Controversial Godman Chandraswami No More

Controversial godman Chandraswami died in Delhi on Tuesday. He was close to prime ministers and top political leaders, particularly PV Narasimha Rao.

New Delhi: Controversial Goldman and a habitual violator of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) Chandraswami died of heart attack at Apollo Hospitals here on Tuesday. The redoubtable Swami was a close confidante of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and he was suspected to have involved in the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Chandraswami had his office in Hyderabad for many years and he has close contacts with AP politicians. That was how he came into contact with PV Narasimha Rao. The long haired self-styled godman in while clothes was a popular figure in Hyderabad circles. Starting as a tantric and an astrologer, he befriended politicians and powerful persons.

“Spiritual leader Jagadacharya Chandraswami ji has been ailing for some time. He recently suffered a stroke and developed multi-organ failure,” said the hospital in a statement. The godman,66, succumbed to the illness at 2.56 pm on Tuesday.

Chandraswami was a mystic who had a very strong influence on PV Narasimha Rao who used Swami’s good offices in mobilising sadhus and pithadhipatis for a dialogue on the contentious Babri-Ayodhya dispute. Along with PVRK Prasad, the then prime minister’s media advisor, Swami represented the prime minister in mobilising public opinion in favour of finding a solution to the vexed issue of Ram Janmabhoomi. The efforts failed and the Babri masjid was felled by Kaarsevaks on 6 December 1992. But sincere efforts were made to bring all the Sadhus and Hindu religious heads on one platform and the representatives of the Muslim opinion on another.

Chandraswami’s name had cropped up in the case of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Jain Commission which probed Rajiv’s assassination has devoted one full chapter to Swami.

Swami was arrested in 1996 for defrauding a London-based businessman.

In his 46th birthday celebrations persons like Buta Singh, Shahi Imam of Jana Masjid, Congress leaders like HKL Bhagat, Kamalnath, SB Chavan, Vijaya Rehe Sindhia, BJP leader and Raja Mata of Gwalior, TN Seshan and ND Tiwari participated.  Dr Subramanian Swami who knows the godman very well said Swami acquired spiritual powers in 1980s when he did meditation in Himachal Pradesh.

Chandraswami’s first political disciple was former railway minister Lalith Narayan Mishra. Even former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was impressed by him. Atal Behari Vajpayee and Nanaji Deshmukh were also under the spell of Swami. He became a friend of Rajiv Gandhi and Satish Sharma too.

Dr Subramanian Swami said Sonia Gandhi and Arjun Singh attacked Chandraswami to hurt PV.  Pritish Nandy had published a very powerful expose of Swami in the Illustrated Weekly which he was editing at that time.

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