Though judicially convicted and jailed for life on charges of rape, self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram Bapu still continues to find pride of place at the book fair hosted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
The bi-annual book fair was inaugurated by chief minister Vijay Rupani who also took a round of the various stalls displaying books and other related materials.
The chief minister did not find anything amiss that the book fair had two stalls displaying Asaram Bapu’s huge photographs and books penned by him.
The two stalls, numbered 137 and 138, jointly display the board ‘Sant Sri Asaramji Sat- Sahitya Mandir’ along with several photographs of the self-styled-saint-turned convicted rapist.
Apart from books on and by Asaram Bapu, a huge television screen at the stall also beams out lectures by the convicted ‘godman’.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s ‘liberal’ attitude towards the convicted ‘saint’ is quite contradictory to the behaviour the city’s local police displayed towards a book stall at the railway station where a book on Sonia Gandhi was on sale few years back.
A newly published book on Congress president Sonia Gandhi was on routine sale at the stall of a company that has a century-old history of selling books at railway stations all over India.
The patrolling police party just happened to see the book with Sonia’s photo on cover and ‘advised’ the stall owner to remove it from display.
Since the author was till then unknown, it was not even known whether the book was in praise of the Congress chief or critical of her ways. But, still, the cops ‘advised’ the stall owner that displaying the book with Sonia on cover might ‘invite’ trouble for him. The book stall owner had to quietly withdraw the book from the sale counter at the Ahmedabad railway station.