukhvinder and the kids behind). At 23, she became a disciple of Mahant Ram Deen Das of 1008 Paramhans Bagh Dera Mukerian in Hoshiarpur district. It’s Das who gave her the title of Radhe Maa and her followers believe she is an avatar of goddess Durga.
Our interview was scheduled at the Radhe Maa Bhavan in Borivali West late in the night. As the India Today crew reached her bungalow, we found it surrounded by burly private security guards. At the main entrance, the head security guard, who had prior information about the interview, informed her closest aide Talli Baba after which we were allowed to enter the Radhe Maa Bhavan.
(Just an observation: Although the word “talli” in Marathi has a different connotation, we were told that it means “ghanta”, a bell, in Punjabi.)
As we entered the sprawling bungalow with a “royal” garden and luxury cars parked around it, we were first asked to take off our shoes (for her devotees the place is a temple of Radhe Maa).
At the entrance, there is temple of goddess Durga. Talli Baba took us inside it and said that the clothes of the goddess have been stitched by the daughters-in-law of Radhe Maa.
We then entered the lift that was, needless to say, painted in red. As we got out of the lift on the fourth floor, another temple of goddess Durga greeted us. This, they said, was the main temple. As we moved ahead, the sprawling place revealed thematically decorated rooms – one after another. We were finally taken to a room where there was a small temple and a photograph of Radhe Maa’s mother-in-law placed in it. We could hear Radhe Maa’s songs playing in the background.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from her. I was also wondering if she would start a long sermon on religion. But nothing of that sort happened. I was told that I could ask as many questions during the interview in the room where she normally meets her bhakts. Just as she entered and we started our conversation, I soon realised this was going to be completely different interview – an experience I never had before.
While talking to her, I came to know that she has been consulting a shrink. She even told us that she is on medication. Radhe Maa looked visibly disturbed with the controversies surrounding her. She told us that apart from being a “godwoman” she is also a “normal human being” with “normal feelings”. And that she too gets hurt.
Interestingly, while we were interviewing her, devotees with folded hands were sitting on the ground. I easily recognised two of them – the famous businessman, MM Mithaiwala, and the owner of Global Advertiser, Sanjeev Gupta.
Sadly, the interview had to be stopped midway as she started crying and walked away. This happened when I started asking her about the recent controversies surrounding her.
Even though the video of the interview received unprecedented views – crossed 1 million views already on Facebook, when I checked last – I still couldn’t understand what it is that draws her devotees towards her? Or why is she always at the centre of a storm? She says there is a conspiracy to defame her. But is this not her own doing?
Is it just another case of a carefully cultivated image which, like all godmen and godwomen in the recent past, cracked and revealed a fragile Sukhvinder, who was sobbing in front of me?
In 2015, Indian news agency DNA published a report titled – ‘ Radhe Maa seduces former VHP man Surinder Mittal’, where the news agency said: Radhe Maa’s troubles just doesn’t seem to end for her. After charges of dowry harassment and abetting suicide, an audio tape has surfaced in which she is allegedly seducing former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Surinder Mittal.
The controversial godwoman has been in the news for a quite a while. First pictures of her wearing a mini-skirt went viral, then she was accused of obscenity, dowry harassment and abetting suicide. in fact, she has become so notorious that her statement: “I am pure and pious” has become an internet sensation with one person even creating a dubsmash video!
Large followers from India and abroad
Despite the controversies, Radhe Ma has a large fan-following in Bollywood too. Devotees who come to seek her blessings include high-profile celebrities like Bhojpuri star Manoj Tiwari, television actress Dolly Bindra, actor Ravi Kishan and Bollywood film director Subhash Ghai. She also has devotees from various countries including the US and Europe.
What is the reason behind celebrities flocking into the ashram of this extremely controversial god-woman? As we know, in the cases of other godman and god-woman in India, their followers were been mesmerized through various forms of trickeries, while drug and free sex is very must be usual in the ashrams of these people. But, one of the most important side that possibly misses the attention of the media is – these godmen and god-women are backed by infamous mafias – including notorious figures such as Dawood Ibrahim, while in the case of Radhe Maa, she is allegedly offering her young and beautiful female devotees to prospective donors and wealthy individuals, including film and drama producers. One of the most disturbing facts about Radhe Maa is – she has been supplying her foreign devotes (females) to wealthy individuals in India in exchange for a hefty amount of cash. So naturally, people from the entertainment industry would love to spend time at her ashrams with the hope of getting roles in dramas and films.
We need to investigate, if these godmen and god-women in India are also being used by various radical Islamic terror outfits as their ashrams could be safe havens for storing weapons and explosives as well as making terror attack plans sitting inside almost secret rooms inside those places.