Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for the ‘Sikhism’ Category

Hearts Yearning

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 24, 2009

May we rise above the shadows of the divides and see the same Light and the same yearning in the hearts of all, however differently expressed

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Note: My preference on reading any of the central, archetypal stories in the sacred or other key literatures of the different cultures is to approach them via the heart. Intellect can do a service; however, once the heart and the imagination are out of the equation, there is the risk of entering the realms of what is doctrinaire, dogmatic and theological. When there is any claim to a superiority of one path over another, there is the instant throwing up of fortresses, watchtowers and crocodile-infested moats. Happily, there are many from faiths and those not given to faith who get along very well in workplaces and wider communities. Perhaps what they embody provides a role model that the world might well value.

Rock-a-bye This Babe. A Christmas Lullaby
 

Rock-a-bye this babe, this babe in your heart keep
Whose love is awake though the babe is asleep
Take him, hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

Oh, rock-a-bye this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is awake and yet this babe is asleep
You take him, you hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

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Hearts Yearning

 

Hearts yearning, hearts burning

Three wise men searched for one more wise

Who opens hearts, who purifies

Hearts yearing, hearts burning

In sleep no peace, just this tossing-turning

On earth no peace, just relentless burning

 

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

And in all those parts sprang a sacred fire

In the wise men's hearts sang an angel choir

Alleluia. All-ay-ay lu ia

 
Hearts yearning, feet burning

The donkey rests from the frosted road

The jest of man, though it bears his load

Heart yearning, such yearning!

Its soft eyes glow from the starlit baby

It knows of the load of that gracious lady 

 
So blessed though exhausted

Where the bright star hovered and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

In this simple, little cattle shed

And in all these parts sprang a mystic fire

In that donkey's heart sang the angelic choir

Alleluia. Alleluia

 

Troops stamping, troops tramping!

This little family took dread flight

From Herod's men in the depths of night

Troops burning, troops, burning!

Deep red stained - the swords would kill that yearning

On the earth for the end to the ceaseless burning 

  

All blood-red their footsteps

As they went mass-killing all the infant lads

Like beasts in the dead night feast on lambs

So did Rome's puppet, with his bullies and his shams

Wormwood was no cure for Herod and his ire

And his writhing fear there would come a Messiah

 

Starlight led sore footsteps

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold sought some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

Where in all earth's parts sprang a sacred fire

Where we would all sing as an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – this angel choir …. etc., …..
Note:  Both songs protected by The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)

Posted in New Age, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Ignorance of Basic Scientific Fact, and Devotee Silence on This Fact

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 3, 2009

Dr Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand of Arkansas, USA, was a George W. Bush Administration medical advisor. One might think that a physician of distinction would be on-guard about crowd estimates. Or, again, in treating highly questionable interpretations of sections of various scriptures as though they are established fact.

Many, however, are the cases where otherwise intelligent individuals, blinded by their fervent belief systems, abandon reason and commonsense. In a speech at Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebrations in Puttaparthi – a talk widely exploited as propaganda by the Puttaparthi machine, for example by the Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust – Dr Anand (who is assuredly not an expert on “all the major religious texts of the world”) said:

“The Advent of this Divine Form is referenced in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, in the Holy Koran, in the Vedas and Jaimini Mahabharatha, in the Guru Granth Sahib, and in all of the major religious texts of the world. Currently, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is worshipped by more than 100 million people from more than 200 countries in the world, but most of the world remains oblivious of His Presence”

This speech appeared at the Sathya Sai official site http://www.srisathyasaipublications.org/anand.htm but has gone from this link. A longer quote from it (than here) appears at the Brian Steel, along with his detailed commentary, at page cited below.

It is to no point (other than to reveal that they ceaselessly abandon their master’s teaching about right speech and action) that Sathya Sai activists resort to vituperative and personal attacks on those former devotees and other critics who expose the absurdities. It is a sure sign that they defend the indefensible – for example his claim that the life enters the foetus at four months and nine days – YET, contradictorily, that it enters at 210 days. Dr ‘Sunny’ Anand is a top expert in neonatology, and cannot possibly run his medical practice or teach his university student along the lines of the preposterous statements reported in Sathya Sai Baba official magazine, Sanathana Sarathi.

 

NOTE:

Quoting at some length Dr Anand’s remarks made at Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebrations, the former Sathya Sai Baba follower Brian Steel – A New Celebrity Endorsement of SSB’s Alleged Divinity?  (January 2006) wrote that he had written to Anand:

“I recently managed to establish initial contact in order to ascertain whether he did in fact make and authorise the extraordinary statement …. At first Dr Anand stated he was happy to clarify the as yet unidentified statement, but when I quoted it to him, he declined to answer by email, inviting me, instead, to his home for a friendly chat. With equal bonhomie, he added that any further emails from me would be automatically routed to the Junk box of his professional email address. Since he did not see any reason to offer me his private email address, I instantly concluded it would be a waste of my time and money to fly 10,000 miles for the promised chat.

Although my initial question has still not been categorically answered, all I can – and must – do for the moment is to publish the alleged comments, because they are a part of a very powerful promotional public statement by the SSO (or, to be more exact, the SSSBPT, which is the publishing wing of the Organisation – just one of the network of official websites which have sprung up since 1999 to promote the guru who originally became famous for stating, rather disingenuously, that he needed no advertising)”.

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Further Reading

See the article by Jorge Reyesvera (an ex-devotee and Sathya Sai Organization leader, Mexico) on Sathya Sai Baba’s extraordinary Mahasivarathri 2002 discourse: 

Sai Baba and Magnetism – The Omniscient Sai Baba’s Massive Ignorance of Physics Exposed (1)  by Jorge Reyesvera

Robert Priddy

Sathya Sai Baba on the physical sciences

Dr.G. Venkataraman – physicist ‘explains’ Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard

When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                                                                                          ——————————————————

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Posted in Medicine, Opinion, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

The Sathya Sai Baba Organization has tried to stem a major exit from congregations via an entity it internally refers to as ‘the waverer’s committee’.  This wealthy and highly authoritarian organization, which seeks to infiltrate mainstream civic, religious, education and political venues, will not be so frank as to show the waverers the following videos. For the Sathya Sai Organizations recruiting drives in luxurious venues, See: ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. For the dangers posed in its infiltration of unsuspecting communities, while concealing its agendas, and often from its own rank-and-file, See, Sathya Sai Baba Sect and Its Hidden Agendas. A Caution

To carefully go through these stark video revelations that expose Sathya Sai Baba cheating with his (so-called) miracles is to see why his chief defenders like Dr G. Venkataraman and Gerald Moreno have raised profound smokescreens and engineered such markedly distorted ‘pictures’ of hundreds of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees. Many of the latter, from many countries, spent deeply dedicated years of their lives serving him. Some of these were leaders such as Terry Gallagher (Australia), Stephen Carthew (Ph.D Program Candidate, Australia), Al Rahm (USA), Richard Nelson, Rick Raines (USA), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Dave Lyons (USA), Serguei Badaev (Russia), Artur Wisniewski (Poland), Britt-Marie Anden (Sweden),  Robert Priddy (Norway) …. Although it is men who in real fact lead the Sathya Sai Organization, prominent women leaders who have left after years of work on behalf of the organization include:  Shirley Pike, Sharon Purcell and Elena Hartgering (both deceased), Lori Kaplowitz, Ella Evers, and many others …. Shirley Pike and Elena Hartgering have a long professional background as very qualified, experienced mental health counselors, as are a number of former devotees who have very carefully studied the accounts of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse survivors – and some have had personal contact with the terribly stricken individuals and their families and others who know them well.

Despite extraordinary attempts to blacken their names, such former devotees have spoken out on behalf of the many boys and young men Sathya Sai Baba, has sexually abused, and large numbers of other individuals abused in a variety of shocking ways. Four individuals were killed in Sai Baba’s bedroom on June 1993 – when he was in control of the cirumstances at the Puttaparthi ashram – and the circumstances extensively covered up by successive Indian central, state and local governments. Former devotees have been attacked libelously, stalked, themselves and their families harrassed (including those who have had nothing to do with the exposure of Sai Baba and his cult), and constantly disparaged. The fact that Sai Baba devotees who have known, respected and loved those who have left the organization having investigated the facts bear a great weight of failed conscience. They know perfectly well that their earstwhile co-faithful are not, and have never been, the devils Sai Baba has said that they are. I add that most Sai devotees do not actively attack former devotees – because, simply, they are not like this. However, some who are prominent followers, and close to Sai Baba himself, have been long engaged in the attacks on the Internet supporting their proxy, Gerald Moreno.

The BBC, DR and other footage is a valuable resource for those who, in their families, friendhip circles, professions, communities and so on are deeply concerned and wish to have evidence by which to confront those who have been attracted by the Sathya Sai Baba sect. Although approaches through reason and evidence frequently will not work with members who are blinded to the facts, there are many others who have successfully been shown the facts before they got around to joining or else those who having joined are nonethless still of a mind capable of questioning.

For Longer Video Viewing

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):

(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Video Clips

‘The Secret Swami’ showcased with selected transcripts and brief
video clips

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs) (i.e., the world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization. The BBC’s hidden camera caught Dr Goldstein in a display far from spiritual. Though the BBC’s team asked perfectly reasonable questions about accountability)

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief(456kbs)

Reading (With Links to Video Clips)

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba). Revealing Footage

Articles At: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com Referring to the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

Recent Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba Cult in Australia By Channel NINEMSN

(Note: Video footage Links available within these articles)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Australian Current Affair: ‘Infiltrating A Cult’ (Sathya Sai Baba)

Sathya Sai Cult Under Media Scrutiny In Australia

Posted in Miracles, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Attacks By Hooligans Against Foreign Students In Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 5, 2009

In relation to attacks against foreign students in Australia, there are some tough questions. A number of reasons exist why the majority of these attacks have occurred on Indian students, and the issue is complex. The situations are not as portrayed, with a dangerous, irresponsible oversimplification, either by certain sections of the Indian media that are clearly committed to jingoism, hysteria, sensationalism and burgeoning of sales, who gravely misrepresent the view of a great many Indians who live in Australia (See e.g., statement by Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria president Vasan Srinivasan) or by an isolated but powerful and  disgraceful class of radio talk-back hosts who are biggots and their poorly-educated audiences we alarmingly still have in Australia, known as ‘shock jocks’.

No amount of misrepresentation can alter the facts that most Australians do not engage in or approve of racism. Many from some 200 countries who have migrated to this country attest to this fact. The situation is not assisted by those who, whether out of sensationalism or simple-mindedness or agendas of hatred resort to the fallacy of confusing part with whole, branding the behaviour of a few a whole group, who do not think, or feel or act out that for which they are being assailed.

However, the question of whether we in Australia are in danger of being selfish, cocooned, complacent and far too unquestioning of our ‘authorities’ and ourselves is quite another question. It was communities in the suburbs, far more than forces within governments, which won Australia’s great achievements in  forging a multicultural society. Sometimes the word ‘multiculturalism’ has been used but it can be a confusing and systematically misleading term.  The Australian experience – or experiment –  needs to be carefully distinguished from the performances of other countries, and discussed with proper regard for the facts.  One starting-point for those who wish to survey the area is the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council, which has many resources both practical and academic. The Council’s website is HERE.

But there is a work undone: those communities especially in the outer suburbs to which many foreign students are driven by their economic constraints will have to do some of it. They will need to rise to an occasion. Or will they expect the police and other authorities to do it for them? To stand by when bones are being broken and lives destroyed does not add up to self-respect and a sense of justice within those in whose midsts violence is happening.

I offer some questions – very preliminary – that I think my fellow Australians will need to consider:

Why have not messages got through to increasingly bold urban hooligans that attacks on anyone are not to be tolerated?

Why are these uneducated hooligans being permitted to sway Australia’s standing in the fellowship of nations?

What is there about our education, justice and parental support systems that allow for the existence of hooliganism?

What, if any, community-based, imaginative, proactive steps are being taken to make foreign students, migrants and refugees to feel welcome, valued and safe in Australia?

If the police are engaged in a losing battle, as in other areas such as drugs, are the Federal, State and Local governments failing in being upfront and in ensuring the widest public awareness and debate?

Why have attacks escalated to such a point where it has taken organized protests by Indian students studying in this country – and giving up their valuable time in which to raise their voices – before there is strong action directed to remediation?

Are outer and working class suburbs embraced by the powerful ethos  in this country which has generated so many distinguished achievements in bringing about Australia’s in many ways successful multicultural society?

What, if anything, has been the responsiveness by police, the three tiers of government, welfare, civic, religious, cultural, sporting organizations, especially in the outer suburbs to the conditions in which many overseas students are economically forced to study, travel back and forth, and reside?

What, if any steps, have been taken to raise public awareness about the enormity of contribution foreign students make to Australia, both in immediate economic terms but in many, and often intangible ways, in regard to the quality of lasting ties of friendship and cooperation internationally?

What, if any steps, have been taken to raise public awareness of the difficulties many overseas students face in regard to finance, language, culture, cuisine, arduous travel times back and forth between residence and place of study, the perils of landlordism, their being forced to take part-time jobs and somehow coping with demanding courses of study, and so on?

Have the police forces examined their own assumptions? For example, how could police possibly know whether many UNreported attacks were racist or not? The notion is absurd.

Are some police authorities refusing to see that a crime can be BOTH opportunistic AND racial?

Many Indian students, supported by their government and by leaders in the Australian Indian community, attest that the police have not been – qualitatively – listening. Why are the police listening now, and why, in certain ways, too late? Young students at this very moment lie bloodied and broken.

What is the accountability of those policemen police who manhandled parts of the crowd, in attendance at what the responsible media has reported as, except for rare exceptions, a peaceful protest by thousands?

Why are the State and Federal Governments and the education institutions at which foreign students study suddenly galvanized? Why not before this?

A question for those who cry racism at every turning: Has it been noticed that extremely few along the path of the march have been reported, on any side, as having been racist or insulting in any way?

A Helpline for Indian students who are victims of crime is available: 1800342800. From 10am to 5pm, and 7pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday.  Hellplines for ALL foreign students need to be provided and made extensively-known through the student fraternity.

Further Reading

Indian Students Attacked In Melbourne Australia: Cricket Star Brett Lee Voices Concerns

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 4, 2009

Attacks Against Indian Students in Melbourne, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 2, 2009

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UPDATE

From ‘Hindustan Times’ – which shows a sanity lacking in the sensationalists sections of the Indian media

See article details at this Blog:

Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, Politics, Protest, Sikhism, Social and Politics, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Indian Students Attacked In Melbourne Australia: Cricket Star Brett Lee Voices Concerns

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 4, 2009

Brett Lee is a prominent example of strong ties between India and Australia. It is good that someone with his credibility has stepped forward to bring calm to the situation following recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.

Australia is in for a test of another kind than cricket. Our country will be tested for whether democracy and muticulturalism truly flourish, as well as respect for the well-being and physical safety of all citizens of, and guests to, our country. Along with implementing changes to policing, law, education and greater public awareness of the issues, the Federal Government and State Governments in Australia face tests in how truthful and responsive they are when there is review of their performance in approaching urban crime.

Many have left the Sathya Sai Organization because of its pronounced lack of democracy, transparency and accountability. There has been monumental failure to address issues raised (often not publicly, and in many countries and Sai centers, by those quite other than prominent critics) such as sexual abuse of boys and young men from India and other countries by Sathya Sai Baba and certain leading members who work in his service, profound cover up of the circumstances surrounding the killings in his bedroom, massive misappropriation of donations for around the world utilized for lavish displays, property scams, and other scandals. Successive Indian Central, State and Local governments and large sections of the media have been involved in these cover ups. See below for some readings (which contain video footage from the BBC’s hour-long documentary which has been seen by millions worldwide, The Secret Swami)

Aside from sad incidents such as “sledging” (badmouthing on the sporting field), India and Australia share a great love of cricket, and many players on both sides have done their countries proud in the spirit in which they conduct themselves both on and off the field. Many friendships have been forged. It also means that forces from the community, apart from political figures are standing forth. Unless leaders with credibility in both countries make their voices heard, discussions about the relative roles played by racism and sheer, opportunistic street thuggery looking for “soft targets” will not have a proper chance to be heard.

I observed in my previous blog:

‘Racism thrives on ignorance, and on unreal social structures where persons and groups cannot get to interact with and appreciate persons and groups who are different. The locus of Australia’s achievements in multi-culturalism were not the politicians, but were staged in the Australian suburbs. They belong to the people, both older Australians and migrants, and they must not let political elites obsure or attempt top down solutions’.

Quite apart from policing aspects, areas such as student welfare infrastructure in learning institutes where students from India and many other countries study need urgently to be looked at. There are reports that some arrangements fall far short. Not to have excellence in an area such as this amounts to false pretences, given the importance those institutions place on overseas student study. The fees are large and the duties of care enormous. There must not be a single shortfall.

Because of the events in Melbourne, reports now surface that there have been widespread attacks in Sydney. Australia’s re-think will need to be far-reaching, and embrace all aspects of student wholistic welfare, and extend to foreign students from all countries – many of whose parents must at the moment be beside themselves with anxiety.

In the last days, Brett Lee was involved in arrangements to have a street cricket match with Indian students. This had to be called off because of still further violence perpetrated against an Indian student. Indian students who were in favour of the match were, however, uset by the renewed outbreak and naturally in no shape, emotionally, to play.

Unless all the facts are made plain, it will be very difficult to reconcile continuing reports of lack of foreign student safety and general wellbeing  with the statement, widely reported in the Indian media, issued via the Australian High Commission in India:  “We know through surveys of the many thousands of enrolled and graduating students that the overwhelming experience of international students is positive. This should be the outcome for every student”.

A Helpline for Indian students who are victims of crime is available: 1800342800. From 10am to 5pm, and 7pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday.  Hellplines for ALL foreign students need to be provided and made extensively-known through the student fraternity.

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Excerpt from The Age, Melbourne – For full article, click on story title

Cricket star Brett Lee voices concerns over Indian student attacks

Vance Mikin-Laurie. June 3, 2009 – 3:56PM

Cricket star Brett Lee voices concerns over Indian student attacks Vance Mikin-Laurie

Cricketer Brett Lee has voiced his concerns over the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. As the Australian team prepares for the Ashes tour of England, Lee – an ambassador for Deakin University – has moved to calm growing anger in India over the violence

…. (Brett Lee said) “The university is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of students. Deakin will be providing advice on how to keep out of harm’s way, and also counselling for anyone who feels unsure at this time” …

…. Both Lee and Deakin University have long-standing ties with India – Deakin was the first foreign university to open an office in India and Lee is is involved in charitable work through the Deakin India Research Institute.

…. The cricketer’s popularity has continued to grow in India recently through the Indian Premier League and he appears heavily in Indian media through his numerous endorsement deals .

…. A popular figure on the subcontinent, he even reached number two on the Indian singles chart in 2006 with the self-penned You’re the One For Me, a duet he performed with Bollywood star Asha Bhosle. ……………………………………………….

See my other articles of the violence against students in Australia:

Attacks By Hooligans Against Foreign Students In Australia

by Barry Pittard on June 5, 2009

Attacks Against Indian Students in Melbourne, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 2, 2009

Former articles with a cricket theme at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

International Cricket And The Secret Swami

Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer

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BBC Exposes Cover Ups By Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC Telivision

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

Posted in News, News and Politics, Opinion, Sikhism, Social and Politics, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Attacks Against Indian Students in Melbourne, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 2, 2009

There have been most shocking physical attacks against Indian students in Melbourne, Australia. Some 90, 000 Indian students now study here, second to China in the number of foreign nationals studying.  Australia intends to attract many more. They need to feel safe and respected. Yesterday’s news reported what is alleged to have been a peaceful demonstration waylaid by a small number of anti-social elements.

In March 2009, this blog reported Channel NineMSN’s exposure of security personnel violence against protesting staff and disabled clients at SWARA (run by one of the superluminaries of the Sathya Sai sect, Moyia O’Brien) in Brisbane. Reports that suggest the Melbourne protest was derailed by over-reaction of authorities, brought back eerie reminders of those accounts which a number of those involved (including those who remain Sathya Sai Baba devotees) have given.

In both the Brisbane case (security personnel) and the Melbourne case (police, including mounted police), violence by authorities has been seen. Irresponsible commentators see no reason why the actions of security and police should be examined. They fail to ask whether proactive, peaceful methods could have been used, instead of the violent handling of what had been organized as a peaceful protest. It is an old theme – and authorities in modern democracies cannot hide, though they try to, violent propensities. 

(For the SWARA case, see under Reading and Viewing, below)

As a nation, we need to decide whether we wish small numbers of louts to shopfront us to the world. More fundamentally, we have to find solutions to  danger posed by those marginalizing forces which create unemployed, dispossessed angry  young people who lurk by day and night on street corners unleashing their contempt for human life and property. Boldness and imagination can address these problems. We cannot depend on politicians to be bold and imaginative; we have to be bold and imaginative ourselves.

Melbourne newspaper The Age yesterday reported (May 31, 2009)  Gautam Gupta, a spokesman for the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) as saying:

“We want a multicultural police section and we want crime statistics made public so that we know the extent of the problem,” he said.

The protesters also wanted on-site accommodation for Indian students at all universities and colleges.

“We want blanket cover for all international students, covering them for accidents and assaults and the government should run an ad campaign highlighting positive influence that migrants and international students have made to this country.”

           Mr Gupta blamed outsiders for the trouble outside the station, saying it was always meant to be a peaceful rally.

“People have been angry over the past few weeks, especially the young people, but it was supposed to be a peaceful rally. Unfortunately there were some agitators there, stirring things up … They had their own agenda,” he said.

Many Australians with experience of Indian students know of their characteristic politeness and hard-working qualities. They do credit to their country. Let me give a small, though I think iconic, example of an arrangement that could, badly handled, have gone terribly awry. Because of huge outsourcing by Australia to India of telecom handling of public enquiries and complaints, the extraordinary politeness and patience of the Indian operators have become a byword among millions in Australia.

But something nasty is astir, though it should not deflect attention away from the fact that a great many Australians support multi-culturalism, a fact that has been strongly shown in poll after poll, including at the height of the Mrs Pauline Hanson’s deplorably simplistic political presence in the nineties. However, support is more than sentiments stated to pollsters. The real fairness and justice require that we do not pass by, and turn blind eyes, and cocoon ourselves or fail to inform ourselves. It is not by our deploring racism that our humanity will be guaged.

At the same time, heated debate over whether the attacks were based on racism or opportunistic, soft-targeting should not be allowed to obscure the fact that all citizens and visitors alike have every right to feel safe. Politicians in Australia of all complexions have been characteristically unbold in looking for solutions to poverty.

One question that has to be driven is this:  Are tougher sentences and proposed clauses such as ‘hatred for or prejudice against a particular group of people’, remedies that are anywhere near sufficient? The question about the extent of racism in a country may not, in the present context, be the most pressing or relevant one. Pressures in a changing society can make an issue that may be relatively isolated grow much larger. Emphasis on tough policing and judicial solutions, without a far wider suite of remedies, can ensure. counter-productively, that the hateful violent are increasingly sent to one of the best-known ‘colleges’ of hatred – the prison system, itself in grave need of reform. Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s prompt assurances to India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must be accompanied with sophisticated action. The raw-nerve (sometimes knee-jerk, sometimes cynical) reaction evinced by many politicians about finding and punishing the culprits will not do. The problem is far more complex.

Radically, we need to ensure that a false sense of ‘justice’ having been done is not engendered. Especially in dealing with aftermaths of crime (and for preventive capacity over time), I would point to far wider notions of ‘Restorative Justice’ – which some institutions, including police, have had success with. See, Restorative justice: An Australian perspective.

Racism thrives on ignorance, and on unreal social structures where persons and groups cannot get to interact with and appreciate persons and groups who are different. The locus of Australia’s achievements in multi-culturalism were not the politicians, but were staged in the Australian suburbs. They belong to the people, both older Australians and migrants, and they must not let political elites obsure or attempt top down solutions.

Racism and urban crime and violence greatly worsen in times of economic hardship and unemployment. India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Sujatha Singh, has said that she thinks Australia is not a racist society, but that there were are elements in Australia that hold “racist attitudes”. Referring to the Victoria Police, she spoke of a “lack of sensitivity” towards Indian student victims of crime. Mrs Singh has very rightly criticised the suggestion from the Victoria Police, with whom she has had an urgently-called meeting, that Indian students should move to safer suburbs. This police reaction the students’ realities lacks aliveness to the situation of many students. For many Indian and other foreign students, since they have to use their money extremely judiciously, live in lower rent suburbs, at a sacrifice of long periods of travel to and from their places of study. This fact lends futher strength to the call by the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) for a multi-cultural police section. I recently had the pleasure of meeting a busload of young Indian students who were visiting Steve Irwin’s famous Australia Zoo, and had a great chat. They studied Catering here.  They were by no means all from well-to-do sectors.

A very real question is: why is some given suburb unsafe? If it is unsafe, then the situation is not only a policing matter but also a matter that needs to be addressed by the whole community, with inputs from all the civic, religious, cultural, sporting, political and social welfare groups. 

It is to be hoped that other countries will not be shy of demanding strong accountability of Australia for the most proactive welfare of their students who study in this country.

The Age reports that The Deputy Commissioner of the Victorian Police Walshe believes ‘some Indian students were being attacked because they were by nature quiet and passive people, they travelled late at night, often alone and carried expensive gadgets’.

But if the situation is not fast and well-addressed (and one of the criticisms of the police and Victorian Government is that they have not acted sensitively or properly), India will not be too quiet and passive, and nor should she be.

We in Australia cannot forever, and unchallenged, pose ourselves as the great and successful multicultural undertaking on which many of us have felt a pride. Though there is truth and remarkable accomplishment, there is a point at which the resting on laurels, lazy assumptions and government propaganda have to be ground to a halt by our strong effort.

Among other authorities, Australian educators are going to have to address these issues very seriously and proactively. No ethnic group, or individual, should have to suffer any slight. A few years ago, I learnt that my former Indian yoga teacher, a woman, one of the most gracious and loved people one could ever meet, had been spat on. The disturbingness of this act dealt to one person is serious, but what to speak when reports of horrible actions are wider-spread.  

Having been a University student at the time of the great moratoriam marches against the war in Vietnam, and close enough to some of the events to know the facts, it was easy to see how very small but vicious agitator elements posed a danger to triggering off trouble. Key dangers were a minority of rabble, and the governments of the day and their police forces. Over the years, there have been reforms to police practice, including raising the educational qualifications, greatly increasing the presence of women, breaking down cultures of sectarianism, nepotism, and so forth. The Victorian government will need to probe whether any of the police acted outside proper professional guidelines.

It is no use Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd simply “deploring” to India and “assurring” her of urgent action. The problem lies far deeper than political accommodations can reach. All of us need to be engaged in the peaceful solution.

A Helpline for Indian students who are victims of crime is available: 1800342800. From 10am to 5pm, and 7pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday.

Reading and Viewing  – with link to the Channel NineMSN Australian Current Affairs program. This shows the sickening conduct of security personnel, seen by millions of Australians. The security detail was called by SWARA, when, to judge from the wide and separate questioning of those who had been involved, and from careful examination of the footage, the position appears to be clearly this: that social work professionals, volunteers and disabled clients were assailed without SWARA’s recourse to those pillars of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings which SWARA professes to hold: Truth, Right Conduct, Love, Peace and Non-violence. There are those close to the issues who still regard themselves as Sathya Sai Baba devotees who have used such terms as “disgusted” when they describe the conduct of SWARA committee personnel.

On The Attacks on Students

Indian Students Attacked In Melbourne Australia: Cricket Star Brett Lee Voices Concerns

Australia’s Channel NineMSN Exposes Security Violence At SWARA

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

Sathya Sai Cult Under Media Scutiny In Australia

Australian Current Affair: ‘Infiltrating A Cult’ (Sathya Sai Baba)

(see the original video and report here)

Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, Politics, Sikhism, Social and Politics, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Will A Newer India Throw Off Old Oppressions?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 10, 2009

As India edges towards superpower status, we see a newer and more confident generation.

It is a long time since I taught at the Sathya Sai college at Whitefield, (via Bangalore, South India), having a wonderful teaching experience in all three years of the Bachelor’s Course, where there were students from various classes from villages to palaces. It was moving to see what was emerging.

When I first went to India, it was only thirty years away from India’s Independence, which she gained  on August 14, 1947.   In his famous ‘Tryst With Destiny’ speech, her first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A 'tryst with destiny'

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A 'tryst with destiny'

 

 

spoke of a time: 

“when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance….. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again”

The historic perspective was the gradual annexation by the British East India Company from the middle of the 18th century and India’s subsequent crippling experience of British rule. And, much earlier to that, the waves of Mughal invasion and expansion.

Of course, uncomfortable passages between older and rising generations is, everywhere, the very stuff of great literary preoccupation. As I recently discussed, India, like other old cultures, has a millennial tradition for respect for elders. It is a very cohesive force, and young cultures that do not have it in such abundance are in deepest trouble.

Among other effects, this means that ruling class parents as they move from the direct hub of power can – whether now dead or old – peer all the more hauntingly over their children’s and grand children’s shoulders. There are minuses here as well, as in the example of nepotism, to cite but one example, for there can be the continuance of social and religious oppressions on a wide scale.

Those of India’s more visionary thinkers and planners who can see India’s way out of trouble – without leaving matters up to the so-called democratizations of a gross and rampant capitalism – will be her new heroes.

For the young Indian elites, the excitements and material rewards of their finding themselves at the helm of a superpower may accede all too much to the work of statecraft and and of a getting-‘there’-quick. One may pray that they may not and that they achieve mature balances between realpolitik and humane governance.

It is to be hoped that their rise will usher in a new India, a shining one in which what glitters is far more than gold, and in which, while maintaining her incredibly rich and varied culture, the young will throw off India’s international image (not in every respect a correct one) as a land of vast superstition and of endemic corruption, social turmoil, private opulence and public squalor.

Posted in Opinion, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

India’s Chronic Addiction To anachronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 7, 2009

India has lonf suffered the grip on her life of powerful, corrupt gurus. Since the 196o’s many thousands of foreigners – especially westerners – have gone there in search of their soul. Frequently, they have gone to the ashram of gurus, little realising that the factors in human nature that degrade the ideals of philosophies in their own culture are the same ones, though often in very different dress, are the same factors of degradation that exist in the institutions of their own cultural milieu. Each society has their own depiction of them. Since early Christian times, there have been the list of ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, which the Catholic Church codified thus: 

  1. luxuria (lechery/lust)
  2. gula (gluttony)
  3. avaritia (avarice/greed)
  4. acedia (acedia/discouragement)
  5. ira (wrath)
  6. invidia (envy)
  7. superbia (pride)

Devotees of gurus in the long Hindu traditions are familiar with the list of six primary ills that that Sathya Sai Baba would frequently reel off in his discourses and in interviews. These are the The Six Passions (or Enemies) of Mind, called the Ari-shadvarga: 

kama : lust; krodha : anger; lobha : greed; moha ; delusion; madamaathsarya : envy;

There is nothing amiss with such codifications, so long as they are not used for striking puritanical fear into human beings. And here lies the problem, many gurus in India, just as in many ‘priestcrafts’ elsewhere use such classifications to enslave. Given that profound superstition in virtually all quarters of Indian life, one wonders whether new generations in India’s ruling elites can rid themselves of the oppressions that are so deeply embedded.

Can India find a solution to the embarrassment that attends the spectacle of a great many foreigners – especially Westerners – drawn to her shores in search of replacement for their own abandoned belief systems, and, often, being profoundly misled?

The extreme grip of the gerontocratic, nepotistic and corrupt political old guard in India (and other power sectors) is now, in a post modern world, rapidly being culled by mortality striking down those who deadly grip on power has lasted for so long.

It does not matter which party or coalition of parties rules. There has long been the obsequious running to highly flawed gurus and astrologers. They are wrong in their predictions, and the leaders so often reliant of a huge network of astrologers.  The same mental befuddlement can be seen in those devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, who blind themselves to his many mistaken predictions and unfulfilled promises. At his ashram, too, we see a long processions of Indian Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, Presidents and Vice Presidents and other social elites flocking to his ashram in Puttaparthi. Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister, is no exception.  Atal Behari Vajpayee, the previous Prime Minister was a long-declared devotee. 

One wonders where is the pride at being Indian, when there is such reliance on the inpouring of billions of dollars, over time, that Sathya Sai Baba, along, what to speak of other gurus, suction in from foreign sources.

See:

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television and

Flag Follows Trade. Abetting Indian Government Corruption

Fmr Indian PM Vajapayee. Sathya Sai Baba devotee

Fmr Indian PM Vajpayee. Sathya Sai Baba devotee. Our Indian sources who were then at the power hub inform: Then Deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani outlined to Vajpayee the case against Sai Baba in relation to wide-scale serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, but Vajpayee became distressed, and, heedless, wrote flowery 'poetry' in praise of Sathya Sai Baba. Advani himself continued to visit Sathya Sai Baba when he wanted some advantage or other.

                                           Dr Mohan Singh dressed to the nines by Sai Baba for a glittering parade

India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh dressed up by Sathya Sai Baba for a glittering parade, not disimilar to Imperial notions of ‘bread and the games of the circus’ of ancient Rome

                                              Fmr Indian Pres. Shankar Dayal Sharma. Dresses To Please Puttaparthi Baba

Former Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma. Also dressed to the nines to please Puttaparthi Baba

India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Sathya Sai Baba devoteePresident Pratibha Devisingh Patil

Her mentor was the exceptionally powerful late  S.B. Chavan, the former Home Minister who presided over the profound cover up of attempted police and media investigations of the April 6, 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Only feebleness and death release the claw-like deadly hands of State. Their talented heirs (often the children and relatives of the old guard) and aspirants of a younger generation increasingly make their run to assert a modernity.  See:

Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel and

The Guru Trap. Will India Be Forever Trapped?

But at their backs they always hear the old-timers’ blinking chariots hurrying near (if I may twist to haplessness the English poet Andrew Marvell).

Will a somewhat younger India come to evince an efficient modernity, and be much less corrupt ?  We shall learn soon enough.

Some Resources

Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

India’s Painful Experience of Corrupt Leadership

Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus

General

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“No fear of bombs” in India, Said Sai Baba a Week Before Mumbai Terrorist Attack

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 1, 2008

On November 20, just before the horrendous terrorist strike on Mumbai, Sathya Sai Baba made yet another of his statements which have been tragically faulted by events seen by an aghast world only a few days later (and, in fact, all along, by a long series of terrorist attacks in India – extraordinarily overlooked by Sathya Sai Baba in his reported statement (as see below).

Terrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the World

Terrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the World

… While India’s and the world’s self-promised ‘Saviour’ potters and dithers, just as the Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burnt.

Sathya Sai Baba Statement’s Grisly Falsification A Few Days After

Here is the report of Sathya Sai Baba’s words from a discourse dated November 22 (the day before the vast and opulent birthday celebrations, see links below) – from a well-acknowleged Sathya Sai Baba reporter, R. Satish Naik (who lives close to the Puttaparthi ashram) of the well-organized Saibabaofindia group:

India is the only place where people are not worried about any attacks.  In America , Germany and other countries, they can’t eat well or sleep well. There is fear of bombs always in those countries. But in India , there is no fear of bombs. India will never have any such attacks”.

Extensive ‘Weeding’ By SSB Editors

Perhaps when it is realized, what an appalling blunder has occurred, the information will disappear, just as Sai editors have so long excised, prior to publishing discourses, glaring embarrassments such as his slips, contradictions, faulted prophesies, etc. I myself when editing for Sai Towers had occasionally a hand in such censorship, and would check with my dear friend, the late V.K. Narasimhan, editor of Sanathana Sarathi what he, at the same time, was excising, prior to publication, in regard to that magazine, which goes worldwide, as does the magazine Spiritual Impressions for which I was doing fairly extensive work.

Select Articles On SSB’s Gaffes, Falsified Statements, etc., at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions
Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?
Sai Baba Fails To Appear In Moon, IANS Reports
Serial Sex Abuse And Broken Promises of Miracle Healing
Huge Sai Baba Gaffes
Sai Baba Sparks Political Furore
When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises
Sai Baba – Miraculous or Disastrous?
The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
Sai Baba: I Will Save India Then World. But he’s Failed

On The Incredibly Lavish Birthday Celebrations In A Mostly Torturously Poor and Profoundly Socio-politically Unstable India

Sathya Sai Baba, 83. Health Critical. Some Key Links
Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake
India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him
Sai Baba 83. Has Said He Will Rule World
Sathya Sai Speaks. ‘I Do Not Like This Pomp’
Indian God’s Birthday. Says Will Rule World. Photo
Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

……………………………..

Sources for the R. Satish Naik’s report:

http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages /83-birthday/convocation_DD_22112008.htm

http://www.saibabaofindia.com/sai_baba_83rd_birthday-update-photos-23rdnov2008.htm

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saibabaofindia/message/14926

satish Naik
Brahmanapalli Thanda village
Near Puttaparthi
Anantapur
Andhra Pradesh
India 515134
Tel:91-8555-289327

MOB:9440857872
…………………………

NEWS JUST TO HAND (Major followers of Sathya Sai Baba are starting to fall from positions of high power). See:

Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry. Sathya Sai Baba Man

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 2, 2008

Sathya Sai Baba Man Falls As Home Minister, After Mumbai 2008

Sathya Sai Baba Man Falls As Home Minister, After Mumbai 2008

……………………………….

See Robert Priddy, former Norwegian head of Sathya Sai Baba Organization
Sathya Sai Baba’s divine foresight on terrorism
Posted by robertpriddy on November 30, 2008

QUOTE

As to there never being any fear of bombs in India, that is a massive mistake! So far out of touch is Sathya Sai Baba, surrounded by his gunmen and guards in his fortress ashram.  Shivraj Patil and his forerunners have presided over a long series of bomb attacks and terrible massacres of Hindus and Muslims by each other. The fear is tangible in many places, especially in Mumbai these days, of course.

There is nothing remarkable in Sathya Sai Baba making failed prophesies and predictions – he is constantly doing it! There is a regular cornucopia of false predictions, broken promises, and absurd claims of his importance to the world. (See here)

See also my last posting here:-
Shivraj Patil – Sai Baba worshipper – resigns

Sai Baba Man Shivraj Patil Falls As Home Minister

Sathya Sai Baba Man Shivraj Patil Falls As Home Minister

Posted in Miracles, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sikhism, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Mumbai Nightmare. Much Love To India At This Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 29, 2008

Many from India,

Mumbai Tragedy. The heart is sore for those who have been afflicted

Mumbai Tragedy. The heart is sore for those who have been afflicted

and those of Indian origin who live elsewhere in the world, come daily to this blogsite.

Having lived several years in India, and never known to be surpassed the great generosity, kindness and deep love that I so frequently experienced, I join all round the world whose hearts go straight to you.

India has just been – and is still being at this writing – deeply wounded. Her security forces and others in the path of the devastation have reacted with many acts of courage and sacrifice, and loss of their own lives or the shattering of bodies which will always bear the aftermath.

May there, somehow, be a great healing …

I have written a little elsewhere of profoundly life-changing experiences I had while living in India, see:

A Strong India Can Bless The World

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 21, 2008

Quotes

In the work in which I was in a small way involved, I saw the “emphasis on cross-community engagement and responsibility. One could see close up how Indians from various religious and cultural backgrounds (e.g., Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian, etc.) worked extraordinarily well together”.

“Receiving extraordinary kindness wherever I traveled, I experienced how so many Indians from a great array of backgrounds truly practise their time-honored notion that ‘guest is God’. When I was ill on a number of occasions, I experienced bountiful kindness and care of Indian people from various backgrounds, which at least twice saved my life”.

Posted in News and Politics, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, September 11, Sikhism, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Has Sathya Sai Baba Moved An Inch To Clean Up His Yard?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 14, 2008

My years in India furnished moving testimony to widespread harmonious relationships between Indian people of many religious and even non-religious backgrounds. This was no matter of mere tolerance but rather of most genuine acceptance of each other. Many are the instances of Indians visiting each other’s places of worship, family and other social, political and other gatherings. I was elsewhere in India during the 1984 pogrom against Muslims in the nation’s capital following the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi, but I was well informed that there were many instances of Hindus and others who risked their lives to protect persecuted Muslims. That is very moving.

Only last night, I was speaking with a charming student from Pakistan studying engineering in an Australian university, who very feelingly uttered a sentiment very widely encountered in the citizens at large of countries  whether one is traveling in India or Pakistan – “Left to ourselves, we get on very well, and like each other very much. It is the power people of both sides in their crazy games who threaten things for everyone!”

Sathya Sai Baba’s Back Yard Still In Deplorable State

The ailing Sathya Sai Baba has long said that he will first clean up his own ‘backyard’, India, before regenerating the whole of mankind prior to his death around 2022.

The following newspaper reports indicate an India that can all too easily be a power keg of great dimensions. As a democracy, of sorts, and though having formidable firepower across her armed services, she does not appear to be a security threat to the world at large. But what if she should self-immolate?

As a reminder that the present troubles in the state of Bihar are actually longstanding, and indeed reach far further back than this, I have included the BBC correspondant Daniel Lak’s 1999 report.

Some More Martial Minorities May Not Tolerate Attacks

The powerful emotions hinted at in the Panthic Weekly report give one pause to consider how, if non-violent and, at the same time, genuine solutions are not found, the widespread killings will not stop with actions against Christian and other small minorities. This publication reflects a worldwide powerbase (albeit by no means reflecting the opinions of all Sikhs) which attracts fairly formidable support and funding both from within India and beyond. The words used by the influential Dr. Amarjit Singh of Khalistan Affairs Center are not likely to be a mere letting off of steam:  “Sikhs ought to remember that after the Christians and Muslims it will be the turn of the Sikhs for a pogrom”.

His ominous threat of counter measures is likely to be backed by considerable resources of money, arms, training and all the rest.

Although far from achieving his aims, Mahatma Gandhi, to the end of his life, which he often risked, went to those bent on courses of destruction and helped them seek alternate solutions.

But where is Sathya Sai Baba’s cleaner back yard? It is in a frightful mess, just as is he. See:

Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail
When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises
‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

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Selected Press Readings

New York Times
Violence in India Is Fueled by Religious and Economic DivideBy HARI KUMAR and HEATHER TIMMONS
September 3, 2008
New York Times
By HARI KUMAR
August 28, 2008
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
Published: August 25, 2008
The Panthic Weekly
Right wing Hindutva Neo-Nazi thugs launch anti-Christian pogrom in the Indian state of Orissa
Friday 12th of September 2008
Dr. Amarjit Singh, Khalistan Affairs Center
“Sikhs, ‘captive’ in India should study the tactics of the Hindutva thugs in Orissa and be ready with counter-measures, by organizing/arming themselves and keeping their ‘powder’ dry, in case the November 1984 anti-Sikh barbaric pogrom, in which over ten thousand innocent Sikh men, women and children were murdered, in New Delhi alone, (after a ‘wink and a nod’ from the then Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi) is repeated in this first decade of the 21st century. Sikhs ought to remember that after the Christians and Muslims it will be the turn of the Sikhs for a pogrom”.
BBC NEWS. South Asia
By Daniel Lak in Delhi
Friday, September 3, 1999
“Church leaders and political parties in India have condemned the murder of a Catholic priest in the eastern state of Orissa, and called for more protection for the state’s non Hindu minority groups … Many in India, though, of all religious faiths are revolted by the spate of attacks Orissa and pressure to bring them to an end will definitely grow”.

Further Reading

Harvard Human Rights Journal. Volume 18. Spring 2005

TWENTY YEARS LATER: RECENT REPORTS HIGHLIGHT THE CONTINUING STRUGGLE FOR SIKH HUMAN RIGHTS
Prelude to the Pogroms: Operation Blue Star
History Revisited: Kaur’s Report of the 1984 Pogroms
Aftermath: Sikhs “Reduced to Ashes”
Continuing the Search for Truth

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