Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom
Posted by Barry Pittard on May 10, 2007
Intense Indian Piety
It would be perhaps impossible to imagine a more intensely religious country than India. One way to experience this (a mostly quite delightful way, I have found) is to go on a pilgrimage with an Indian family. Another way (which can lack in delight! as I also know from personal experience of calling for proper third-party investigation of Sathya Sai Baba) is – whether publicly or privately – to criticize a guru or religious leader.
Criticizing Indian Gurus and Religious Leaders. A Tough Job
I do not say that exposing of religious leaders in India cannot occur, but that that the wall against it is extremely formidable. It is the more difficult when a guru – as is the case with Sai Baba – has been able to convince both elites and masses that he is God incarnate. He has also commanded as his devotees an astounding breadth of political persuasions, countries and cultures. The British newspaper The Guardian termed Sai Baba ‘the Indian Living God’. (See, The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, Saturday November 4, 2006)
Indian Rationalists and Humanists
Given the depth of this taboo on criticizing Indian religious leaders, it is perhaps, often enough, to rationalist or humanist critics that we may need to look if we have some hope of uncovering even a few religious scandals in India. Leaving aside what may be the rights and the wrongs of the issue, the fact that a Hindu pontiff, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi could be arrested for implication in a temple murder, may indicate that, perhaps amazingly, things are changing in vastly tradition-bound India. Even so, in passing, I raise the question whether he would have been arrested if the charges had related to child abuse instead of murder.
Foremost among Indian critics of Sai Baba, is Basava Premanand, founder of the Federation of Indian rationalist Associations, who edits The Indian Skeptic and convenes the Indian chapter of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)
Scroll to heading ‘Major Critic Basava Premanand’. This indexes the article links for a series of very detailed comments concerning the killings at Puttaparthi, on June 6,1993. B.Premanand responds to a critic.
On B. Premanand
The BBC’s Tanya Datta, reporter on the 2004 television documentary on Sathya Sai Baba, writes on B.Premanand, India’s best-known Rationalist. Sathya Sai Baba: God-man or con man. “Basava Premanand is India’s leading guru-buster. He believes that the country’s biggest spiritual leader, Sri Satya Sai Baba, is a charlatan and must be exposed”. Thursday, 17 June, 2004
Wikipedia Entry. “Basava Premanand is an eminent skeptic and rationalist from Tamil Nadu, India”.
Robert Priddy’s Writings on the Killings
Robert Priddy, retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Oslo and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization.
On this blogsite
Barry Pittard, Indian Rationalists, Humanists Unsafe Opposing Sai Baba
This entry was posted on May 10, 2007 at 4:04 pm and is filed under Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Trends, World Issues, World Religions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.