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Archive for the ‘Tennis’ Category

Sathya Sai Baba Fails To Materialize Top Tennis Match

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 23, 2008

What? No one for Sai Baba tennis?

Anyone for a contractual obligation?

Well, there was player turnup, except for the authority’s last-second cancellation because there was no Sai Baba turnup. The shocked reaction of one of the players interviewed (see Hindustan Times report below) carries its own moral force.

In more recent times, Sai Baba’s behaviour – whether it concerns his appearance or non-appearance – has become ever more erratic.

opulent-sai-baba-lays-on-spiritual-tennis.jpgOpulent ‘spirituality’ at Puttaparthi

But Where Has Sai Baba Gone?

The latest episode concerns his cancellation of a tennis tournament by top players from India and the Philippines. This was one of two scheduled matches, one of which was to have taken place at the so-called ‘spiritual’ guru’s incredibly opulent ashram at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India. See, Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

A typical bizarre case was last October 4, when there was a rush by thousands of devotees avid to see a promised vision of Sai Baba in the moon, announced by one of his top servitors, Professor Anil Kumar.

In yet another extraordinary piece of behaviour, Sai Baba has canceled a tennis match. In the report below, I have highlighted in red the Indian journalist Deepika Sharma’s comment, which makes highly implausible the top Indian tennis official’s excuse about an electicity failure.

One may add that the Hindustan Times, one of India’s leading newspapers, is one of the few media that will publish stories adverse to Sai Baba, although there are some signs that this is changing. See, Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

hindustan-times.gif

Tennis takes a backseat in holy land

Deepika Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 21, 2008
First Published: 23:50 IST(21/1/2008 )
Last Updated: 21:26 IST(22/1/2008 )

Tennis was not quite blessed in the land of the Sathya Sai Baba. The India-Philippines tennis test series at Puttaparthi — the home of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba — could not take place a couple of weeks ago because of bizarre circumstances.

According to sources, the first of the two ties — India won the second 3-0 at the DLTA facility here — did not happen because the Sai Baba could not turn up to inaugurate the tie and bless the players.

“We were ready to start the match, when suddenly, we were told that the matches would not take place,” a player told HT on Monday. “It was really frustrating that the matches could not place because Sathya Sai Baba did not turn up to bless us and inaugurate the event,” he added. “Doordarshan had even started telecasting the first game when we came to know that we were being packed off without playing.” They were apparently told that it would be “inauspicious” to begin playing at the new tennis stadium (reportedly an outstanding facility) without the Sai Baba’s blessings.

A Doordarshan sports director, Isaac, confirmed to HT that they “were prepared” to go on air. “We were all set to telecast the match live. We had even gone on air for five minutes,” he said. The reason for the official cancellation of the tie though, is obviously different. The president of the Asian Tennis Federation, also the secretary-general of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Anil Khanna, held “power failure” the actual reason for abandoning the tie.

“The first tie was called off because there was a power failure. We wanted to play under the floodlights but since there was no electricity, we had to call off the tie,” said Khanna. Incidentally, the first tie was to begin at 5pm (when it wouldn’t have been dark).

Further Reading

Robert Priddy article, with photos of Sai Baba’s flash tennis venue – part of his Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports:
Sai Baba’s tennis stadium another white elephant?

For ‘the secret swami’s’ influence on major Indian power elites, See, International Cricket And The Secret Swami

For his mental and physical decline – with his minders working at fever-pitch to hide it where possible and rationalize it otherwise – See, Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

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Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 2, 2008

After Sai Baba’s great white elephant, Hillview stadium, has lain virtually dormant for nearly a decade, another Sai Baba involvement in topline sport has just been announced. In December 1997, it was cricket. In January 2008, it is tennis.

the-hindu-tennis-at-sai-babas-ashram.gif From The Hindu Online. Wednesday, January 2, 2008.

India to play two Tests against the Philippines

NEW DELHI: India will play two Test matches in tennis against the Philippines on January 12 and 14.

The Indian challenge will be led by the National grass court champion Vishnu Vardhan and the National hard court champion Ashutosh Singh. The other member will be Divij Sharan.

The Philippines will have a two-member team of Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.

The Tests, to be played at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram at Puttaparthi and the DLTA Complex in Delhi, will feature two singles and a doubles each. — Special Correspondent

John McEnroe Faces Mafia, But Can He Slam Sai Baba?

A brief aside. Great Tennis ace John McEnroe has raised questions about the Russian mafia and tennis. Perhaps he and other influential tennis greats may like to make some enquiries into Sai Baba, whom the BBC has called ‘The Secret Swami’. (See, Yahoo news report McEnroe fears mafia infiltrating tennis)

The gentle McEnroe may like to have a loud word in the ears of players such as: Vishnu Vardhan, Ashutosh Singh, Divij Sharan, Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.

Of course, McEnroe’s fearsome displays are nothing compared to those of Sai Baba and his world Chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, as captured – looking like a balled-up mafia bully boy – by BBC hidden camera for The Secret Swami:

mcenroe-couldnt-match-sai-baba-chief.jpg

Sai Baba Would Put New Meaning to ‘Love All’

But tennis players might not come to love his serve! Do the International Tennis Authority, the All India Tennis Association and these players think that it is some joke that arguably history’s most famous and controversial guru is to be host to high profile tennis? One who faces worldwide allegations of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, implication in local police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, and other gravely serious crimes that India’s often corrupt system, and its huge numbers across the entire power echelon who are devotees of Sai Baba, have ensured do not get to the courts, even in the hands of fearless top attorneys Kamini Jaiswal? See, Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall case Vs Sai Baba.

An Opulence No Tennis Super Stars Could Afford

sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi.gif

Will it matter to tennis players and authorities that Sai Baba raises to his own self-glory – much due to the billions that pour into his Sathya Sai Central Trust from countries around the world –  vast, flashy and costly buildings, not all of them for good reasons like hospitals? See article and incredibly revealing photos in Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

sai-babas-pure-gold-chariot.jpgsai-baba-dwelling.jpgLeft, ‘God’ loves golden panoply. Right, Sai Baba’s ‘twin’ palaces, fit for the Lord of Lords, whom he proclaims himself to be.

When the golden cup Runneth Not Over – Anyone for Tennis?

Although a golden opportunity for some publicity like a big tennis tournament might be spun. And start the gold coming in again, especially after some disastrous leave-takings by many well-respected members of his Sathya Sai Organization, an adverse major media in a number of countries, and desperate attempts by his organization to recruit in highly costly venues, where the rich and powerful can feel comfortable.

UNESCO Media Advisory Contra Sai Baba and Organizers

Will it concern them that Sai Baba is the guru from whose major education conference at Puttaparthi whom UNESCO withdrew in September 2001? See, Media Advisory, which fortunately neither the Government of India nor Sai Baba’s powerful devotees worldwide have been able to get removed from the Internet Wayback machine. (If it disappears, please email me bpittard (at) optusnet.com.au, and I shall inform our lawyers). This UNESCO action and document followed representations made by highly-credentialed individuals from around the world. After the cancellation by UNESCO and the University of Flinders, South Australia, the Indian government, for the while, successfully pressured the UN body to suppress the Advisory from its records. However, UNESCO reconfirmed to the BBC in mid 2004 that it did not now resile from the terms of its original Advisory. The BBC, which extracted UNESCO’s embarrassing backflip, was investigating in preparation for its indicting documentary on Sai Baba The Secret Swami (first screened, June 2004). See also, The Case of Unesco’s Missing Media Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning

Will it it matter to tennis authorities and players that the US State Department confirmed to the BBC that Sai Baba was the individual it had been seriously investigating, but whom it had not (ed., no doubt for legalistic reasons) named in its travel warning to US citizens travelling in Andhra Pradesh, the locality of Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram?

Is Sai Baba More Than A Match For World Tennis?

Questions will certainly be asked of Indian and world tennis authorities. Presented with the facts, they, along with players and members of the tennis-loving public, may not wish tennis to be associated with Sai Baba. 

(NOTE: this is to advise tennis authorities, media, law firms and any genuine, bona fide investigators that there are from several countries and cultures individuals of outstanding integrity in their own professions and communities who are prepared to share their witness accounts of shocking levels of young male sexual abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and other grave abuses).

Is too late for cancellation? Is it ever too late to cancel conscience? Is it ever too late for Sai Baba to stop proclaiming that he is Lord of Lords, the Father of Jesus Christ, the One who sent the Prophet of Islam, Buddha, and so on?

At the very least, those lending their good names to this tennis event need to ensure that Sai Baba does not in future use tennis for propagandistic purposes. They may prefer not to allow the glamour of tennis to aid and abet the forces of corruption in India and the thwarting of profoundly proper police and judicial proceedures. They may like to see the provisions expected in countries with viable democratic processes. At least Russia, unlike India, does not pretend to democracy.

Will Sai Baba Propaganda History Repeat Itself?

If tennis authorities and players continue to involve themselves, they may expect the sort of extraordinarily untruthful spin (no pun intended) that occurred in the case of Sai Baba’s cricket match in December 1997 (which I saw). The fact is that only India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (and the UK, if we must include one player, Doug Brown) played at that match. (See my article, Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer). At lunch, E.A.S. Prasanna, India’s former great spin bowler, told me that his fellow organizers had tried to get Sir Donald Bradman (ed., the greatest cricket legend of all time) to attend the match but he was in ill health. (No wonder, our late national treasure was was already 90! and died in February 2001).

How Gavaskar Lost Some Lustre

Sunil Gavaskar, one of the great Indian cricketing legends, wrote an article for Sai Baba’s promotion people in which he stated an absolute fiction. Can Gavaskar, gripped by emotion, have forgotten to state a glaring fact? Having lived in India – a land of unusual piety – for several years, I know that sometimes excess of intense devotional fervour can carry devotees quite away. Perhaps – away from the cricket field – poor Gavaskar, in the grip of his guru’s quest for world supremacy as the God who will save the whole world by circa AD 2022, was – well, being carried quite away.

“So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan”:
http://saibaba.ws/experiences1/
realisingsupremebeatitude.htm

A Cautionary Tale

Tennis fraternity, be aware, if you will, of a famous sportsman who becomes inveigled in the much-vaunted ‘Glory of Puttaparthi’. Here is just a little of the long, guru-all-hailing Sunil Gavaskar article, posted by Sai Baba’s propaganda supremo, head of Sai Global Radio via Worldspace International Satellite Radio Service and vice chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, Realizing Supreme Beatitude:

“I was privileged to arrange the players for the Unity Cup Cricket Match. Swami has always said, “Life is a game. Play it.”. Bhagavan wanted to show that there could be unity among different countries, cultures and communities through sports. So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan.
Several senior retired players were honoured and had the good fortune to be blessed by Bhagavan. Who can forget Bhagavan patting Sachin Tendulkar on the back and telling him, “I am with you!” What a season Sachin had after that as he virtually single-handedly demolished World Champion Australia with his batting that seemed to be of a totally different dimension after that pat from Bhagavan!
Devotees who have had Swami’s Darshan even from afar know how it becomes a craving and if Swami even glances at you fleetingly, you feel an incredible joy that cannot be described in words”.

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(80 MB, Broadband)

The Secret Swami

(23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (80 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (21 MB, Modem)

DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster). Shown in an English version by SBS in Australia as Seduced by Sai Baba, February  12, 2004. Like other major media in the world, SBS refused to be intimidated by legal or other threats by the Sathya Sai Organization. Staffs of every media or institution who have dealt with them have soon realized that former devotee witnesses from many countries are individuals of good repute in their communities, professions, etc., and are being badly slandered by Sai Baba and those who defend him.

Video clip of Mark Roche interview from The Secret Swami, BBC 2, This World, first screened, Thursday 17, 2004. See article on this, BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Man Claims Abuse When Young. Quote from article: 

“Mark Roche (California, USA) was deeply devoted to Sai Baba from 1969. Among Sai devotees, former devotees and in his wider community, he has long been regarded as a man of decency, compassion and integrity. Revealingly, it is frequently only after former devotees leave Sai Baba (often after decades of great service and devotion) that Sai Baba and Sai Baba protagonists ‘convert’ them – in their own minds – into “demons”, “cawing crows”, “Judases”, etc”.

Media investigation/coverage

Sai Baba has been increasingly exposed to the world on television. E.g., by the BBC, DR (Denmark), AZUL (Argentina), CBC (Canada), ABC, SBS (Australia), and in the press – India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, Australian Financial Times, and newspapers in several parts of Europe, Canada, and elsewhere. There were many top reviews of the BBC’s The Secret Swami.

Surprising openings in a long-muzzled Indian media occurred November 2006, when Paul Lewis’s story broke in The Guardian (UK) – The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards. It raised concerns about the nexus between the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the UK Sai youth, on their way in large numbers to see Sai Baba.

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Propaganda, Religion, Sai Baba, Tennis, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »