Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for July 12th, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba College Teachers Angry At “Illegal” Non Payment And Sacking

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

News Flash – Today ……

Scarcely a few days pass before there is yet another series of revelations about the Sathya Sai institutions. In the past, Sai Baba devotees have been extremely remiss to speak out about the negative experiences they have had of the various sections of his organization as being e.g., “Baba’s Leela”, “Swami’s Test of our faith”, “Bhagavan’s Lesson”, etc., etc., ……

Anything that is remiss, ugly, cruel and unusual, irregular, and so forth, has long been passed over with a profound sense of psychological denial, or, in other cases, because those who have been outraged have not wanted to cause difficulties to themselves, families or friends. Sai Baba would commonly say – don’t criticize, see your own reflection in what you like to criticize. In other words, a teaching which, in certain applications, may have sense, but was repeatedly perverted in a way supportive of cover up, suppression and the climate of fear that attends authoritarian rule. The outcome has been, all along, a far-reaching denial of perfectly normal, legal entitlements, what to mention serious and fundamental human rights.

One may, soon enough, witness an increased readiness for more and more Sai Baba devotees ready to give court testimony of a kind which, in the following months and years, can tear away duplicitous and complicitous mask after mask from the leaders of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization.

To be sure, Sathya Sai Baba is dead. But those who acted in complicity with him and ignored –  so our considerable body of evidence goes – crimes which outrage Indian laws and constitution and ethics in countries everywhere, are still very much alive.

In the news report below, a Sathya Sai Baba college lecturer, Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur, speaks right out. She is from an institution that is run by the Sathya Sai Central Trust. That is to say, the Trust which is repeatedly being front-paged, in an atmosphere of shocking and vast-scale scandal, in India for the last many weeks. Here are its executives – all male:

Sh. Ranjeet VithaldasConvener, Sri Sathya Sai Trust

Sh. Indu Lal ShahMember, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur &Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust &Advisor, Sri Sathya Sai World Council.

Sh. S.N. BhargavaChairman, College Governing Council 

Sh. J.N. SharmaSecretary, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur &Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur.

A great many who do not know the way the Sai Baba ethos and daily officialdom works, may think that there is nothing unusual about Dr Savita Swami, a part of the Sathya Sai institutional framework, being outspoken. In fact, such a pronouncement is extremely rare. She is a part of the highly integrated Sathya Sai education system. Her college prospectus proclaims that it aims to embody the ancient aspiration of  “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye” – education which liberates. The college ventures this:  “Our own modern correlative of providing to the students that education which not only liberates but also empowers”.

Well, notoriously, the prospectuses of education institutions are, the world over, cases of promises vastly exceeding performance, and ideals that bear scant touch with the real world. But, given that the Sai Baba system, promises far more than any other institution – namely, the direct guidance of the Lord of Lords – the claims are terribly tall, and, rather, are mere plays with words. The typical flowery rhetoric gave me discomfort when I was teaching in the Sathya Sai education system – at the Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore (1978-9), even though, at the time (and, mea culpa, for twenty-five years!) I believed that Sathya Sai Baba was the embodiment of what I then conceived as ‘Divine’.

But such education aims are simply not achievable when one is forbidden to speak out. To question. To debate. To fearlessly hold a point of view. When one is not empowered and therefore not liberated in any meaningful sense. The constraint is a terrible one, which shackles body, mind and spirit.

This is a Soviet-style, heavily hierarchic, top-down organization where there has long been a terrible price for those who do speak out. They are post-haste flung out of the Sathya Sai Organization or threats are made which cause many individuals to cower and recant against their own deeper stirrings of conscience.

However, in these days of swift and remarkable sea change in matters relating to Sai Baba’s organization, I suggest that increasingly many more ‘lower echelon’ Sai Baba organisation members will emerge to have their say. (From what I hear informally, I understand that this uprising of dissent against the Sai Central Trust will, in a number of other cases, include the presence of lawyers). Dr Swami says:

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

I suspect that Dr Savita Swami is an early symptom of a phenomenon in the rank-and-file world of Sai Baba devotion that I think will, soon enough, swing into action. In my blog of earlier today, I pointed out:

“One factor that may somewhat save the day could well be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have put up with more than enough from figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust”. 

See:  Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?

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Oneindia News

Sathya Sai College in a financial crunch? Teachers cry foulc with

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:52 [IST]

Jaipur, Jul 12: The Sri Sathya Sai College has run into functional and financial trouble after it illegally fired 15 staff members, including 11 lecturers.

According to the college, the staff was fired for financial issues but teachers beg to differ on the same.

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

Teachers also said that the college owed each of them Rs 2 lakh and only 66 percent of them were given their salaries since 2008.

The college has a different story to say. According to the institution, the money taken from teachers were donations, while the latter say that money was taken from them on the pretext of bringing the college out of crisis.

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba certainly lives on, though not in the fashion in which his devotees commonly conceive. The revelations of scandal and duplicity among those left behind to clean up the unholy mess have kept coming. So far the Andhra Pradesh government has shown a number of signs of being accountable. Its police and revenue seems to have been doing their job. Even so, questions need to be driven here – for example, why did the AP government leave the Sathya Sai Trust un-superintended after the first massive haul of treasure was exposed?  Why did it allow the Trust to appear to be a good taxpaying citizen when it allow the Trust to pay taxes on the vast millions of booty that has already be discovered?  This government will be under much scrutiny. But then, again, how can one scrutinise governments notorious for secrecy and duplicity?

So far the AP government has ordered some arrests, though we must notice that this has been of footsoldiers. Poor wretched minor players. Of the type who tend caught. But such a scenario is common the world over – the Mr Bigs usually are exempt and the Mr Smalls cop prison.

For decades, Andhra Pradesh has been complicit in cover ups of Sathya Sai Baba. Many sides of politics are riddled with Sathya Sai Baba devotees, many of them in the highest echelons of power. This is true throughout India but, after all, AP is the Sai Baba home ground. Even here, there is the factor that political horse-trading knows few boundaries when it comes to interstate influence by political parties that are India-wide.

Exposure of any improper procedures by the AP government may have to remain discoverable by what does not happen and what is not seen, when it should have happened and should have been seen. One factor that may somewhat save the day may be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have had more than enough of figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust.

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Sathya Sai trust submits report to Andhra Pradesh government

Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: July 11, 2011 20:57 IST

Hyderabad:  The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the affairs of late Sathya Sai Baba’s spiritual empire on Monday, submitted a detailed report to the Andhra Pradesh government on its functioning as well as financial details.

Responding to the government’s notice, the trust submitted the report to endowments secretary K.V. Ramnachari.

The report contains details of the trust’s finances, its activities, revenues, institutions run by it, members of the trust, their addresses and their professions.

The trust has also reportedly provided details of the trust’s objectives, its day-to-day functioning, details of the officials who run the trust and various institutions, assets, income and expenditure.

 The report also contains details of the trust’s bank accounts, the subsidies given by the central government, exemptions from income tax regulations and also the names and other details of its auditors.

Officials said the government would evaluate the report before taking a decision on the demands from a section of devotees to take over the trust or at least set up a mechanism to monitor the trust.

It was on June 27 that the government had asked the trust to submit the report in 10 days. The move came amid allegations that the trust members are involved in financial irregularities.

It is for the first time in nearly four decades that the government intervened in the affairs of the trust. The trustees were facing allegations of irregularities after Sathya Sai Baba’s demise on April 24.

Anantapur police had last month seized Rs.35 lakh from a car and arrested three people, who revealed that they were transporting the cash from Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi to Bangalore on the directions of two trust members.

Though the trust has claimed that the money was donated by some devotees for building Sathya Sai Baba’s samadhi, the police are continuing the probe amid allegations that huge cash and valuables were shifted out of the ashram.

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BBC South Asia

8 July 2011 Last updated at 15:08 GMT

Satya Sai Baba Trust ‘has $190m cash reserves’

By Swaminathan Natarajan BBC Tamil

Sai Baba pictured in 2004There has been wild speculation about the value of Sai Baba’s assets.

A trustee in charge of managing the vast empire of the late Indian guru Satya Sai Baba has revealed that it has $190m (£118.3m) of cash reserves.

The trustee says media reports have wildly exaggerated the true value of assets managed by the trust.

Media reports have put the value of all trust assets at between $10-25bn. This is thought to be the first time its cash reserve value has been revealed.

Satya Sai Baba was one of the most influential Indian spiritual leaders.

He enjoyed support from all areas of Indian society and had millions of followers around the world.

But he was dogged by controversy including allegations, never proven, of sexual abuse and charlatanism. He died on 24 April at the age of 84.

He used his wealth to carry out number of social welfare activities, including building a hospital and a university.

After his death, wide-ranging concerns were expressed by the public about who would inherit his massive wealth.

“We have about 8.5bn Indian rupees ($190m) of cash reserves. The interest we get from this will be used to run our hospital and university,” Madras-based industrialist V Srinivasan said.

But the trust does own huge assets. It runs a big hospital in Bangalore, it has a university and it owns land in various places around India.

“The properties we have are all for specific purposes. In Bangalore, we have 60 acres of land where our super-speciality hospital is already built,” says Mr Srinivasan.

“This land is not used for commercial purposes, nor will it ever be. So the value we will fix in our balance sheet is the value at which we acquired the property,” he says.

“Our trust is not speculative. It is very specific. We don’t hold any property for commercial development,” he adds.

But Sai Baba’s organisation also has property abroad.

“The properties that lie abroad don’t come under the central trust. They are run from respective countries. We have no control or knowledge of the value of properties abroad,” he says.

There are growing calls for the government to monitor the activities of the trust.

“[The] Andhra Pradesh government has asked certain details about the trust. We will furnish all the information that they have asked for by next week,” Mr Srinivasan said.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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