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Mahants and Baba Buda Dal chiefs spend huge amounts on private no plates


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With so many in need in Punjab and India, Mahants and Babas have other ideas.

Mahant's Audi Q7 set to don 0001
Shells out Rs 10.05 lakh at an auction of vanity numbers for the CH 01 AR series
Tribune News Service

chd8.jpg Chandigarh, February 18
Mahant Yogi Chhotu Nath (22), the local head of Gorakhnath Math, a religious sect, today bagged the vanity number 0001 for Rs 10,05,100 for his Rs 66-lakh Audi Q7 luxury SUV during an auction of vanity numbers for the CH01 AR series.

From the word go, the mahant kept on increasing the bids every time a higher price was quoted by seven other contenders for the VIP number. Soon after buying the number, his followers made their way through a crowd, refusing to talk to mediapersons.

Based at the Sector 19 Guru Gorakhnath Mandir, the mahant seems to have a penchant for expensive cars as high-end cars are often seen parked at the temple.

During the day-long auction, the VIP number 0001 fetched the highest bid followed by 0100, which went for Rs 4.20 lakh.

In the auction held at the Sector 17 office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), the vanity numbers 0009, 0002, 0007 and 0011 went for Rs 4 lakh, Rs 3.5 lakh, Rs 2.51 lakh and Rs 2.31 lakh, respectively.

UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin had last time cancelled the auction for the CH 01 AR series due to a poor response as only 37 numbers were sold. The bid amount had crossed the Rs 1 lakh mark in case of only three numbers: 0001, 0003 and 0010.

In the auction held today, many bidders, who had bought the number at a lower price earlier, participated again. The number 0005, which went for Rs 20,000 in the last auction, was sold for Rs 1.76 lakh today.

The RLA netted Rs 70. 82 lakh through the auction of 147 numbers.

Religious sects' fancy for vanity numbers

It is not for the first time that heads of religious sects have shown their penchant for vanity numbers. During an auction for the CH04 AK series, the head of Baba Buda Dal had bought AK 0047 and AK 0056.

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I think the reality of baba's and dera's and most religious places these days is that behind the scenes it all about money. We as a people are just to naive..........we make these people what they are via our donations....people need to think it over.

We encourage their excess by filling their coffers for our own ends, be it families desperate for a child or business men wanting a baba to come to their premises to do an "ardaas" for so-called success, etc. And they (as in the Babeh and their cheleh) call this "seva". So when someone genuinely needs help from a spiritual person which doesn't involve growing wealthier or obtaining a male child - but doesn't have the exorbitant means to pay for these babeh's services - these so-called holy men don't want to know because there's no financial reward for them in this niskaam seva.

So if we must blame anyone, blame those amongst us who think we can buy the grace of God. We can't --- thank God. If we keep throwing money at these holy men then don't be surprised when even the apparently decent ones have their heads turned.

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