Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment
Posted by Barry Pittard on April 19, 2011
In the last hours, many Indian newspapers have run the story on the direction by the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission to the State government to produce a report on Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition.
None too early in the piece, Sathya Sai Baba devotees themselves are now, at least via their lawyers, demanding answers concerning the workings of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Readers of this blog, and that of Robert Priddy and of related websites, have long been presented with evidence of grievous lack of accountability in the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and, at large, the international Sri Sathya Sai Organization. There are trust issues indeed.
Since circa 2000, when the internet began to allow the rapid universal spread of information and communication, constant execration and libel have been heaped on the efforts of former Sathya Sai Baba followers to present a critique of the corrupt workings of the Sathya Sai apparatus.
It is one of history’s odd ironies that Sai devotees themselves are now to the fore in wanting to tear away the iron mask of secrecy that dons the face of the Sathya Sai Trust. It is a further irony that only now is the Indian media really attending to what is happening. We just about busted several of our guts to make it otherwise. We have done our job. They have not done theirs. Decades of Indian media tolerance of the Puttaparthi scandal have allowed India’s ignominy given that it took the efforts of foreigners, working under immense strain and terrible odds, to expose the Sathya Sai cult via major media in the West.
Nor should it be offered as an extenuation that the Indian media is too ill-equipped to research accounts of foreigners. First, it did not even investigate on its own turf. Second, it did not carry feeds until, terribly late in the case we were able to make a strong showing of ourselves with IANS, Indo Asian News Service, which shook up some of their clients enough to get into India some aspects of The Guardian story on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the related Sathya Sai mischief involving Dr Venkataraman.
Foreign media we were able to convince of our excellent credentials include:
BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In paper media – Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian (a major front page article by an award-winning journalist (Torrance Mendez) was pulled at the 11th hour!), Adelaide Advertiser, etc., …..
In corruption torn India, there are nevertheless some extraordinarily fine workers in Human Rights. Trustfully, there are enough of them available to resist the powers of Andhra Pradesh State government – which, irrespective of any party hue or coalition, have long been awesomely predisposed to protect Sathya Sai Baba.
Will so many politicians of all parties in India want transparency and accountability from Puttaparthi? They! – who are so known for their endemic corruption via nepotism, casteism, gerontocracy, brutal, illicit use of the police and security forces and goondas (hired thugs), and so forth. Will they be too willing to let go the golden – though not indeed at all cosmic! – egg, that Sathya Sai Baba has for so long represented for them – especially the billions of dollars flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust from abroad?
There is the lonely example of one outspoken Andhra Pradesh former Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair, who attempted to whistle blow to the BBC in its 2004 exposure of Sai Baba, The Secret Swami. And of the very courageous and unputdownable (late) B. Premanand. See: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009
This concerned the massive cover up following the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in Puttaparthi, 6 June 1993. Further resources on the BBC documentary and the murders documentation are found here
I see that, overnight (mytime AEST) my colleague from Norway Robert Priddy has blogged suggesting the sort of reports we might wish to expect if only the official health reports on Sathya Sai Baba were more factual. See: Sathya Sai Baba life support problem. Posted by robertpriddy on April 18, 2011. He writes:
Without the life-support system, independent medical opinion would surely expect him to die sooner than later. The malfunctioning of the chief body organs are like this:-
1) the heart (which stopped and had to be operated with a pacemaker) and which now shows fluctuating low blood pressure levels
2) the lungs (which are not muscularly strong enough to keep him breathing sufficiently and cannot expel mucus, so needing medication against spreading infection and a respirator)
3) the kidneys (which have been on more or less continuous dialysis because they cannot expel bodily waste materials which accumulate there as poison)
4) the liver (the very name of which indicates its vital importance to life), was and likely still is badly infected with jaundice and requires constant monitoring so it will not worsen.
5) Last but far from least, the digestive system – unable to eat food, Sai Baba is on intravenous sustenance.
The doctors do not spell things out like this, however, they are both devotees and therefore extra careful diplomats – not least considering the powerful emotions raging around the guru, the diverse accusations of misdeeds by SB’s minders and the litigation against those in charge of his assets and person.
NOTE: Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: email@example.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is: Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011
TIMES OF INDIA
IANS | Apr 18, 2011, 09.46pm IST
Andhra rights commission seeks Sathya Sai Baba’s health report
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission on Monday directed the state government to submit a report on the health of spiritual leader, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Puttaparthi for the last three weeks.
The commission has asked chief secretary SV Prasad to submit a detailed report before April 29 on the condition of the 85-year-old spiritual leader and the treatment being given to him.
The order came on a petition filed by an organisation Dalit Jana Sabha, seeking directions to the government to come out with facts relating to Baba’s health.
The petitioner alleged that the authorities of the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital and Sathya Sai Central Trust were not giving a true picture of his health, causing concern to millions of his devotees in India and abroad.
A team of state government doctors, led by director of Medical Education, Department of Medical and Health, Ravi Raj, is also monitoring Baba’s condition.
Baba, who was admitted to hospital March 28, remains critical. He is suffering from multi-organ dysfunction and continues to be on life support system, doctors attending on him said.
Meanwhile, a group of devotees on Monday lodged a complaint with the Puttaparthi police station that there is a threat to Baba’s life from Sathya Sai Central Trust members.
The complainant demanded that the devotees be allowed to see the spiritual leader.
A petition has already been filed in a court in Penukonda, Anantapur district, seeking direction to the hospital authorities to let the devotees see the spiritual leader.
A section of devotees alleged that trust members were responsible for Baba’s illness and were trying to deny them access to him.
General Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction) (Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):