Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Indian Education’

Note From Former Lecturer To An Enquirer About Sathya Sai Education

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 6, 2011

Since about 1999, former devotees’ replies to enquirers have been a great many. My closest colleagues and I go out of our way to assist those who enquire with courtesy.

It seems very right to ignore those who are offensive. Why – when one has invested so many years in striving to pursue a decent and humane path – fall to the display of hatred and anger that has all too often reached our inboxes?

The below email response which I have just sent to an enquirer is typical in tone and purpose to many that former devotees have, for many years, spent time and care in responding to enquirers.

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Dear ……..,

Thank you for writing to my blogsite.

I may suggest that, in matters so serious as your education, you feel welcome to share this email with your parents and any elders within your extended family or circle of mentors whom you feel that you can approach for wise guidance. I am happy to answer any questions they may wish to put.

I don’t know whether you read further into my blogsite at:  https://barrypittard.wordpress.com . I also recommend the blogsite of the longtime former head of the Sathya Sai Organisation, Robert Priddy, a retired academic of the University of Oslo, Norway: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

There are other outstanding and highly senior leaders, too, who have resigned – after proper and scrupulous investigation of primary sources (families and young men from countries around the world) – from the Sathya Sai Organization.

It is extremely hard for devotees to credit the integrity of those many former devotees who have investigated the serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, and, I must quickly add, certain of his servitors, including some teachers. I myself lectured for two years at the Whitefield college (1978-9), and was deeply devoted to Sathya Sai Baba for twenty-five years.

In 1999, after very careful investigation that extended around the world, the evidence of sexual abuse against boys and young men, and other great wrongdoing was utterly compelling. Some of the investigation was by outstandingly qualified sexual abuse professionals, who have long stood ready to testify in any properly accountable legal jurisdiction.

The truth remains that many of those who have left the Sathya Sai Organisation have done so on the highest moral and ethical principles. They have exercised the same standards that have, all along, been seen in them in their professions, trades and wider communities.

No amount of vilification can change the actions of those renowned for telling the truth and practising righteous principles. We have remained within integrity no matter that some Sai devotees have often and cruelly attacked and libeled us, on and off the internet.

Nothing can equal the sense of inner strength that comes from fearless assertion of truth and right conduct, no matter what the odds.

My best wishes to you,

Barry Pittard, Australia. Former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.

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Subject: [Call For Media and Government Investigation] Please moderate: “Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India”

A new comment on the post “Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India”

Author : ……….. (name omitted, respecting privacy)
Comment:

I am a class X student. I am a devotee of Shri Sathya Sai Baba. I want to get an admission in the Higher Secondary School because I want to devote myself to Babaji service

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: You may prefer to go 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)

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

News Flash – Today ……

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

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

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

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

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

Sh. Ranjeet VithaldasConvener, Sri Sathya Sai Trust

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

Sh. S.N. BhargavaChairman, College Governing Council 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oneindia News

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:52 [IST]

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

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

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

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

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

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

For twenty-five years, I was deeply devoted to Sathya Sai Baba. He is widely regarded as India’s most famous and most politically and religiously powerful guru. At his behest, and as an unpaid service, I taught all three years intake in the Humanities degree course at the Sri Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India (1977-1978). In particular, quite apart from a large workload with the first two years, to have been handed the college Principal’s third year English lectures was a considerable challenge for which I shall always be grateful, especially given that this was my first teaching job, except for school experience in my teaching diploma, and my coaching at a college in Australia that helped put me through university, and having also just done post-graduate theatre training.

I had already done some work at the Sri Sathya Sai College for Arts, Science and Commerce before these classes and tutorials began; for example, my own mime performance, and a two-handed performance with an actor from New York of our condensed “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare for the senior boys along, and also supervised setting the foundations for a small library, apart from the main library. The ‘small library’, as it came to be called, eventually bloomed into a thriving cultural meeting-point. It gave me contact with boys from many parts of India, and has remained high among memories of a sort that a teacher cherishes. It meant excellent contact with students of very diverse socio-economic background right across the college. Generous funds were advanced so as to stock the ‘small library’ with books most likely to act as drawcards to students at diverse levels of interest and ability. I also originated an audio-visual acquisition committee consisting of the Principal of the college, D. Narendra Rao, (the late) Dr John Hislop (the then head of the Sathya Sai Organization in USA and latin America), and the film maker Richard Bock. See:

Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Sai Baba films by Richard Bock

After years away, I returned to India in November 1997. When I arrived, boys I had taught – now grown men, many in a variety of professions – sped up and milled around. Here and in other places, there was a joy of reunion after long absence. Any fond old teacher’s heart gladdens at the sight of former students, and with rare exceptions. One feels that one has lived not in vain. There is a vital strain within India culture which holds learning, including secular learning, sacred indeed.

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This series continues at:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »