The reason people trust Godmen in India can be understood by the ancient, medieval and modern contexts of Indian religion and spirituality transitions.
In ancient world culture, every religion had almost started visualizing godly and supernatural forces in human figures and had started potraying in forms analogous to day to day real life objects.
India on other hand, during Vedic ages had not developed any idols of god and was limited to godly or holy spirits in forms of prayers and enchantings.
It was post vedic period especially after Mauryan Period people actually started developing idols to represent their faith and religions. The reasons were simple. Idol worshipping was a much better way of visualizing holiness instead of plain prayers and spiritual talks. People now carved their imaginations and spirituality into rocks and woods to call the Gods and worship them. Spirituality now after idol worship became more convenient and effective in connecting devotees faith and religion to the supernatural. People now became instantly drawn to these idols and their spiritualty and beliefs can now be realized instantly via a human form.
These idols were easy to carry and people of every caste, class and society could have their own personal gods and expressing faith by building a small temple under a tree to a giant stone carved temples now, concreted the foundations of how common mass wanted to visualize their religion.
Once the idea of God in human forms was established and religions became popular , people started gravitating towards devotion and related practices. People wanted to know more, feel more and represent themselves more as a true devotee. People who succeeded to do so became ambassadors of the religion establishing themselves as humans nearest to God which later evolved into Godmen who knew the stories, rituals , god’s will and the holy path leading to your divine unison with god himself.
It is here that Godmen became incarnation of God himself and started dictating the common religious masses. It thus became a common practice and part of the religion.
The world and India after Industrialization were undergoing rapid changes. Connectivity increased in terms of travel and print media. Words started spreading. The story of supernaturals and magic by Godmen captured the heart of common Indian people. With the advent of electronic media and televisions the godmen now became a nationwide phenomenon.
Today, Godmen have a huge fan following They have their own scheduled TV slots and even channels. The hype is real. The capital involved is gigantic. The media coverage is extensive. The venues, sold out. The blessings are being showered on donations, to bank account numbers rolling bottom of screen. The newspapers now have Godmen’s advertisements, articles. People want to see them, read about them. The content is huge. The media branding is epic.
Consumerism plays its part. Godmen are a brand. Have their own outlet, are a symbol of religion itself. Profits are huge. Sales are high. Godmen now cure your disease, glow your skin, have most authentic agarbattis and what not. The beliefs are strong. The superiority is convincing.
The seeds that were laid during the idol worship era have now blossomed into purest human form, belief wise. People now feel closer to a human than a god amongst rock. The branding received by Godmen by the electronic and print media have established the trust of Indians in Godmen. The controversies may knockout one Godman, but in a land of millions of God how hard will it be to find just one more of his Godmen. Amongst the chaos the belief remains intact.