His face betrayed happiness as well as tension. His daughter was set to come back home on the same day. He went and inspected his daughter’s room. The room was in a mess. He asked his wife why the room was not cleaned and organised properly. Then he called servants and got the room cleaned. After the servants had cleaned the room, he went inside and after a few minutes gun shots echoed.
Everyone in the house ran towards the room, only to find his body soaked in blood. Beside his body was the gun. By the looks of it, it is obvious that he took his own life.
But is the case that simple? He was attractive, just 50-years-old, had an ashram in the city, had thousands of followers, many famous leaders and actors respected him, governments wanted to give him ministerial posts, he loved nature, was concerned about the misuse and exploitation of rivers and even mentioned running a campaign about it. He used to sort out other people’s problems and difficulties but is it that he could not find a solution to his own difficulties and in frustration, he killed himself?
He was Bhaiyyu Maharaj. On Tuesday, he allegedly shot himself.
This crime story looks like a gripping thriller. In this story, there is a holy man who looks like a hero, has an expensive life style and such a grand influence that even governments sought his help in difficult situations. And then suddenly came the news of his death and even before the investigation into his death has begun, efforts are on to prove that the cause of his death was family feud
A suicide note of one-and-a-half pages and a pistol have been recovered from the crime scene. It is not clear what has been written in the suicide note but four sentences written by him have been made public. Bhaiyyu Maharaj had written, “Somebody should be there to handle the duties of the family. I’m leaving. Too much stressed out. Fed up.”
From these sentences it can be understood that Bhaiyyu Maharaj was under a lot of stress. But, even before the post-mortem report is out, attempts are being made to show that he took his life after being exasperated with his family.
But can a person, who is about to commit suicide, wish his social media followers on Mahashivratri just 15 minutes before he took his own life?
This crime story looks like a gripping thriller. In this story, there is a holy man who looked like a hero, had an expensive life style and wielded such influence that even governments sought his help, was respected and the state government seemed eager to give him a ministerial berth. And then suddenly came the news of his death and even before the investigation into his death has begun, efforts are on to prove that the cause of his death was family feud.
But there are many questions that haunt this seemingly grand thriller. The parts of the suicide note which have been released in the media only reflect that he was tense and suffering from depression and was desperately looking for someone who could take care of his family. But was he under stress only due to discord in the family? Why was only a part of the letter released? Why wasn’t the rest of the suicide note revealed?
Why did Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, who was known for sorting out even the government’s problems, never share his anxiety with anyone else?
Political parties want an impartial enquiry into the entire matter but the conclusions are being drawn before any investigation has even begun and this is quite surprising. Why did Bhaiyyuji Maharaj refuse a ministerial post when he had a keen interest in politics? Was it only because he wanted a Cabinet minister post and not a minister of state?
Why did the Madhya Pradesh chief minister promote another sadhu as a cabinet minister from his MoS post, the next day after Bhaiyyuji Maharaj’s death?
Why are the political parties demanding a CBI investigation in this case?
These questions will be hopefully answered in a few days and we should after all have faith in the police and investigating agencies. But before that, the story which is emerging through news and social media is a simple open and shut case.
The story which is being constantly circulated on many platforms is that Bhaiyyuji Maharaj’s wife had passed away two years ago. He has a daughter who is studying in Pune. A year ago, he had remarried, but his second wife and daughter were always at loggerheads because the second wife removed all the pictures of the first one as soon as she entered the house. Whenever there was an argument between the wife and the daughter, Bhaiyyuji took his daughter’s side, thus annoying his wife. On Tuesday, his daughter was coming home and Bhaiyyuji committed suicide in his daughter’s room.
The question worth pondering about is if had always sided with his daughter, then he must trust her too, and if he trusted her, then why were all the responsibilities of his assets given to his close associate Vinayak, who has been working with him for decades.
Is the story of his suicide as simple and straightforward as it seems to be? Or is there something which the people around him have been trying to conceal right after his death?
Translated from Hindi by Pragati Saxena