Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday, 2012: No Celebration For A Many Worldwide Who Mourn As Victims

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2012

For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.

I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.

After my introductory remarks, I have selected a number of my articles about the various Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations, mainly since 2007.

In 2001, UNESCO posted a Media Advisory:

The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

UNESCO had a Number of Concerns. Inter alia, its Advisory said:

Certain decisions were taken by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

In September 2000, after months of extremely taxing work globally, internationally networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees succeeded in showing our worthy professional and citizenship credentials. A small number of us coördinated the obtaining, from several countries, extensive, of qualitative documentary evidence. We did likewise in furnishing a number of governments and law enforcement agencies. An extreme difficulty we faced was the untold corruption of government and legal agencies in India. From top to bottom, these were jam-pack with Sai Baba followers. For the barest glimpse of this, see my articles:

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

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

Much of the data we submitted to well-reputed authorities worldwide was painful, private and sensitive – coming from families and survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other great wrongs. As a result, UNESCO and its partner, the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sathya Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. We also greatly succeeded with many of the world’s leading media.  See, for example:

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

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

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Since October 1999, I have been one of the most active international researchers (along with, most prominently, Glen Meloy (USA), Hari Sampath (India), Brian Steel (Australia) and Robert Priddy (Norway), yet over a decade of dealing, most often daily, with victims, families and others, I, like my colleagues, have not stopped finding ever more evidences of criminality and spiritual betrayal. It was only after the incredible revelations of Sai Baba’s hidden treasury (See: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple, Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011) that I took more still seriously the claim to me personally of one of the world’s foremost experts in international money trails. Now in private consultancy, trained by Scotland Yard in international terrorism and other areas, he was inspector-general of one of the world’s leading crime fighting agencies. He regarded Sai Baba as at the top of 20th century master criminals. (To any ethical, bona fide scholarly or media investigator, I am happy to share his contact details). See:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Hari Sampath: Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India

Robert Priddy: A full exposé site, A home page by Robert Priddy  See Robert Priddy’s bibliography

Brian Steel: Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Barry Pittard: Outline at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/barry-pittard/

The Sai Cult’s Failure: Those Whose Perpetual Cry Is Love and Peace Are Not Loving And Peaceful

From the moment members investigated the criminal allegations and spoke against the international Sathya Sai Organization’s extreme lack of accountability and transparency, many in the Sai cult labeled and defamed them. Commonsense – what to speak of spiritual qualities of truth, right conduct, peace, and love – disappeared.

Here was an organization, which has public meetings, and which actively cultivates mainstream civic, educational and religious organizations, governments, politicians of major parties, etc. And yet it refused all proper accountability processes.

Let any other guru or organization be accountable BUT …. not this one. In typical places, like car parks, shopping centers, workplaces etc., family and friendship affiliations, devotees shunned and maligned those who questioned – those, indeed, whom they had known for decades as truthful, decent and dedicated to high ideals and actions. Terrible attacks on the former devotees sprang up on the internet and in wider communities.

The more networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers investigated the more evidence surfaced. The magnitude of the corruption is barely imaginable. By Sai Baba and his key servitors, to name but a few of the betrayals, we found profound cover up of –

  • decades of widespread, serial sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries
  • the 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom
  • suspicious deaths and disappearances
  • vast misappropriation of funds
  • scams conducted via the Puttaparthi front office, about which Sai Baba refused to act, telling deeply hurt, scammed devotees e.g., “What can I do? My hands are tied”. To which behavior, many devotees who knew the appalling facts, simply replied e.g., “It is all Swami’s leela” (God’s playfulness).

….. and all too many other grave scandals

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Posted November 25, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba has said:

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all”. p. 16 Sanathana Sarathi January 1999)

“In Argentina (Sathya Sai Baba) bhajans are being held in every home [cheers].” Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIII, 29:255 – 20-10-1990, on the alleged 50th anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Declaration’ of his so-called ‘Reality’ as Avatar of all Avatars.)

Over the years, we have received various reports of Sathya Sai Baba increasingly losing a composure that has been oft-noted in him for decades. But only recently has this type of behaviour been clear for all to see, and in video footage emanating from his own camp. During his November birthday, Sathya Sai Baba – in the midst of being praised for all the good he has done – broke down and sobbed deeply and for some time. To see this video (download 3.9 Mbs), CLICK HERE

Sathya Sai Baba on his 85th birthday - not happy
“Be happy!” “I have no enemies.. I love all. I am always smiling. Many people think how can I keep smiling? I don’t like castoroil faces.. When you all are happy, I will be happy.” Sathya Sai Baba in his loudly lectern-thumping tirade, Christmas Discourse 2000

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010

“That age has its physical and mental ravages is not the point here. Who is not privy to these? …. To which Shakespeare’s Hamlet refers in his famous soliloquy – … “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The only point here is that Sathya Sai Baba has made demonstrably unreal and false statements in regard to prophecies about his own physical state.

Sathya Sai Baba 85th birthday portraits

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Puttaparthi Sai Baba Birthday 2011 – Where Have All The Golden Pomp and Circumstance Gone?

Posted by November 20, 2011

After his death in on 24 April 2011, we have seen something of the terrible in-fighting over managerial succession at Puttaparthi, and then of the discovery – not of spiritual treasure but – untold hoarded treasure in Sai Baba’s private quarters. The international Sathya Sai Organization, despite or perhaps in part because of its soviet-style, top-down management style, is in vast disarray. See:

‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple and:

Sai Baba: hoarding, secrecy, mistrust, powerlessness, deceit

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Sathya Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs at 85th Birthday

Posted December 11, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s many reported weeping episodes have taken – as from circa the year 2000 – a marked upsweep after the advent of worldwide exposure of widespread serial sexual abuse of boys and young men (See also HERE and HERE); his implication in the massive local, state and central governments’ cover up of police killings in his bedroom at Puttaparthi (See HERE and HERE and HERE); vast misappropriation of billions in funds collected worldwide (See HERE and HERE and HERE); his vast opulence in a land of great poverty, squalor, ignorance and superstition; his failed predictions (See HERE and HERE); and much else that reveals him to be one of history’s great imposters, whatever may be the good deeds that he has sparked off in many of his devotees.

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Posted November 22, 2009 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. A BBC hidden camera (in the making of the hour-long documentary that has been seen in many countries, ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), exposes Goldstein using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the interviewer Tany Datta’s most politely-asked questions. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly used sanction from the highest levels of BBC Management. See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.

Many have heard and read where he says that the world will be under his rulership, and that he will return in the name of Prema Sai Baba to complete this work. In a 1961 Discourse, he said: “I shall be in this body for 58 years more; I have assured you of this already.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, II, 18:92.) A year before, he said: “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avathaar, do not doubt it. I will take My own time and carry out My Plan as far as you are concerned.” (I, 31:198; Prashanthi Nilayam 29-9-1960 – second discourse) Both these statements indicate a death date 2019 (although he would not use the ‘word’ death) of 2019. Other statements in official publications confuse the issue by stating 2022.

He had best get a wriggle on, for he is now terribly ailing. See: Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing and Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

https://barrypittard.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sai-babas-costly-glory.jpg

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Baba, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate. This appears in Chapter 5 of hisOmniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday, 2009. Where have all the “millions” Gone?

Posted November 28, 2009

…. representatives of the major world faiths, sai-babas-symbol-of-world-faiths.jpgwhom Sai Baba has long said he is bringing together in amity, are, yet again conspicuously missing from those visiting the ashram in 2009. Here is the so-called “All Faiths” obelisk, the “Sarva Dharma Stupa”. Mostly vacuous in terms of Puttaparthi’s reality, it has long stood at his main ashram, a waste of money in a wasteland of shame.
sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi
Former co-founder and head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic Robert Priddy has written of the highly exaggerated crowd numbers attending Puttaparthi occasions, such as Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations. Of his and my dear friend, the late celebrated Indian newspaper Editor, V.K. Narasimhan and some others, Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, writes:
“The estimated numbers of persons during each of these celebrations was doubtless much in excess of the actual numbers. Figures of from 1 to 3 million have been suggested for the various birthdays! Sathya Sai Baba stated to several persons (Robert and Rita Bruce, V.K. Narasimhan and others) that 3 million were present, which was a total impossibility. VKN told me several times that Sathya Sai Baba regularly multiplied numbers of actual visitors by 10!

Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2008

See video which reveals Sathya Sai Baba, in November 2007, as unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer

minister-assists-ailing-sathya-sai-baba

High-powered Minister of State, Renuka Chowdhuri, has to cut 2007 for badly ailing Satya Sai Baba

For some time, he has had a mask-like face, suggestive of a degenerative disease.

Further Reading At‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, has just told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …

See articles of Robert Priddy – former head of Sathya Sai Organization, Norway – at his blogsiteSathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health

Sai Baba’s health – miracle or self-sacrifice?

Sai Baba says his close servants live for 100 years

Sathya Sai miracle of transformation of India?

Sai Baba’s failing health

sai-baba-looking-terrible-telegu-eenadu-picture.jpg

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

Posted on November 20, 2007

Sathya Sai Baba’s Imperial Decay

Pride is said to come before a fall. In the case of Sathya Sai Baba puffery and proudery now come during a fall, since we are now better placed to see the imperial decay suggested in my article The Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire. (For the busy reader, there is a condensed version, Sai Baba’s Undivine Downfall).

Pictures of Sathya Sai Baba’s Opulence and Self-glorification

For a photographic glimpse of the incredible lavish material ‘spendour of Puttaparthi’, see Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia. Or my reader may like to view some Sathya Sai Baba Chariots.

In the selfsame India, there is, with what deepest irony, a profoundly genuine splendour, down thousands of years, of saints and sages living in the utmost simplicity.

https://i2.wp.com/www.saibaba-x.org.uk/Images/usaimages/New%20abode.jpg

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba Saga: Is There Too Little Indian Media Critical Analysis?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 9, 2011

Let my reader imagine that the following is a note of mine to an Indian media person seeking me out to assist in the development of a news story. It may take no prizes for diplomacy, but it is not far, I think, from the mood of both our former devotee network members from both India and other countries.

First, Sai Baba and his key servitors on the Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization profoundly deceived and betrayd. From circa 2000, owing to both organized and informal activity of former devotees, a great deal of critical exposure of Sai Baba and his cult occurred. In some parts of the world, Sai Centers emptied, while, in general, many left, including many well-respected leaders.

Next, allied with Sai Baba and his cult’s officials, corrupt local, state and national governments in India consolidated the evils done by their complicity in the cover up of the outrages – wide-scale sexual abuse by Sai Baba and some around him of boys and young men, Police executions in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, unaccountable scams in regard to water projects, apartments in Prashanthi Nilayam, unadressed brutality by Sai Baba’s security detail, and much else. 

It has been one of spiritual history’s sorriest examples of perverted religion and spirituality. Even many who admit his wrongdoings, attempt to pass over the evil deeds by saying how much good he has done. Their highly-flawed logic is that if someone does good they should not be held accountable for the wrongdoings.

——————————————————–

Dear X (a high-profile media exective)

Thank you for our phone conversations and email exchanges, and speaking with one of our Indian members.

I appreciate your undertaking of security provisions for the safety of our personnel who live in India and security arrangements. As you and I know, many Indian media will e.g., unscrupulously record and quote without permission what, ostensibly, were the words of an interviewee. That your organization can deal with us with the same integrity that we received from Aroon Purie and his team at India today would engender our confidence in you. Our former devotee workers have put vast amounts of time and sacrifice, without payment of cash or kind so as to get their accounts out to the world.

Having lived some years in India, I know how keenly many Indian citizens, with whom I have dwelt and worked alongside, despise the disrepute that her corrupt institutions bring. It always struck me that these wonderfully kind and decent people do not in the least deserve the horribly corrupt elites that for so long have managed to cling on in the top roles.

There is agreement that, yes, hard evidence is important. But the BBC and many other investigative teams who took on the Sai Baba issue were no less aware of this than you are. Does not media have a proper role in eliciting peoples’ experiences whether or not individuals are able to back up their experiences with empirical evidence at every turning. 

The fact is that, except for India Today, which did a terrific job, Indian media might were deaf to our worldwide submissions on the Sai cult. Here was a wide cross-section of those who had resigned – in some cases exceptionally important figures in the Sathya Sai Organization. They were treated to the same high-handedness and deceit that the whole of India has now been able to see because of the revelations. 

The Indian media had a chance to expose the massive cover up regarding the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. With almost no exception, it failed. Lawyers, police, politicians, and so on all know this. Failure is the correct word. If you are prepared to be proactive, we will certainly consider assisting you with witnesses, including those who have not previously spoken out, and who may not be so easy to ignore, as a small number who have fought without ceasing for 10 gruelling years.

 But why should many of our witnesses risk their personal and family safety and jobs and so forth if they are not to be listened to by senior journalists who have – with true professionalism – done their homework, just as was the case of journalists outside India.

You say that there have been, over the years, articles critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult in the Indian media. We shall have to compare notes – I challenge you to provide a list of any hard-hitting examples. Whatever examples you may be able to cite, they are more than contradicted by the many the rebuffs we got. Virtually day in and day out, I was close to the action, and stand witness to say that Sai Baba former devotees made many attempts to engage wide sections of the Indian media. In marked contrast, UNESCO, Interpol, the FBI, etc., and various non-Indian governments treated our workers’ reports, and sworn testimony from various countries, with the utmost seriousness.

I agree with your point about the pitfalls of hearsay evidence. Your point that Indian media did not have sworn testimony is an entire mistake. Where were you and your journalistic colleagues when we made it very clear that not only did we have a number but were in unique position – far better than journalists! – to bring still other sworn testimony, provided that there was a chance of any section of the Indian media doing a good job. Aroon Purie and his team DID not behave like the rest of you.

You overplay the hearsay issue. The matter is not an either/or situation. Both types of evidence, in their varying stages, are important. I think you err too far in the direction of wanting proof, or close to it. Proof often follows, rather than preceeds, proper investigation of allegations, clues, evidentiary contexts, study of credentials of witnesses, and so forth.The BBC not only followed up on our list but actually ventured out and got (I was assured by assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville) and found still further apparently strong cases, such that the individuals and the various families DID NOT appear on our lists, he said. Why has not the Indian media, almost without exception, thus ventured out.

The last two months of daily Indian media reports are a great irony for us. At last, in India, there is wide discussion of the contradictions, cover ups, contradictions, lack of proper organizational.

I am glad that, in our phone conversation, you very strongly reacted to the disclosure right at that time of the Rs 35.5 lakhs from twelve devotees (yet another Srinivasan tale now exploded by the police). You, like I, disdained the manner in which prime matters are being overly focused on, and essentials being forgotten. It will be great to see media as a formidable force in educating a national and international public in how laws are, or may be being, broken, and the model qualities of due diligence, accountability and transparency which those laws expect of organizations, including those said to be ‘spiritual’.

As I look across the Indian media’s handling of the Sathya Sai and his Sai Trust scandals, I see failure – not particularly in the basic reporting but in the sheer lack of qualitative analysis. 

I note a lot of Indian media rely on government and police releases, important though these are in their own place. Yes, juicy for certain readers. BUT too often there lacks focus on essentials, and the acute need to keep the trajectory of main developments in the minds of readers/viewers as further news breaks.

I see news-management-by-Release, rather than by proactive, savvy news and analysis writers and editors who can help contextualize historic background, and intellectual and moral/spiritual issues.

Will your group provide regular overviews, so that the serious tendency for salient factors to be badly eclipsed can, in some measure be overcome. Happily, I have seen three leading Indian television broadcaster shooting hard-hitting questions in some depth and breadth. There was intellectual engagement.See: ‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

But so often, one sees Sai Trust spokespersons getting away with the same ducking and weaving which we have exposed since circa 2000. Surveying a cross-section of Indian media performances, I scribbled the note: please guys, lay on some really trenchant questioning! Is there anything litigious about asking:  E.g.,:

a) How the treasure hoarding and dispositions could have occurred at all – what? Without a moment’s suspicion by ANY Trust personnel? Or knowledge of any of the male students (‘form boys’) whom, for sexual reasons, Sai Baba has long been known to allow to sleep in his room? He himself has acknowledged that certain boys are permitted to sleep in his room. This is recorded in official Sai literature, as WE have accurately documented, along with so much else. Are any of you in the Indian media asking  considerable Sai Baba experts like Brian Steel, Robert Priddy and Kevin Shepherd etc., to assist with ‘chapter and verse? You and other Indian media show few signs of having done so.

Were Satyajit and Sai Baba the only two who knew of Sai Baba’s vast hoard? Did it somehow materialize? What?  No bearers to transport it? No carriers sworn to dread secrecy on pain of some dire threat and/or some handsome reward? No plan for usage of the currency and valuables? No recipients? No presence of smuggling or money laundering? No gifts to Sai Baba from any major criminal or any Croesus-rich potentate (E.g., the Saudi King, one report has it, showering diamonds). No Swiss bank involvements?

b) How a Trust – charged with due diligence! – could, first, dismiss all suggestions that a unaccounted treasure could lie hidden, and issue emphatic statements that all-is-above board – with only cheques from, and receipts issued to, donors – and, YET, later, only after repeated contraindicating detections, come up with another explanation altogether. If they were let loose on the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, Indian newspaper cartoonists would have a field day,  ….! You potentially have a great story. But will you and your Team dare to go for it, X? Where are all the editorials? The serious Ed.Op pieces? Where is there a persistent raising of vital questions – e.g., about the circumstances leading up to Sai Baba’s death/ the death certificate circumstances/ the ordering of his golden casket from a source in Bangalore well before his death / his body weight at the time of his hospital admission / the reported concern of Sai Baba’s team of highly senior doctors about lack of information on any medications being given to him prior to his emergency admission to their care / or about the lack of statements from doctors and nurses and, above all, Dr Safaya at the Sathya Sai hospital who resigned en masse / or about Satyajit (about whom there is so much silence, and yet so much noise – indeed bluster! from V. Srinivasan and R.J. Ratnakar)?/ What of the on-again, off-again resignations of Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati? And of the former world Sathya Sai Organization head, Indulal Shah? And so on ……..

I have looked almost in vain in the Indian media for sustained critical responses (except now and then in Readers Comments’ sections in some newspapers) to, among a host of issues, the absurd and contradictory of statements by Trust Officials. For example, the explanation of V.Srinivasan regarding the police van and bus seizures of treasure. Indians traveling India, and travelers visiting her, and foreign government’s with their Travel Advisories regarding India testify to the perils of travel. Yet, Srinivasan and other Sai Trust members constantly skip round matters of grave substance, and a passive media may be their best bet of getting away with it. Of this I have blogged, indeed harped, feeling it a great pity that foreigners like Robert Priddy and me should have to lead with so many of the probing questions and issues while the Indian media do  little but report and move on to the next revelation in the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, failing to gather up the strands and show continuities and interweaving relationship. I had the image of the Indian media, by and large, vacuuming up police and government reports and reverse blowing them out to a long-suffering Indian public. Why should Indian editors (and I am tired, frankly, of hearing it from them in our private conversations) speaking about their litigation concerns. What is litigious about pointed questioning? About going hard at contradictions and discrepancies in the stories of those such as Srinivasan, Ratnakar, Bhagwani, et al. In regard to the Sai Trust rapidly changing statements about the cash secretly moved out of Puttaparthi, I wrote (and wondered why the Indian media aren’t far more vigilant here):

“Where, too, has gone any semblance of the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s duty of care for the safety of life and limb of its  workers on a money transportation assignment fraught with danger? This, in an area with trained eyes not only of individual criminals, criminal gangs, and private armies of feudal landlords but of ubiquitous, highly organized, armed political struggle groups such as the Naxalites (with countless splinter groups), the so-called Peoples’ War Group or PWG, etc. Many police and security authorities complain of the emasculation by Andhra Pradesh state politicians of state security and police cadres capable of action, and the pipe dream of thinking that negotiation and accommodation are going to work. Why the earlier Trust assertions that donations are dealt with by cheque? Why such vast amounts of loose cash? Where is the accountability and transparency in all this?  Can we trust a Trust that doesn’t know about vast funds being transported in the dead of night, or carted in a passenger bus in gunny sacks of cash as if it were mere chaff or ragi? When proper practice by a Trust is upheld, who will dare to hump huge fortunes around the countryside like this? Such a Trust lacks due diligence, and is incompetent. What suppose wicked chaff or ragi robbers assail the van or bus and snatch the sacks?” See:

Sathya Sai Saga: Points Lost Among Big Sathya Sai Trust Reassurances of Transparency Posted by Barry Pittard on June 30, 2011

Well, X, I am very much concerned that there is – apart from the basic reporting – a  failure by India’s ramshackle Fifth Estate. Rather, one would like to see hard probing, and far better backgrounding.  If the media is so slack, how can India be bulwark of democracy? For decades, most of you guys grievously failed Sai Baba’s countless victims, who live in India and around the world. If you want sworn testimony, kindly do not make guesses as to whether they were offerred to the Indian media. You offend the facts here. If we decide that your network can do a good job, I rather think that we can provide news about the real treasure that Sai Baba tried to hide away, but did not value. The treasury of victims of his various types of abuse.

True, the key perpetrator is dead, and we can’t pursue him. However, those who were complicit and had knowledge of these various types of abuses, and who extensively covered them up, are still very much alive. They are still on the Sai Central Trust and in his Sathya Sai Organization. Sometimes, great moral outrage takes time to reach the tipping point. Let us see.

Barry Pittard (Former lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore)

————————————————–

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

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Trust’s V.Srinivasan: Defending A Religious Empire Fallen. A Torn House Divided

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 6, 2011

Unfortunately for Sathya Sai Trust spokesman V. Srinivasan and his (and Sathya Sai Baba’s) already badly tattered credibility, last Sunday, still more treasure was found in secret places in Sai Baba’s private quarters. This time, the joint District Collector and her team searched for and found it. But, in a case of caught-out-yet-again, this lot of treasure DID NOT appear in the Trust’s inventory, which the government of Andhra Pradesh had put the Trust on its Boy Scout’s honor to make.

Did the District Collector and her team obtain their spectacles or magnifying glasses from a manufacturer much superior to any the poor Trustees  can manage to find?

Srinivasan’s earlier story was that huge amounts of money which police found being secretly removed by van and bus did not belong to the Trust but to twelve devotee donors.The India Daily reported (Tuesday 21 June 2011):

“According to sources, during investigation, it was found that Pradhan, a retired Air Force official, brought Rs 35.5 lakh out of Yajurveda Mandir, Sai Baba’s personal chamber, and handed it over to Sathya Sai Central Trust members RJ Ratnakar and V Srinivasan at the Shanti Bhavan. The cash was in turn given to Chandrasekhar, driver of Srinivasan, and later, was passed on to Sohan Setty and Harish Nanda.

The trio was caught by the police on Saturday night while transporting the cash to Bangalore. Police are likely to serve notices on Ratnakar and Srinivasan in a day or two, the sources said”.

Srinivasan’s story falls down on at least three counts:

1.  The Sai Trust  markedly departed from its policy of donation by cheque with the administration’s issue of receipts.

2. Perhaps all the more strange in a (so-called) spiritual organization which should have a tender care for the safety of its workers  is the considerable security risk to which Srinivasan and any other accomplices (like the Puttaparthi head of Security) were ready to expose Srinivasan’s driver,  Chandrasekhar, and the Shetty brothers.

3. Commonsense and caution, following nation-wide attention on the enormity of the first, and truly vast, treasure cache, should have set in. The risks Srinivasan took can hardly be stated. Who would be so imprudent? What lawyer would ever countenance such folly? Yet Trust spokesmen are often enamoured of stating what depth of experience and talent subsist in its Trustees.

For one passing moment, a statement of Srinivasan sounded faintly like a Puttaparthi spokesman in the ‘good old days’. He told the Indian media:

“I do not see any need for the government to set up a separate mechanism”. 

But clearly succumbing to a changed reality, where Puttaparthi is no longer shielded from public accountability, he added that he saw no problem if the government should wish to set up a mechanism of accountability. IF …..!  Surely, not ‘if’ – but when. A high level business group CEO, Srinivasan cannot be so simple-minded as believe in such and IF. He gives every evidence of temporizing and trying to play to the naive masses.

But Puttaparthi times have change. Markedly unlike Srinivasan, the then world head of the Sathya Sai Organization in and Trustee, Indulal Shah, was able, in a medieval feudal chieftan-like response, though terrible police executions and other killings had just taken place, to make short work of The Hindu, June 10, 1993: 

“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.’”

Background Note:

The then Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and his Home Minister S.B. Chavan and other powerful forces in Indian politics aided Puttaparthi’s extensive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom. We know (via the testimony of V.K.N. Narasimhan, editor of Sanathana Sarathi) that Chavan was in Puttaparthi assisting in the damage control. A former Andhra Pradesh Home Office Secretary, V.P.B. Nair told the BBC of the massive cover up that  prevented police, media and judicial investigation. The Anantapur Journalist’s Union protested the suppression.

Unable to take the haughty approach, Srinivasan keeps making difficulties for himself. For example, it was only days ago, that he maintained, absolutely, the Trust very strictly controls donations. That they must be by cheque. And that receipts must be issued. Next thing, apparently temporizing again, when his own agents were caught spiriting away huge sums of money under great secrecy, he said:

“… most transactions are by cheque but why can’t one be by cash? That money belonged to the trust. We had no other intention than to pay samadhi contractors.’’

He also dismissed any notion that cash, gold and gemstones and other valuables are still concealed in the Yajur Mandir.  Was the Sai Trust’s own inventory just the tip of the iceberg? the media asked. Srinivasan laughed, replying:

“I do not know why such fanciful statements are being made. We took an inventory and took everything into the accounts of the trust. The inventory was taken in the presence of trustees who are respectable bureaucrats, chartered accountants, legal practitioners and businessmen.’’

It is instructive to look at Srinivasan’s statements over recent days.  Two days prior to police questioning him for five hours about the money secretly transported from Puttaparthi by van and by bus (even AFTER all cash and valuable were said by the Trust to have been accounted for), Srinivasan told the Indian Express: 

“The money belongs to the Trust”. 

He said that there could be no more gold, silver and other valuables in the Yajur Mandir. All along Srinivasan has given out accounts as though they are indisputable facts, only to be falsified by the facts. Like his ‘spiritual master’, in fact, as analytical studies of Sai Baba’s discourses  and other documentation clearly show.

In passing, it is interesting that there is no record of Srinivasan saying a thing about any of the many other places in or around Puttaparthi where treasure may, or may not, be hidden – for example, secreted behind walls or in ceilings or in cement tunnels. Such genuine care, accountability, transparency and due diligence are not to be seen in him or this fellow.

Following yesterday’s searches for about a day just yesterday (Sunday), headlines in the Indian media read, for example:

Assets worth Rs77L seized at Sai ashram

See: Yet Another Sai Yajur Mandir Treasure Haul. Stash Not In Recent Enforced Sai Central Trust Inventory.Posted by Barry Pittard on July 3, 2011

——————————————-

THE HINDU

Front Page, Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011

‘Rs.35 lakh cash does not belong to Trust’

Staff Reporter

Sathya Sai Central Trust clarifies the money belonged to 12 different people

PHOTO: R.V.S. PRASAD

Trustee V. Srinivasan (right) of the Sathya Sai Central Trust speaking to the media at Puttaparthi on Tuesday. Member of the council of management Naganand is also seen.

PUTTAPARTHI: The Sathya Sai Central Trust categorically stated here on Tuesday that the cash of Rs.35 lakh seized at the Kodikonda checkpost by police recently did not belong to the Trust but to 12 different people.

Trustees R. J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, who were in the thick of controversy following seizure of the cash, had only facilitated the money being placed before the regal chair of Sathya Sai Baba in Yajur Mandir.

Mr. Srinivasan explained at a crowded press conference in Prashanthi Nilayam that the Trust did not wish to get involved with the finances of the construction of the Mahasamadhi as it was a public charitable trust and that the law did not permit them to undertake religious activity.

He said the Trust had decided not to directly undertake the construction but facilitate the devotees to do so under its supervision to ensure quality and aesthetics. The Trust took this decision as it was flooded with offers from devotees to pay for the Samadhi work. Shankarnarayana Consultancy Company of Bangalore was appointed as project consultant.

Mr. Naganand — member of the council of management of the Sathya Sai Central Trust — said there were no restrictions on people giving donations in cash to a consultancy to be used for the construction of the Mahasamadhi. He added that the said company was no stranger to Puttaparthi and had in fact even donated work worth crores of rupees, even when not asked for, out of devotion to the late Sathya Sai Baba.

Asked if the Trust would be compliant if the government decided to take on a monitoring role over the Trust, Mr. Srinivasan said, “I do not see any need for the government to set up a separate mechanism”, and that if and when such a decision was taken, the Trust would not have a problem.

He said even without a demand note from the Income-Tax Department, they had paid Rs.9.75 crore as tax on the income attached to the inventory of valuables found in the Yajur Mandir.

————————————————–

THE EXPRESS

Sai trustee stands by Samadhi story

 Express News Service
Last Updated : 24 Jun 2011 08:23:57 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Breaking his silence for the first time since the seizure of R35 lakh of Sai Baba’s money, Sathya Sai Central Trust member V Srinivasan vehemently denied allegations of wrongdoing and said the amount was meant for a legitimate purpose: building the guru’s samadhi.

In an interview with Express, Srinivasan said, “There is no substance in the allegations being aired. We are not involved in any illegitimate activity. The money came from the devotees. The media is distorting the facts.’’ He laughed off allegations that wealth from the Sai Baba’s estate was being siphoned off. “The truth will come out once I make a statement to the police,’’ he said. Srinivasan is due to give his statement in a couple of days.Pointed out that his driver Chandrasekhar has told the police that it was Srinivasan who had sent him to get the cash from Yajurweda Mandir, the trust member asked, “When the money was meant for a legitimate purpose, where is the problem? Does sending my driver to deliver the money mean that it was being used for illegitimate purposes?’’ Asked if it wasn’t true that all transactions of the trust are normally done by cheques, Srinivasan said, ‘’Yes, most transactions are by cheque but why can’t one be by cash? That money belonged to the trust. We had no other intention than to pay samadhi contractors.’’ Asked if it was true that cash, gold and diamonds are still concealed in the Yajurweda Mandir and that the inventory revealed by the trust was just the tip of the iceberg, Srinivasan laughed and said, “I do not know why such fanciful statements are being made. We took an inventory and took everything into the accounts of the trust.The inventory was taken in the presence of trustees who are respectable bureaucrats, chartered accountants, legal practitioners and businessmen.’’ Asked whether the trustees were preventing government officials from entering the Yajurweda Mandir, Srinivasan said, “What is preventing government officials from entering the mandir now? We have never prevented them and never will.We never said they cannot enter.’’

————————————————–

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

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2009

As the years pass, more evidence emerges of the very non-divine manner in which Sathya Sai Baba and his financial wing collect vast funds – particularly from wealthy donors. As with scams the world over, there are methods of ‘spotting’ – in this case, by ashram staff of visitors most likely to donate large sums. The admixture of ‘miracles’ – such as Sai Baba’s ‘materializing’ of expensive rings or pendants etc., for the wealthy – is central to setting up of these traps. This operation involves the participation of the registration office, as well as Sathya Sai Baba’s close servitors, many of them wealthy or those who have given away their wealth to him.
Criminals and police forces often refer to this type of spotting as finding the ‘mark’ or victim to be set up.
Donors and Would-be Donors Beware
There are two classes of individual, and in some cases institutions, who have every reason to be looking at these issues. First, those who have already been donors to Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer, among whom there are those who have serious misgivings about how they were misused. Second, those who are contemplating donation to the Sathya Sai Central trust.
In the first group, there are those who have been far too busy with their business enterprises or professions to have time for deeper reflection on their experiences. It needs to be remembered that deeply emotional, religious or spiritual commitments are far from straightforward and rational. Donors have given, in some cases in many millions, thinking they have found an impeccable cause. However, some are at the stage where they are handing over their prime responsibilities to others in their enterprises, retiring, etc.  The photos below are just a very few examples of that for which of the Sathya Sai opulence, they have already handed over! (For more revealing photos, see bottom of this article).
In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”
Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot
Sathya Sai Indoor Sports StadiumPrashanthi International Sports stadium
sai-babas-chaitanya-jyothi-museum.jpg
ssmuseumsmall.jpg
The Torment of Awakening From The Dream Splendid
Coming out of the dream splendid can be an emotionally tormenting period, whether one is rich or not. Again, irrespective of status, the wide tendency for individuals is to clam up, and let as few as possible know that one has made some bad choices.
To those wishing to reflect intellectually on their own experiences of donorship, or for those who may be contemplating giving money to Sathya Sai Baba’s organization, I point to the article (4700 approx words) of Robert Priddy, retired academic and former longtime leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization:
Donating to Sathya Sai Baba and His Bottomless Trust Or Other Institutions. How donations are encouraged and devotees are manipulated – with negative experiences reported’
QUOTE
“In my participant-observer sociological study of the International Sathya Sai Organisation, recorded mainly in 2000, I concluded that one of the main functions it actually fulfils, although in theory it should not, is to channel money from the widest possible catchment area of devotees in rich countries. This was implied by the collected data and analyses of its various practices which I interpreted on the basis of my wide-ranging experience – and increasing distaste – of how matters were handled at Organization meetings I attended in various countries. In stark contrast to Sathya Sai Baba pretends, his organisation contributes, indirectly and increasingly more and more directly, to the funnelling of donations in huge amounts into his account and under his control. Why does Sai Baba ‘allow’ this discrepancy between his word and action? The simple answer would be because money is a necessary ingredient of improving education, health and living conditions for the poor. To support this, Sai Baba points to the institutions like colleges, hospitals and village projects he has provided (as if it were not all from his devotees). So why then does he constantly boast that he has no connection whatever with money – saying as but one example, “Where money is present, there I am absent”? Obviously, it is a very clever device to hide the real situation and seem to put him apart from other money collecting ‘men of god’. Money gurus awaken much skepticism, especially among Westerners nowadays, it being known very widely that so many have been defrauded”.

Subheadings in this article:

Sizing up likely donors, and diamond gifts to soften them up?

What is Sathya Sai Baba’s actual relationship to money?

True Believer Devotees as Easy-Touches for Money

Soliciting Devotees for Major Funds

Ashram apartment ‘donors’ – deceptively called ‘owners’

Donors Recruited under False Pretenses

—————————————————————

Further Reading

Can We Trust The Central Trust?By Serguei Badaev.  (Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

“It is not the Sathya Sai Organisation which is the owner of all the property and estates we can see in Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan (Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi and in Whitefield correspondingly). There is another organisation which prefers to stay in a shadow. It is Sathya Sai Central Trust (the SSCT), which can be regarded as the highest authority in the Sai Baba movement except Sai Baba himself”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

The money behind Sai Baba By Hari Sampath. 08-04-2001. (Member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing between 1992 and 1995)

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. By Barry Pittard

QUOTE

“The easiest way to look for the source of Sai Baba’s ‘immunity’ from investigation and what exactly all this scam is about is to just take a look at the staggering amounts of money involved, and approximately estimate how much money does Sai Baba actually have?”

……………………………………………………………………..

Barry Pittard at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Sathya Sai Organization: World Communities Need To Treat This Sect Cautiously

India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

……………………………………………………………………..

General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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)

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.

sai-baba-pleasure-dome.jpg

Posted in Miracles, Morality, New Age, Opinion, Philanthropy, Religion, Social and Politics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

—————————————————————

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 »