Actress-turned-politician Divya Spandana on Monday raked up a crime charge dating back to 1997 against renowned Yoga guru Jaggi Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru.
Spandana, who is the head of the Congress party's social media and digital communications operations, tweeted an image of a New Indian Express report dated October 10, 1997. The report said a case had been registered against Sadhguru following a complaint from his then father-in-law over the death of the former's wife in January that year. The case was later dismissed by the Coimbatore Police.
Sadhguru has proclaimed his innocence over the allegations, maintaining his wife had attained Mahasamadhi (a Yogi intentionally leaving his body), and his Isha Foundation has since commemorated the event.
Along with the image of the New Indian Express report, Spandana tweeted, “I mean how is he walking the streets?”, without explicitly mentioning Sadhguru. The tweet by Spandana appears to be in response to comments by Sadhguru in a recent interview to Times Now. When asked about JNU student leaders Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar, who were accused of sedition in 2016, Sadhguru argued, "They should not be walking the streets" in the wake of the national outrage over the Pulwama attack.
The comments by Sadhguru to Times Now drew outrage from a section of social media users. Actress Swara Bhasker harshly criticised Sadhguru, asking, “How is this sick, violent and deeply prejudiced man @SadhguruJV a spiritual guru?...”
Defending Sadhguru's remarks in the interview, a spokesperson of the Isha Foundation said that there was nothing remotely political about what Sadhguru had said. "Following a recent interview of Sadhguru on the ongoing tensions and extremist activities in Kashmir, certain political parties, motivated groups and a section of media have reacted wildly on social media. These are actions of those who are desperate for political relevance. It is unfortunate that, to score political brownie points, they are raking up a baseless charge that was brought up by a few motivated groups and which was obviously dismissed by courts long ago.
"Sadhguru has taken a stance for the well-being of the nation and not for any particular political party. There's nothing remotely political about what Sadhguru has said. Needless to add, Sadhguru's stance will remain unchanged regardless of which political party is in power in India.
Interestingly, it is not the first time Spandana has targeted Sadhguru. In August 2018, Spandana tweeted a video of an interaction between Sadhguru and actress Kangana Ranaut in which he criticised liberals in India. Apparently referring to Sadhguru, Spandana tweeted, “Is that a mystic or a mistake?”