- Spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh heads huge sect
- 50-year-old Dera Sacha Sauda chief convicted in rape case
- Has starred in music videos, has political influence
Ram Rahim's sect, the Dera Sacha Sauda, claimed that the album was a mega-hit, selling nearly 20 lakh copies. The 50-year-old "Guru of Bling" has also displayed his artistic temperament in two feature films, starring in "Messenger of God" (MSG) and "Messenger of God 2", which he also co-wrote.
Ram Rahim, who has a whole lot of love for leather and rhinestones, often in the same outfit, said the movie had important social messages woven in with action. For example, it had a song that campaigned against alcohol.
As the result of his cavalcade being attacked with explosives in 2008, he has Z+ security cover - reserved for the top reaches of VVIPs -and travels in bulletproof cars. He was unharmed in the explosion but 11 people were injured and one car burst into flames. The attack was carried out by a terrorist from the Khalistan Liberation Force.
The Dera Sacha Sauda, which describes itself as a social welfare and spiritual organization, was set up in 1948. Ram Rahim took over as its chief in 1990. He is married and has three daughters and a son.
In 2002, he was accused of raping two women followers. In 2015, he was accused of encouraging 400 followers to undergo castration at his ashram so they could get closer to god. He also stood trial for conspiracy over the murder of a journalist in 2002.
In 2007, he infuriated Sikhs by appearing to impersonate Guru Gobind Singh. In violence that followed, he was attacked by a mob; his sect later issued an apology.