Sex tape to godman follower: The unforgettable tale of Tamil actor Ranjitha
One of the biggest sex scandals that had hit Kollywood is the unforgettable story of yesteryear Tamil actor Ranjitha and her relationship with her now guru Nithyananda. It all started in 2010 when a video allegedly showing the self-styled godman Nithyananda and Tamil actor Ranjitha in a very intimate way was aired on several Television channels in Tamil Nadu. In the first week of March 2010, a huge sex scandal involving them both came to light after the video was telecasted on TV channels.
The self-styled godman Nithyananda, who runs the Dhayanapeetham ashram in Bidadi near Bengaluru, and Tamil actress Ranjitha, were the talk of the town, and ten years later, even today, the incident is unforgettable by Tamil people. While Nithyananda and his followers are currently in a self-made ‘country’, which they call Kailaya, there is no shortage of news about Ranjitha and Nithyananda even today. Here is the timeline of events that happened following the release of the video.
All about the video:
The video was shot by one of the followers of Nithyananda, who was also an ex-driver named Lenin Karuppan. The driver was also reportedly a close aide of Nithyananda. According to a report in The Mid-Day, Karuppan confessed to Nithyananda that he was the one who filmed it. He also stated that he was disappointed to see his ‘Swamiji’ hanging around women followers with bad intentions and that he had lost faith in Nithyananda. However, both Ranjitha and Nithyananda denied their presence in the video. In fact, Ranjitha went on to send notices to Google and YouTube demanding the video to be removed from those platforms.
‘It was a morphed video’
After Ranjitha dissociated herself from the video saying that it was morphed, her lawyers claimed that the video was morphed and that it was not Ranjitha who was seen in the video. Later when Nithyananda was arrested, Ranjitha met the press and issued a statement. In the meeting, she said, “What you see in the video is not true. It is fabricated. I am not the person in it and I was not even in the spot when the video was shot. I was in a room that I was sharing with another female devotee in the Dhyanapeetham ashram.”
Following complaints by several individuals and organizations on Nithyananda and Ranjitha questioning the authenticity of the ‘ashram’, reports claimed that the management of the ashram makes the followers sign a contract before joining the ashram. Reportedly, the contract has the following clause: "Volunteer understands that the Program may involve the learning and practice of ancient tantric secrets associated with male and female ecstasy, including the use of sexual energy for increased intimacy/spiritual connection, pleasure, harmony, and freedom."
Investigation by the CID
In 2011, Ranjitha had filed a case at a Bengaluru court, following which a CID investigation was ordered to probe the authenticity of the video. She continued to visit Nithyananda and the Dhayanapeetham ashram after denying her presence in the video
Following a series of denials, in 2012, Nithyananda had claimed that four independent US-based experts had conducted a thorough analysis on the video and concluded that the content was fake and morphed. He claimed that it was done with the aim of tampering his image. He went on to produce the copies of the claimed US research reports to the Crime Investigation Department in Karnataka, which was investigating the case at that time.
The transformation - Ma Anandamayi
In 2013, the yesteryear actor took a vow to lead the life of a sanyasin. She joined the godman’s ashram on the outskirts of Bangalore. In her social media profiles and during other gatherings, she calls herself Ma Anandamayi.
Central forensic lab’s take
In what could be called a latest development, which was released in 2017, the central forensic lab had confirmed that the people in the tape were indeed Nithyananda and Ranjitha.
The current scenario
Meanwhile, amid all of this, the controversial godman along with his followers including Ranjitha is under hiding. On his social media handles and that of his followers’ handles, we are continuing to see several updates and videos of their make-believe country, Kailaya, where they claim that they have migrated to.