By Manuwant Choudhary
Controversial Godman Chandraswamy is dead....age 66. If India's much feared Enforcement Directorate (ED) could not get him...then it says a lot about how India is being run.
Among Chandraswamy's followers were India's Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, Chandra Shekhar, Rajiv Gandhi...and virtually who's who of Lutyen Delhi.
He was also a suspect in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
Born Nemi Chand Jain in Alwar Rajasthan...he went on to become a Tantric and was India's most influential wheeler-dealer Godman.
International arms dealer Adnan Khashogi was also his follower.
I met Chandraswamy once.
As a reporter in Bombay with the Afternoon Despatch & Courier I got a scoop that Chandraswamy is visiting....
I am not sure how I gathered the courage to go all the way to Dadar at 9 pm...it was quite dark..and Dadar itself is a leafy suburb with those old colony houses.
I wasn't sure if I would be allowed to meet the Godman.
Outside the house there was a flurry of activity with cars all lined up....mercedez and contessas.
I was quite surprised that when I said I was a reporter I was easily allowed into the house..the room was not well lit....but here I was sitting face to face with the Godman.
Chandraswamy looked dangerous.
All kinds of things went on in my mind..what if I asked him a `touchy' question he may use his Tantra on me.
How does a reporter interview a corrupt, dangerous, holy man ?
I simply had no clue.
Yet, I recall mustering courage to ask him my question...but he just stared at me.
He had this stick with a shiny diamond like magic wand in his hand...his eyes looked deadly and red.
I thought this may be my last night...I may not be able to get back home.
After a few times..the host tells me that Guruji is on a maun vrat (vow of silence).
We sat opposite each other for 20 minutes or so....and I did report on this darshan of Chandraswami...
Just to build my silent interview I said let me see who his followers are...perhaps some Bollywood heroes...and as I looked around I see this Blue Contessa...(early 90s this was the best car available) come into the drive way and out came Gulshan Grover, a Bollywood villain.
Chandraswamy's chela was India's Prime Minister Narasimha Rao but that evening I spent in the company of eminent villains.