Chandigarh: She happens to be “Papa’s angel, philanthropist, director, editor and actress… Passionate to transform my Rockstar Papa’s directions into actions”.
This is how Honeypreet Insan, widely been regarded as among the closest to convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his likely successor, describes herself on Facebook.
Honeypreet, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, has quite a bit of following — her Facebook page has almost 500,000 likes, and most importantly her word is considered Singh’s decision and she has even acted opposite the flamboyant 50-year-old rape convict in plenty of films.
She came into the limelight when she accompanied Singh to the CBI court on Friday. Insiders say she became his shadow in the past few years. One can get the magnitude of the situation by the fact that the Dera’s website on her introduces her as a prodigy of sorts who learnt editing, direction and acting without any training. “When her dad watched her putting so much of hard work and learning directing skills so fast, he thought of giving her a chance to debut as a director in MSG The Warrior Lion Heart,” says the website.
Honeypreet, who is in her thirties, is from Fatehabad near Hisar. Dera followers have no idea when it comes to her exact age but say she rose through the sect’s ranks because of her proximity to Singh.
According to the sources, Priyanka was given her present name after the dera chief got her married to Vishwas Gupta, a Dera follower from Sirsa, in 1999. Dera insiders claim that when Honeypreet complained to Singh that her in-laws were demanding dowry, he adopted her as his daughter in 2009 and made Vishwas his son-in-law, which gave a much needed impetus to his business.
But soon Gupta fell out with his father-in-law, and six years back he approached the Punjab and Haryana HC to seek the custody of his wife from the Dera chief.
In 2015, Honeypreet started directing and acting in Singh’s movies. Sources say at a meeting of volunteers, he announced that she could be a candidate for his seat. Even now, her word carries a lot of weight in the Dera.