A representative of the controversial Indian godman Nithyananda's country, the United States of Kailasa, attended the recent United Nations meeting in Washington DC. The representative has since become a subject of discussion on social media. But who is this woman?
For the uninitiated, the representative has been identified as Ma Vijayapriya Nithyananda. Her photos at the UN event where she wore saffron clothing, gold (or golden colored) jewelry, rudraksha, and headgear and claimed to speak for rape-accused self-styled godman Nithyananda and his "nation" also raised quite a few eyebrows. However, it wasn't only her attire that got the internet talking but also her comments that left several shocked.
The woman announced herself as Vijayapriya Nithyananda, the "permanent ambassador to the UN from the sovereign state of Shri Kailasa," during a meeting of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR) last week in Geneva.
However, all heads turned toward her after she said the "High Pontiff of Hinduism" should be provided protection.
On Twitter, Kailasa refers to her as "Ma Vijayapriya Nithyananda".
Vijayapriya obtained a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba in Canada in 2014, according to her LinkedIn page. She speaks English, French, Creole, and Pidgins fluently.
She claims to have achieved "outstanding academic performance" in college by being named to the dean's honor list. Also, in 2013 and 2014, she was awarded an international undergraduate student scholarship.
"Kailasa is the first sovereign state for Hindus, established by the supreme pontiff of Hinduism, Nithyanand Paramashivam, who is reviving the enlightened Hindu civilization and its 10,000 indigenous traditions of Hinduism, including the Adi Shaivite indigenous agricultural tribes for which the supreme pontiff of Hinduism is the leader as well," Vijayapriya Nithyananda said when it was her turn to speak at the UN meet, a video of which has been posted on the United Nations website.
She also claimed that Nithyananda is being "persecuted" by India. Nithyananda is the main accused in several cases in India, including rape, torture, kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He is also being reportedly investigated by French authorities for an alleged fraud of $400,000.
Nithyananda fled India in 2019.
Another question that is being raised since Tuesday is if the UN has given the United States of Kailasa recognition.
The photos posted by the United Nations gave the impression that the organization has recognized Nithyananda's fictitious country of "Kailasa," of which nobody knows the geographical location.
There are 193 sovereign nations that are members of the UN, and the Security Council and General Assembly must both approve new members before they may join.
There are a few Permanent Observers, non-member states that are members of one or more specialized agencies, in addition to sovereign states.
And Nithyananda's Kailasa does not even qualify for this status.