Representatives of controversial godman Nithyananda's so-called country, the 'United States of Kailasa (USK)' attended a United Nations meeting last month, which stunned many in India. Photos of the all-women delegation was posted by Nithyananda on his Twitter account. Among the members was Vijayapriya Nithyananda, who became the face of 'Kailasa's' UN debut.
She spoke during a discussion organised by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and demanded protection for the "supreme pontiff of Hinduism". She said Nithyananda is being persecuted for reviving the ancient traditions of Hinduism and even banned from his birth country.
Who is Vijayapriya Nithyananda?
The woman, dressed in a sari and wearing a turban and laden with jewellery, introduced herself at the UN meeting as the "permanent ambassador of the United States of Kailasa".
According to her Facebook profile, she lives in Washington, DC. Photos uploaded on social media platforms show Vijayapriya with a huge tattoo of Nithyananda on her right arm.
Vijayapriya did her BSc Honours in Microbiology from University of Manitoba, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was in the Dean's Honour List of the university in June 2014.
The LinkedIn profile further mentions that Vijayapriya knows four languages - English, French, Hindi, and Creole and pidgin (French-based).
'Kailasa' also has a website, which mentions that Vijayapriya Nithyananda makes pacts with organisations on behalf of the country.
At the UN body's meeting on February 24, she met representatives of several countries and shared those pictures on her social media handles. Some of the other photos show Vijayapriya signing agreement with some officials, who she claims were Americans.
The website of 'Kailasa' also claims that they have embassies and NGOs in 150 countries.
What UN said on her statement
A United Nations official told the BBC that they will ignore the statements made by the representatives of the fictional country. The official also called their submissions "irrelevant" and "tangential" to the issues being discussed.
The presence of 'Kailasa' representatives at the UN meeting stunned the world as well as in India. The Indian government has not yet officially commented on the matter yet.
Where is 'Kailasa' located?
Nithyananda left India years ago with multiple cases against him, including rape and sexual assault. He has denied all the allegations.
After leaving India, he founded 'Kailasa' in 2019 on an island off the coast of Ecuador, according to the BBC. The country is named after a mountain in the Himalayas that is considered the mythical abode of Lord Shiva.
At that time, Ecuador had denied that Nithyananda was in the country. His sermons are released on social media platforms since the self-styled godman has not made any public appearance since 2019.