It's no wonder self-styled gurus and godmen crop up in every nook and corner of India- the land of snake charmers and superstitions.
Recently, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda group since 1990, has been sentenced to 20 years in Rohtak prison for raping two of his followers back in 1999. After the verdict was out, the supporters of the self-styled guru-- who is known for his burlesque costumes-- indulged in mindless violence killing at least 36 and injuring hundreds of people.
In the wake of the recent developments, popular magician Gopinath Muthukad, who hails from Kerala, has debunked the godmen's miracles like bringing sacred ash out of thin air, lighting a lamp by pouring water or levitating on air.
Gopinath, who decided to spread awareness after he received a photo from a person named Mohammed Shafi that read "you could have become India's popular godman if you had set your mind on it".
While appreciating the court for sentencing Singh for his criminal background, Muthukad recalled why India got Independence at midnight on August 15 as several astrologers predicted Friday to be an inauspicious day for the same.
"When the British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten was asked when India would get Independence, he answered August 15 as that was the day when Japan surrendered two years before. But the date was considered unpropitious by the astrologers in India and the authorities decided to proclaim freedom at the midnight on August 14. The Viceroy had then said India will never be free of superstition," the magician is heard saying in his recent video.
Gopinath also explained the science behind the tricks performed by godmen.
"Even though I can do similar miracles, I am just an ordinary man like you all. But magicians perform them after lot of practice just to entertain the audience, but these godmen cheat you by claiming they have extraordinary powers. You might have seen people lighting a lamp just by pouring water, it is done by using sodium metal. Similar is the case with lying on a bed of nails or producing ash from air. Behind every such supernatural phenomenon, there is science," he added.
Muthukad also compared mentalists and godmen, who "read the mind of people" through certain tricks. "While mentalists perform it to entertain like a magic, these gurus predict the people's future to make them believe on their heavenly powers."
Muthukad also talked about some ashrams being used as a front for drug trafficking.
Watch the latest video of Gopinath Muthukad here:
This video reveals the tricks often performed by godmen: