By Sharanya Gopinathan
So after 39 days on the run, Dera Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s adopted daughter, “angel” and masseuse, Honeypreet Insan, has finally been arrested in Punjab after she gave an interview to a television channel. She’s been charged with inciting violence (which broke out as soon as Rahim was sentenced to prison) and also with sedition, which is a bit crazy because it’s hard to understand exactly what she did in this case that falls into the definition of sedition against the country.
Anyway, the last time we actually saw Honeypreet before this was in a chopper accompanying Rahim on the journey to Sunaria jail in Rohtak. She’d been missing ever since, with some rumours swirling that she had even fled the country and been spotted in Nepal.
Over the last 40 days, we’ve heard some very strange things about Honeypreet’s relationship with Rahim. Her ex-husband, Vishwas Gupta, who introduced her to Rahim, has alleged that he’s seen Honeypreet naked in bed with Rahim, and that he was threatened and harassed by the Dera leader when he brought this to light back in 2011. Rahim too, seemed to be totally clueless about how prison works when he appealed to the CBI court that sentenced him to allow Honeypreet to stay in jail with him as she’s his “masseuse” (they said no). Note that he didn’t ask for his wife, Harjeet Kaur, or any of his biological children. Just Honeypreet.
But of all the people involved here, it’s honestly Honeypreet herself who really makes you feel like there was something shady going on between the two. Every time she opens her mouth to talk about her relationship with Rahim, you find yourself feeling like you’ve walked into some hugely illicit sexcapade, but you’re the only one who’s embarrassed.
First of all, she keeps referring to him cloyingly as Papa instead of “my father”, and herself as “Papa’s Angel”, and I personally don’t trust anyone above the age of nine who does things like that. She said that “When papa went away, my world came crashing down,” and “No matter what is being said about my papa, he is innocent and time will prove it.” She also audaciously said that crores of girls have been empowered by “Papaji”: even if that was true, that fact hardly permits him to then rape a few women, making this utterly irrelevant.
In the interview that led up to her arrest, Honeypreet also accused the media of maligning a “holy” relationship between father and daughter. Instead of flat-out denying the accusations that she had had sex with her adoptive father several times, like a normal person would if accused wrongly of something so horrendous, she weirdly asked, “Can’t a father love his daughter, can’t a father touch his daughter lovingly?” Erm. You say?
This is, admittedly, a woman with a very unique relationship with her father. On February 7th this year, which is Rose Day for those of us who don’t tradionally celebrate the festival, Honeypreet tweeted to her father: “You are lovelier than the red rose and I intensely love your all styles and poses. Wishing you a happy rose day.” Listen, I don’t feel this is the kind of message you send your father ever. Even on Rose Day. No, especially on Rose Day.
Of course, Honeypreet isn’t Rahim’s biological daughter at all: she was adopted by him in 2009. It’s a weird story: Honeypreet, born Priyanka Taneja, married Vishwas Gupta, the grandson of a former MLA and Dera Sacha Sauda believer, in the presence of Rahim. Ten years later, she complained to Rahim, alleging that her husband’s family was harassing her for dowry. Ostensibly in order to protect her, Rahim decided to adopt Honeypreet, following which she became his closest, ahem, “confidant”.
The closeness of their relationship is common knowledge within the Dera, and it’s widely accepted that Honeypreet acts on his behalf, knows his every secret and is the front-runner to be his successor. By the way, she has over a million followers on Twitter and 5 million on Facebook. She’s also directed all the MSG films and starred in the second MSG movie as…well, obviously, her Papa’s Angel.
October 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm
I had been dreading that an article of such venom would turn up but this bile came from one of the least expected quarters.
You’re accusing a woman of having an illicit relationship primarily based on her addressing her adoptive father as ‘Papa’ in public.
Is that so irrational, so absurd that the conclusion is that she’s obviously bedding him?
And let’s please go ahead and believe the word of her ex-husband: the guy who abused her for dowry. He OBVIOUSLY holds no ill-will against either of them and wouldn’t falsely accuse them of anything! Most dependable “witness” in this scenario.
To the urban, WOKE these ‘Rose’ and ‘Friendship’ days are just another day to manufacture more memes and poke fun at others who simply look at the day to express their feelings. And hey, Surprise Surprise! they can be platonic too.
You don’t send such messages to your father? Ok. So their English isn’t as polished. And their rhymes aren’t Shakespearean. So it HAS TO be creepy right?
She was expected to be his successor. That’s generally how organisations function: the second most powerful or legal heir gets their chair. But you had to insinuate that it’s because she was his ‘ closest, ahem, “confidant”.’
Are you serious? Did you re-read this? Was this warranted on a so-called feminist site? Doesn’t this entire piece–of her calling him Papa, writing poetry for him, being addressed as Fairy or whatever–reek of elitism? How does this make you any less salacious than an IndiaTV or AajTak or the hundreds of similar accusatory comments on social media?
By accusing her you’re just becoming part of the venomous brigade who are more interested in figuring out Who’s Banging Whom rather than how the Dera had an armoury, whether he sexually assaulted people, has he incited violence & other pressing non-masala matters.