Recently India's Business Standard published a good overview of Malvinder and Shivinder Singh's financial problems -- a story I've been following here at the Church of the Churchless because the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) is implicated in the fraudulent behavior.
And there's nothing I enjoy more than pointing out the pitfall of religious belief and having blind faith in the people who lead them. Well, of course there are other things I enjoy more. Carrot cake, for one.
But spiritual hypocrisy deeply irks me, as when Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the RSSB guru, preaches that returning to God should be the primary aim of human life, then spends his own life raking in hundreds of millions of dollars for himself and his family in a questionable fashion.
Below is the Business Standard story. I've boldfaced the mention of Dhillon. Here's some blog posts I wrote that pertain to what's said in the story about the RSSB guru. I'm also sharing a related PDF file.
Before we get into the details of the current case, let's learn some history. In the 1980s, Parvinder Singh inherited Ranbaxy from his father, Bhai Mohan Singh, a wealthy contractor who hailed from Rawalpindi. What had started out as a small pharma business in Amritsar had by then grown into an empire. At a time when most Indian drug-makers were looking inwards, Parvinder decided to take Ranbaxy into international markets. By the time he passed away in 1999, he left behind a global pharma major.
And, the way in which Parvinder’s sons, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, squandered away the empire in subsequent years has become the stuff of corporate folklore. According to reports, Malvinder and Shivinder squandered away Rs 22,500 crore over the span of just one decade.
So, what are the particulars of the case in which the latest orders have come? Former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh have been accused of concealing information about wrongdoings at Ranbaxy when they sold a majority stake in it to Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese firm, in 2008. In 2016, the Singapore tribunal awarded Daiichi Rs 3,500 crore in damages. In 2018, Daiichi Sankyo approached the Indian Supreme Court with the allegation that the Singh brothers were diverting funds using a number of shell companies to avoid the payments. Daiichi had also approached the apex court to stop a deal between Fortis and Malaysia-based IHH Group. As part of the deal, the IHH Group was set to acquire a 30 per cent stake in the Fortis group for 1.1 billion dollars with an open offer of 26 per cent stake. While the deal was signed in August 2018, the SC stayed the IHH open offer in December that same year.
But, this too is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg since there are several other cases against the Singh brothers. In October of 2019, Malvinder and Shivinder were arrested by the Economic Offenses Wing of the Delhi Police for allegedly diverting money and causing losses to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore. The allegations were related to Religare Enterprises Limited, or REL, a company that was once led by the brothers. They were accused of diverting money from Religare Finvest Limited, or RFL, an REL subsidiary. According to the allegations, the brothers and other REL officials took loans in RFL's name and then diverted the money to other firms.
In 2019, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, or SFIO, was also probing their role in an alleged fund diversion at Fortis Healthcare. After its initial probe, the SFIO had said that it believed that the fraud could be to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. The Securities and Exchange Board of India and the SFIO suspected that the Singh brothers had diverted public money from Fortis Healthcare to Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas and other religious bodies.
Long before the recent wranglings, there was also the episode with Dinesh Thakur, the whistle-blower who put Ranbaxy in the dock. Thakur joined Ranbaxy in 2003. But, in 2005, Thakur quit and waved a red flag about alleged violations and irregularities at the pharma company. Thakur ended up working with US authorities to expose the fraud and even filed a lawsuit to hold Ranbaxy accountable. Eventually, Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to making fraudulent statements to US regulatory authorities about how it tested drugs at its Indian plants. The firm had to pay $500 million to resolve the civil and criminal violations.
It remains to be seen if the recent developments will be the final chapter of their downfall, or whether more skeletons might tumble out of their cupboard. What we know for sure is that Malvinder and Shivinder Singh have all but destroyed the legacy of their grandfather Bhai Mohan Singh and father Parvinder.
If any of these story’s are untrue, and there are many, many articles/news clips reporting GSD has benefitted from the hapless Singh brothers fraud, why isn’t GSD challenging them to clear his name?
It’s almost as if this charlatan knows he’s above the law and scoffs at all these reports whilst on the phone to his boys who are living luxuriously in Singapore. There’s certainly no appetite to challenge the reports
I now realise the odds are against it, but looking at the example of GSD’s colleague Baba Ram Rahim who, despite also being above the law for many years, did in the end see justice served. Perhaps when Malvinder has his day in court, he will finally have a platform to share every specific detail of GSD’s involvement in the rampant corruption that occurred
So far, we’ve only had snippets here and there. The blind followers keep on worshiping this fraudsters whilst impartial observers realise there certainly isn’t any smoke without fire
Posted by: JS | October 02, 2022 at 11:24 PM
The Baba is most likely to escape any legal punishment because indian elections are going to be held in 2024, which is just two years away.
Posted by: arun marwah | October 03, 2022 at 03:53 AM
Malvinder and Shivinder, Sunil Godhwani and his brothers are small fry and will face legal punishment as per the indian laws, which are very lenient anyway. Same fraud would have given all concerned 50 years of imprisonment in USA. But not in India.
Posted by: arun marwah | October 03, 2022 at 03:56 AM
"The Baba is most likely to escape any legal punishment because indian elections "
..........Fair point, arun, and quite likely! That old unhappy unholy nexus between politics and politicians on one hand, and religion and godmen on the other.
Ram Rahim was caught because that was murder after all. In fact, I remember vaguely, more than one murder, plus a rape or two thrown in for good measure ---- but even if my recollection is faulty, then certainly at least one murder. I guess murder, and especially one that attracts lots of protests, is far more difficult to brush under the carpet than merely shenanigans of a financial nature, and especially when no one's really been harmed en masse. (Those two dumbo dupes, sure, but then I doubt two guys, and especially two guys born to riches unimaginable, and still wallowing in riches despite their misfortune, are unlikely to attract anywhere like the kind of mass protests that some underage rapes and murders would.)
So, in short, yes, the politics of it all .... maybe he'll get through unscathed after all, in fact now you say it that is what seems the more likely eventuality, especially given India and all, and more especially the current dispensation there.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | October 03, 2022 at 07:39 AM
Gurinder Singh dhillon is totally Guilty. How long can the number 1 religious crook hide until the public pressures force this bent baba to face his karma. You are hiding behind gurudom and lying to yourself and lying to the blind spell bound followers. Your days are numbered, if your not guilty why don't you go to court and prove your innocence
Posted by: Ranvir | October 03, 2022 at 12:31 PM
Interesting comments, Ranvir.
I mustn't jump to conclusions that may well be unwarranted, but I've often seen people belonging to the Sikh persuasion commenting here against RSSB. I hope you realize that Sikh "Gurus" urging their stupid gullible disciples to lay down their own lives and even the lives of their family, so that said "Gurus" can be king instead of the kings threatening the rule of said Guru-kings; and what's more doing said urging on the basis of some very strongly laid out religious bullshit, the upshot of which is they, the Gurus, are some repository of some higher truth, and that these disciples will be assured of a happy afterlife if they die in service of their Master-Guru-King; I hope you realize that that is far far far more venal than anything GSD has done. I hope you realize that the Sikh gurus are no different, really, than the ISIS and Taliban assholes. I hope you realize that GSD, all of his greed and his hypocrisy notwithstanding, comes out positively reeking of roses when compared with the Sikh Gurus.
Gullible fools who subscribe to Sikhism have no grounds at all to criticize the likes of GSD, at least not without laying on the hypocrisy full-on. Ditto those who follow the zombie-Jesus superstitions, of course, and especially those that subscribe to Papal superstitions, because the Papacy again is no different than the ISIS having made good and, their lands won, then putting on a more generally benevolent facade, while leaving the underlying superstitions and bigotry largely and, at root, unchanged. Likewise the pathetic Trump-supporters, who sometimes present a ridiculous picture when trying to present rational-sounding arguments again this or that religion, while themselves clearly unable to know rationality if it ran up their legs and bit them in the ass, else they wouldn't support such a transparent charlatan and crook like Trump.
Like I said, I may be entirely mistaken about your motives here, in which case apologies! But me, I'd any day prefer a crook that bamboozles the gullible to enrich themselves, to a fanatic that persuades a bunch of fools to kill themselves and others so that they (the Guru) can get to be (or continue to be) king-emperor. If I had to choose between them, I'd any day choose GSD over the ISIS and the militant Sikh gurus, as well as the demented homicidal RCC types (their more recent mellowing down notwithstanding) --- not, of course, that there's any reason at all to necessarily choose the one or the other, so obviously I reject every one of them.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | October 04, 2022 at 06:17 AM
Gurinder Singh Dhillion is the name and as we can see in the article, there is no Shame.
After all that and a bag of cookies as to say he still has the adasatiy to sit oh so saintly on stage and rant on and on about how Saintly he is and how unworthy we all are, is beyond me.
This is a typical India nutcase baba fooling the masses all for power, riches n fame. He hasn't even got rid off his own desires and passions yet!
Have an ounce of embarrassment you have caused your whole extended family by coning them out of Millions and then also having a hand in putting them in jail, whilst jollying all along and living off they're riches.
I wonder if he still indulges in other worldly pleasures n passions too, easy one, you get me
Posted by: Trez | October 08, 2022 at 11:08 AM
You seems a blind followers of GSD and can't even see his wrongdoing. You are calling Dukh Gurus militants...while GSD uses Sikh Gurus Bank to make people fool and you are one of them.
GSD is a real militant who made a army of his believers to capture Farmers land and he become a land mafia.
You will never know how many murders might have happened inside the boundary wall of his Dera
Read about Sikh Gurus and their bani and their lifestyle then you will know how this Baba is different than these saints
Posted by: Raghubir | October 19, 2022 at 06:46 PM
Just saw your comment. First off, I hope I haven’t offended your sensibilities. I don’t normally go around doing that sort of thing, you know. But two things: First, this place Brian’s kind of set up specifically for calling out religious BS, so what might qualify as asshattery in general isn’t necessarily that over here. And second, the pot-kettle thing, the whole glass-house-and-stones thing: when someone goes around sneering at other folks’ superstitions and foolishness, then, even if that original sneering is well deserved (as I believe it is), but they can hardly complain when they find some equally well-deserved sneering coming their own way, pointing out their own superstitions and foolishness without mincing words.
Also, no, I’m not with RSSB, and don’t revere GSD, not even remotely. I don’t blame you for thinking that, if all you’ve seen is that one single comment of mine --- although even there I’ve made my (negative) opinion about GSD quite plain enough --- but in any case you can verify this for yourself if you like by looking up my past comments here on Brian’s blog.
Coming to the meat of what you’ve written, I don’t much care if GSD and RSSB are given to poaching followers from Sikhism. Who cares if one bunch of lunatics, with lunatic beliefs, are made to exchange that bunch of irrational lunacy for another set of irrational lunacies? They’re both of them unsubstantiated, irrational nonsense, both those sets of nonsensical religious beliefs.
And I hope you’re not going to claim that Sikhism is a non-violent creed like Jainism, say. Because it isn’t. Come on, man, their whole demeanor is warlike, with that little dagger thing they carry, and the whole of their identity even. They’re supposed to be warriors, those guys. They literally actually WERE warriors, back in the day. Now soldiers fight, nothing to complain about there: but here’s the thing: when religion is marshaled in order to justify people going to war, when religion is marshaled in order to get people to die and to kill others, then regardless of whether the geopolitical basis of all of that is justified or not justified, that corruption of spirituality, that complete corruption of the inner search, THAT is what I’ve specifically criticized here. In that sense --- that specific sense, that I think I did spell out in my original comment, and that I now repeat again for emphasis --- Sikhism is no different than Islamic terrorism, or Christian enormities, or for that matter Hindu- and Buddhist-led violence (albeit that last, admittedly, is a rarity, actually, but still).
As for violence at RSSB? Not for a minute do I condone that, let me make that very clear. But for a Sikh to point fingers at GSD is like a member of murderous gang to point fingers at a thief who may or may not have also committed a murder or two, is what I’m saying. Because Sikh lore is full of stories of killing and dying for the whole Waheguru deal. (Here’s a nauseating story of how a bunch of idiots willing to die unquestioningly --- and, presumably, to kill unquestioningly --- on the orders of the Guru is held up to be some kind of lofty and ultimate ideal. Check out this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panj_Pyare .)
No one is saying RSSB or GSD are paragons --- at any rate, I certainly am not. What I’m saying is Sikhism isn’t either; it’s no better at all as far as the irrationality; it’s no better at all when looking on some specific individuals as somehow some direct and necessary conduit to God; and in fact it’s worse, much worse, as far as the violence, if you span its entire history (much like Catholicism). That’s documented history, plain and simple, not conjecture. The whole fucking Sikh empire was built up on the back of a bunch of loons willing to kill and to die because Wa-wa-wa-wa-waheguru! (Again, I realize that these things always also have a geopolitical component that’s equally important when analyzing these developments in history. But it’s the religious fanaticism and religion-fuelled violence, as well as the religious irrationality itself, that I was criticizing here. As far as specifically that part of it, Wa-wa-wa-wa-waheguru! is no different, at all, than Ya-ya-ya-ya-allah-hu-akbar!)
But let me qualify that above by clearly stating that, in my book, while there’s no difference in kind (between Sikhism and Islam) --- whence the inconsistency, the hypocrisy, that I’d tried to point out in my previous comment --- but there most assuredly is a difference in degree.
I’d said earlier that, given a choice between RCC or for that Sikhism on one hand, and RSSB on the other, I’d choose RSSB; but given that there’s no such dichotomy, no such reason to necessarily have to choose one of them, I reject both, obviously. Likewise, while I reject both Islam and Sikhism, for instance, but in similar vein, if I were forced to choose between these two, if I had to necessarily choose the one or the other, then I’d choose Sikhism, every time. (At least, I suppose I’d choose Sufism, actually; but that isn’t quite fair, not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, so let’s just scratch that, and look simply on Sikhism as a whole on one hand, and Islam as a whole on the other.) I agree that Islam is far more inherently and proactively violent, and far more barbaric, and far more intolerant, than Sikhism is. Not just Islam, the same goes for Christianity as well, if you look at all of Christian history, not just the present mellowed-down-not-from-choice-but-of-necessity milquetoast version. For what that is worth, I’d rate Sikhism above RCC in particular, and Christianity in general, and most assuredly and much above Islam.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | October 23, 2022 at 07:00 AM