Can the ‘Golden Baba’ Really Be Called A ‘Baba’?

Photo: Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times

The Golden Baba alias Sudhir Akkar is an ‘ascetic’ who has been in the news constantly due to the ongoing Kanwar Yatra. The yatra is for the devotees of Lord Shiva who visit various pilgrimage sites, travelling a total of 200kms. Currently, the Golden Baba and the devotees are in Ghaziabad. It is the baba’s 25th yatra.

The Golden Baba continues to flaunt his 20-kg jewellery and continuously finds mention in the media. He has a luxurious cavalcade of cars and has said that he would leave the jewellery to his favourite disciple when he leaves the world.

Previously, a businessman in Delhi, the 54-year-old spends at least a crore for the yatra each year.

Photo: Golden Baba during one of the previous Kanwar Yatras

Is the baba really a baba? Doesn’t the meaning of being a ‘baba’ or an ‘ascetic’ clearly states someone who has renounced the world and its materialism? Seems like our Golden Baba has set his own rules. Heck! He even has police protection!

Why does someone who is trying to find ‘peace’ or ‘God’ or ‘walking on a spiritual path’ need gold and cars and all the publicity? Increasingly, it feels like the world has never really met a true ‘baba’ as they would hate the limelight and continue to remain in solitude somewhere amidst nature, meditating or simply living a simple life.

India’s tryst with the babas has been an interesting one so far. Be it Asaram or MSG, we have had our own share of temporary disillusionment. Let a few months pass and we would find people chanting the names of the babas without applying their minds, in the hope of getting what they want.

The Golden Baba is a walking contradiction – when you see him all you can think about is money and gold. That is what you begin to desire even more. Where is the detachment or spirituality aspect in all of this hullah-gullah?


We assume that anyone adorning orange clothes is a spiritual ascetic who can guide us towards, ‘moksh’. But most, misguide us towards ‘maya’. 

Even though I do not say that every sadhu baba must practice abstinence and that abstinence was the only form of spirituality, I wish we applied our minds enough and weren’t blinded by our helplessness and constant need for support through those ascetics and sadhus who don’t even know an ‘s’ of spirituality.

Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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