Once upon a time in Ajmer, Asaram was a ‘tongawala’

AJMER: Accused of rape, Asaram has a bit of history, tucked away in Ajmer, during his struggles to make a living as a youth. Before reinventing himself as a spiritual guru, he went by the name Asumal Sindhi and was a ‘tongawala’, carrying pilgrims from the railway station to Dargah Sharif. For two years, he worked hard to make ends meet, and the few who still ply tonga from those days remember him as an ordinary person whom no one would bother giving a second thought.

Asaram bapu

“It was only after he became popular as a godman that we remembered him,” says Panna Ustad, a member of the Ajmer tonga union. Others from the Khari Kui tonga stand, where Asaram would wait for pilgrims, are amused at his destiny.

As a seven-year-old, Asumal arrived in India from Pakistan’s Sindh. Initially, his family lived in Gujarat before Asumal moved to Ajmer in 1963 on an invitation from a relative. According to senior advocate Charanjeet Singh Oberoi, Asumal’s father then moved to Ajmer and began living in Khari Kui with his family. “Asumal was hard-working and wanted to earn money to help his family, which had faced poverty after Partition. He used to sit with tongawalas at Khari Kui and was often seen carrying pilgrims,” said Oberoi.

Asaram sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of minor’s rape

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0
Tags:

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *