Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel
Posted by Barry Pittard on October 1, 2007
Intense and blind faith in gurus, such as one finds endemic in India, shames a great many of her otherwise educated individuals, including scientists. It jeopardizes her opportunities to gain unstinting international respect.
Still flinging themselves passionately at the feet of gurus, and worshipping them as God incarnate, they ignore the gurus’ absurd pronouncements on matters scientific. This would matter badly enough if the gurus were small local gods and demigods, because no communities should need to suffer from such gross ignorance and superstition, which always tend to spread, anyway. However there are many gurus in India who have vast followings and they are extremely powerful and influential. They also attract many young, impressionable people from many countries. Because I lived lengthily in India, living with some wonderful Indian families, and worked beside Indians from a wide array of backgrounds and religious and non-religious affiliations, I was able to gain a sense of how deeply ashamed many thoughtful and sensible Indian people are of these gurus and the harm that they do.
Some Indian Gurus Attract Millions of Followers
Sai Baba, to take one of a number of instances, is worshipped as God incarnate by millions, and his devotees have numbered a series of prime ministers, presidents, as well as countless other power brokers in the highest echelons, often irrespective of party affiliation.
Guru Worship Poses Grave Harm to India’s International Reputation
These mental gymnastics that allow so many educated Indians to listen to the utterest balderdash from gurus like Sai Baba, will increasingly shame India before the world as she vies for superpower status, and as the international spotlight falls increasingly on her. She may not be stage-struck, but she is, all-too-often guru struck. If she were to manage to secure genuine moral highground, enough countries might feel greater pleasure doing business with her, in preference to China, with her continued and huge-scale human rights abuses. (Not that India does not have to address many very serious human rights abuses). But how can she, when she is in such a parlous mess in so many areas?
Another India, Another Time
One of the greatest privileges I ever had was, in my years spent in India, meeting a number of wonderful individuals who not only faced with dignity, integrity and courage the evils of British imperialism but also the oppressions meeted out during Mrs Indira Gandhi’s 21-month 1975-1977 Emergency. Some Judges I met had made the grand refusal to see good laws perverted, and made great sacrifices, including jail, to show their non-cooperation. They reminded me of Sir Thomas More the Lord Chancellor of Tudor times who stood up to his monarch, Henry VIII, one of the most absolute of history’s rulers, and was prepared to be tortured and to die for doing so. Those I met who were in the Indian army were of an era when there was a great pride taken by the Indian people in their armed forces and whose behaviour was in such marked to distinction to her perpetually cruel and hated police forces.
Perhaps only younger and more questioning generations of Indians will be able to make the difference, and that can only be when gerontocratic ruling hands are prized from their deadly grip at the merciful time of death of these incredibly corrupt individuals (most of them men!).
Below, which I excerpt from an article by Robert Priddy – Global Warming and Prophecies – is but one example of the crass scientific ignorance I refer to:
Sai Baba has evidently picked up some stray thoughts from visitors and his educated servitors about the ozone layer and CO2 pollution and has mentioned the problem in a few sentences.
We see that Sai Baba was unaware that CFC gases were the primary cause of ozone depletion, for he believes that tree-planting (afforestation) could correct ozone depletion. He is ignorant of the science and obviously confuses ozone depletion with CO2 increase.
Quote: “Breaking decades of virtual Indian media silence on comment critical of Sathya Sai Baba, a number of major Indian news organizations have run (mostly November 22, 2006) the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) report on Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian, ‘The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards’“…
Quote: “Will more Indian activists Speak Out? Activism from within India against Sai Baba and his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization, and other corrupt gurus is crucial. Activists know best their own culture. It would be good to see many more critics than the courageous B.Premanand and Swami Agnivesh and a handful of others speak out against the abuses” ….
Quote: “According to reports by Sanjoy Majumdar, BBC New Delhi and Tim Sullivan of Associated Press, there have been some recent populist stirrings in India against corruption and its cover-up. Not that there have not long been those Indians who have stood up valiantly against these. One may hope that the groundswell will come to include corrupt gurus”….
This entry was posted on October 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm and is filed under Neglected/sidelined News, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Social and Politics, World Religions. Tagged: afforestation, CFC gases, Emergency, Indira Gandhi, ozone depletion, Robert Priddy, Sai Baba on global warming, Sai Baba's scientific ingorance, Sir Thomas Moore. 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.