Satpal Maharaj, "Godman" and Politician
Since 1974 Bal Bhagwan Ji, as he was then known, or Satpal Maharaj as he became has enjoyed a successful career as both an Indian "Godman" (gurus are popularly called "godmen" by speakers of Indian English) and a politician and influential person in Dehra Dun and Uttarakhand, a family man with two sons and the head of a large organisation Manav Utthan Seva Samiti. He worked closely with his mother until her death in 1991.
It is not going too far to say he has international recognition as a significant Indian political power. His political success has been affected by the falling popularity of the Congress Party led by the Nehru/Gandhi dynasty to which he was attached and the rise of the BJP. In 2014 he jumped ship and and joined the BJP. In 2015/16 when standing for the Uttarakhand Assembly his publicly listed family assets were declared as app. $US20 million and annual income of $US135,000. He drove a Renault Duster while Prem had a Maybach among others.
In 2020 Shri Satpal Maharaj is the current Cabinet Minister in the State of Government of Uttarakhand, serving as the Minister for Tourism, Irrigation, Culture, and has been appointed at the chief executive for the development in the district of Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Satpal with the President of the BJP the Most Powerful Political Party in India
His youngest brother, Prem Rawat, has a pretend career as an internationally renowned "Master of Peace" based upon phony press releases put out by the Prem Rawat Foundation and is a minor philanthropist using money donated by his followers to try to buy him some positive publicity and respectability. Satpal, on the other hand, has used his power base of followers to leverage into a real career as a "big man" in the Dehra Dun elite and actually became a Minister of the Indian National Parliament at different times. This achievement is somewhat similar to Prem Rawat becoming Governor of California. Satpal has achieved what his little brother dreams of - he has public legitimacy and respect.
Satpal The International Statesman
Next Generation of the Family Business
On October 23, 2012, Shri Vibhuji (aka Shraddhey), son of Satgurudev Satpalji Maharaj (Defense Minister of India and spiritual leader) and Mata Shri Amritaji, married Aradhya, daughter of Thakur Shri Virender Singh (politician and M.P.) The Indian popular media hailed it as the "Wedding of the 21st Century." The wedding was conducted according to ancient Vedic rites, sweetened with the folk culture and traditions of the Himalayan Garhwal region. It was attended by nearly 150,000 people, from all religions and walks of life - from farm labourers to Indian political leaders and foreign diplomats.
Younger son Suyesh pulled off even more publicity when he married Mohena Kumari Singh, Princess of Rewa and television star. The wedding ceremony was attended by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
Satpal Mentioned In Books
There is a section discussing his career and organisations in Divine Enterprise by Lisa McKean written in 1988 which includes a section on "Maharaji and the Holy Family", a series of questions and answers which she submitted in writing to Satpal, Mata Ji and Satpal's wife, Amrita Rawat.
The family break-up and some background to the "Knowledge" they both claim to reveal is discussed in The World of Gurus by Vishal Mangalwadi. There is a more indepth discussion in Gurus, Godmen and Good People edited by Kushwant Singh who interviewed the young Guru Maharaj Ji in April, 1973 for the New York Times in which the child god repeated his claims about His incarnation and Singh gave valuable background information on gurus in India.
Satpal's Political Career
Satpal's political career has been reported at great length in Indian newspapers. His career may have been even more successful but he was a Congress Party member for 20 years while the BJP was in power. He was reelected to the Lok Sabha (National Indian parliament) in 2009. A detailed profile of his career is available at http://www.satpalmaharaj.in/, his own site. In 2014 he left the sinking Congress Party ship and and joined the BJP. Congress had its poorest post-independence general election performance, winning only 44 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha.
- 1996 Satpal Maharaj elected to Indian National Parliament
- July 1996-June 97 Union Minister of State, Railways
- June 1997 onwards Union Minister of State, Finance
- 1997-1998 Member, Implementation Committee for Commemoration of 50th Anniversary of India's Independence
- 2000 onwards Member, AICC, Uttarakhand
- Aug. 2001 President, Human Rights Department, Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee
- Feb.8, 2002-2004 Secretary, All India Congress Committee
- Feb. 2003-Mar. 2007 Vice-Chairman, 20-Point Programme Implementation Dept. Govt. of Uttarakhand (Cabinet Rank)
- Apr. 2008 AICC Co-ordinator to Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
- 2009 Re-elected to 15th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
- 31 Aug. 2009 Chairman, Standing Committee on Defence
- 16 Sep. 2009 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Railways
- 19 Oct. 2010 Member, General Purposes Committee
- 5 May 2010 Member, Committee on Public Accounts
- 15th May, 1997 Minister rules out divestment of LIC, GIC
- November 5, 1997
Press Information Bureau, Government Of India
Various Ministerial press releases puffing Satpal Maharaj as Minister of Railways
- September 11, 1999
Satpal seeks divine intervention - The Hindustan Times
- Monday, Jan 21, 2002 Congress Party bid to pacify Satpal Maharaj - The Hindu
- Tuesday, Jan 22, 2002
Congress revises list to mollify Maharaj - The Tribune Online Edition
- 4th February 2002
Appointed as the secretary by the All India Congress Committee on 4 February. - Congress Sandesh
- 5th February 2002 Satpal Maharaj AICC secretary. - The Hindu
- Sunday, March 23, 2002 CM Tiwari does the balancing act - The Indian Express:; Satpal's wife, Amrita Singh, becomes Minister of State in Uttaranchal
- Monday, Feb 25, 2002 Uttaranchal name may be changed. - The Hindu
- Thursday, April 17, 2004 War by democratic means - Deccan Herald
- Wednesday, April 21, 2004 Warring generals declare silent truce - Deccan Herald
- Tuesday, Nov 09, 2004 Spreading peace, brotherhood. - The Hindu
- Sunday, Nov 07, 2004 Sadbhawna Sammelan ends. - The Hindu
- Wednesday, February 9, 2007 Infighting axe hovers over Sonia satraps. - The Telegraph
- 14/02/2007 Bironkhal is mirror of feminine mood - The Daily Pioneer: "Satpal Maharaj must be the richest man in Uttarakhand."
- Wednesday, February 28, 2007 Sonia's spring of discontent. Hands-off style comes in glare. - The Telegraph
- Monday, July 30, 2007 Khanduri gears up for bypoll, as Cong gameplan lies in tatters - The Indian Express
- Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Congress leaves leadership question in Uttarakhand wide open. - The Hindustan Times