Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

India, Corruption and Sathya Sai Baba and His Chief Servitors

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 27, 2010

The person who wrote to me the following apparently comes from Andhra Pradesh, the State in South India where Sathya Sai Baba has his chief ashram in Puttaparthi. They commented on my previous blog: Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’. In regard to Sathya Sai Baba-related corruption,  the person speaks of my “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”.

It strikes me that the writer uses the notion of  corruption “parallels” in a systemically misleading way. Surely a more helpful contextualization of the corruption issue to be seen in Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors in comparison to widespread, endemic corruption in India  is a notion not of ‘parallel’ but of symptom. This is to say that – apart from the fact that corruption can be found in any social system – many of the Sai Baba-related corruptions reflect aspects deep-rooted in the Indian social system, and promoted by its flaws. It would, of course, be absurd to say that all the corruptions to be seen in one part of a social fabric are replicated in every other instance. For example there are Sathya Sai Organization programs which serve human beings without discrimination on the grounds of caste or creed. A discussion would need to be complex, and attempt some weighting of relevance among phenomena often encountered in India as guru worship, demagoguery, casteism, nepotism, and elitism of various kinds, superstition and dependence in matters such as astrology (not least among the elites), vast social inequality, dowry, and so on ….

In the above article, I had commented:
“Wikileaks reports of Indian troops atrocities and judicial barbarism by Indian authorities points to but one of a number of huge issues erupting in India right at the moment. Every tragic year that passes shows that Sathya Sai Baba has not “cleaned up (his) own backyard”, as he long ago promised he would do.  India’s security and well-being do not rest in the hands of her superstitious and corrupt leadership – many individuals of which gather around Sathya Sai Baba. They are in the hands of those who, at every level, actively and honestly struggle, with great sacrifice, against the systemic venalities”.

 The correspondent wrote:

“For their own karma, all Gurus deserve a healthy dose of irreverence! However,’guru-bashers’ need to be wary of mixing-up issues. This is particularly true when indulged in by foreigners. Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba may have legitimate complaints about him, but ‘inferring’ by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses, is silly and counter-productive.

 
Today, all Indians, whether devotee or non-devotee, atheist theist and agnostic alike, are hugely shamed by the unending exposure of monumental scams in the country. By imputing Sathya Sai Baba for India’s ills, is trivializing and misconstruing the scale and its causes.

 
Devotees will exploit the opportunity to elevate the aging Baba to someone like Christ being crucified for the sins of others”.
Whereas, throughout my many writings, I have made points of the sort:

 
1. That there are courageous forces in India – and always have been – which oppose the corruption.

2. That, among a plethora of other mischiefs, Sathya Sai Baba is exposed by his failure to do what he has long proclaimed that he will do – namely, raise India to great moral and spiritual heights and then the world – effectively, within his own lifetime.

3. The term “guru bashers” is a term that needs, case by case in situations of usage, to be analysed. It is often too much of a label and a curse word, which can obscure the real intents and the arguments being advanced.

4. It is correct that devotees can exploit adverse criticism. Or rather, to be exact, some devotees, because many of them avoid controversy of any sort and simply get on with their prayers, bhajans, etc. But when have not some of those blinded by cultic belief NOT attempted to exploit adverse criticism? Yet, silence or watered down critiques are not likely to be helpful, are they? What critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult have attempted to do is to expose the huge deficit between precept and example – the monumental cover ups, the sexual and other abuses, the repeated failures of predictions and of promises (such as of healing, placement in his educational and other wings …), large-scale scams in regard to provision of water, of apartments, the lack of duty of care within the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, the vast wastage of internationally-contributed funds in glorifying Sai Baba via luxurious buildings, golden trappings of imperial splendour, lack of accountability and transparency by the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sai Baba’s countless contradictions that are to be found in his officially published discourses and other such sources; and much else.

 5. The writer speaks of: “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”. In regard to causality, one cannot, of course, willy-nilly deal of all corruptions afflicting India as paralleling those of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. Those who read properly what is actually written will find an avoidance of such simplifying of complex issues in the articles of the most prominent former devotee writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel or myself, or the independent British author never affiliated with Sai Baba Kevin R.D. Shepherd . They will also find in myriad libraries and on the internet a great many reformist Indian writers who, likewise, cannot fairly be accused of “India bashing”.  

——————————————————————-

The profound extent of  the grasp of superstition across classes in India  –  not to mention other pre-scientific manifestations – to which Sathya Sai Baba gives credence is exposed in this well-sourced article by Robert Priddy, who writes of how:

WITCHCRAFT AND BLACK MAGIC STILL PLAGUE INDIA
and how Sathya Sai Baba aggravates the current witchcraft problems in India
 


“Sathya Sai Baba holds firmly that black magic is a real phenomenon, as the quotations below prove. His person and his so-called ‘teachings’ are held in awe by Prime Ministers and Presidents of India and – yet worse – Supreme Court judges. How can this country abolish the dreadful ignorance of so many citizens, apparently including supposedly highly educated persons?” 

 

Some Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’


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