Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘nepotism’

V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder”

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 6, 2011

In mid 2004, former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair – see:  The BBC and the 1993 murders – spoke to the BBC about the official local, state and central government cover up that attended the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in June 1993. He said he intended to take steps to get the case re-opened. But has he done anything of the sort?

Most major Indian media have entirely failed to tackle Sathya Sai Baba and his incredibly wealthy and influential cult. The exceptions have been:  India Today, Tehelka, The Cavaran and (to a small extent) Hindustan Times. The job of exposure has been via the foreign media – e.g., BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS, ABC (Australia, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), and newspapers in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc.

It is ironic, too, that NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) get to see coverage in the foreign media, whereas there is a heavy blanket of suppression in India. It makes the notion of ‘Indian democracy’ an oxymoron, and somewhat hollow. 

An alert media would challenge V.P.B. Nair with the question:   Have you – as you told the BBC you would do – pushed for a re-opening of the Puttaparthi police killings case?

It is of oddest irony that degrees of exposure of these crimes have been effectively left up to two individuals gifted with cussed unstoppableness – the late Basava Premanand in India and Robert Priddy in Norway. It is similarly significant that, so great is the unwillingness of most major Indian media to tackle Sathya Sai Baba and his incredibly wealthy and influential cult, that exposing him has been, with the exception of India Today, Tehelka, The Caravan, and (to a small extent) Hindustan Times, left up to the foreign media to do – e.g., BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), SBS, ABC (Australia), Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Salon.com (USA), and newspapers in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. 

Again, there is irony in that NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) get to see coverage in the foreign media that is tightly suppressed in India!
 
The lengths to which Basava Premanand and Robert Priddy have gone to examine the welter of documentation have
required much sacrifice of time and energy.  Robert Priddy and I kept in touch with Premanand over the years, and this access allowed us confidential insight into the very real risks to life and limb that Premanand ran.  My own tribute to this remarkable man is here:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach.

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Short Selection of Robert Priddy’s Writings on the Killings

Six devotees of Sathya Sai Baba were slain on 6 June 1993.  No official investigation was completed since the government quashed the CBI’s investigation. No charges were brought. 

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Further Reading At this blogsite:   Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

BBC Footage Still Potent In Exposing Sathya Sai Sect (See Video Clips and Secret Swami Documentary)

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General

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India, Corruption and Sathya Sai Baba and His Chief Servitors

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 27, 2010

The person who wrote to me the following apparently comes from Andhra Pradesh, the State in South India where Sathya Sai Baba has his chief ashram in Puttaparthi. They commented on my previous blog: Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’. In regard to Sathya Sai Baba-related corruption,  the person speaks of my “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”.

It strikes me that the writer uses the notion of  corruption “parallels” in a systemically misleading way. Surely a more helpful contextualization of the corruption issue to be seen in Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors in comparison to widespread, endemic corruption in India  is a notion not of ‘parallel’ but of symptom. This is to say that – apart from the fact that corruption can be found in any social system – many of the Sai Baba-related corruptions reflect aspects deep-rooted in the Indian social system, and promoted by its flaws. It would, of course, be absurd to say that all the corruptions to be seen in one part of a social fabric are replicated in every other instance. For example there are Sathya Sai Organization programs which serve human beings without discrimination on the grounds of caste or creed. A discussion would need to be complex, and attempt some weighting of relevance among phenomena often encountered in India as guru worship, demagoguery, casteism, nepotism, and elitism of various kinds, superstition and dependence in matters such as astrology (not least among the elites), vast social inequality, dowry, and so on ….

In the above article, I had commented:
“Wikileaks reports of Indian troops atrocities and judicial barbarism by Indian authorities points to but one of a number of huge issues erupting in India right at the moment. Every tragic year that passes shows that Sathya Sai Baba has not “cleaned up (his) own backyard”, as he long ago promised he would do.  India’s security and well-being do not rest in the hands of her superstitious and corrupt leadership – many individuals of which gather around Sathya Sai Baba. They are in the hands of those who, at every level, actively and honestly struggle, with great sacrifice, against the systemic venalities”.

 The correspondent wrote:

“For their own karma, all Gurus deserve a healthy dose of irreverence! However,’guru-bashers’ need to be wary of mixing-up issues. This is particularly true when indulged in by foreigners. Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba may have legitimate complaints about him, but ‘inferring’ by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses, is silly and counter-productive.

 
Today, all Indians, whether devotee or non-devotee, atheist theist and agnostic alike, are hugely shamed by the unending exposure of monumental scams in the country. By imputing Sathya Sai Baba for India’s ills, is trivializing and misconstruing the scale and its causes.

 
Devotees will exploit the opportunity to elevate the aging Baba to someone like Christ being crucified for the sins of others”.
Whereas, throughout my many writings, I have made points of the sort:

 
1. That there are courageous forces in India – and always have been – which oppose the corruption.

2. That, among a plethora of other mischiefs, Sathya Sai Baba is exposed by his failure to do what he has long proclaimed that he will do – namely, raise India to great moral and spiritual heights and then the world – effectively, within his own lifetime.

3. The term “guru bashers” is a term that needs, case by case in situations of usage, to be analysed. It is often too much of a label and a curse word, which can obscure the real intents and the arguments being advanced.

4. It is correct that devotees can exploit adverse criticism. Or rather, to be exact, some devotees, because many of them avoid controversy of any sort and simply get on with their prayers, bhajans, etc. But when have not some of those blinded by cultic belief NOT attempted to exploit adverse criticism? Yet, silence or watered down critiques are not likely to be helpful, are they? What critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult have attempted to do is to expose the huge deficit between precept and example – the monumental cover ups, the sexual and other abuses, the repeated failures of predictions and of promises (such as of healing, placement in his educational and other wings …), large-scale scams in regard to provision of water, of apartments, the lack of duty of care within the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, the vast wastage of internationally-contributed funds in glorifying Sai Baba via luxurious buildings, golden trappings of imperial splendour, lack of accountability and transparency by the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sai Baba’s countless contradictions that are to be found in his officially published discourses and other such sources; and much else.

 5. The writer speaks of: “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”. In regard to causality, one cannot, of course, willy-nilly deal of all corruptions afflicting India as paralleling those of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. Those who read properly what is actually written will find an avoidance of such simplifying of complex issues in the articles of the most prominent former devotee writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel or myself, or the independent British author never affiliated with Sai Baba Kevin R.D. Shepherd . They will also find in myriad libraries and on the internet a great many reformist Indian writers who, likewise, cannot fairly be accused of “India bashing”.  

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The profound extent of  the grasp of superstition across classes in India  –  not to mention other pre-scientific manifestations – to which Sathya Sai Baba gives credence is exposed in this well-sourced article by Robert Priddy, who writes of how:

WITCHCRAFT AND BLACK MAGIC STILL PLAGUE INDIA
and how Sathya Sai Baba aggravates the current witchcraft problems in India
 


“Sathya Sai Baba holds firmly that black magic is a real phenomenon, as the quotations below prove. His person and his so-called ‘teachings’ are held in awe by Prime Ministers and Presidents of India and – yet worse – Supreme Court judges. How can this country abolish the dreadful ignorance of so many citizens, apparently including supposedly highly educated persons?” 

 

Some Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’


General
 

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Commonwealth Games: ‘Shining India’s’ Mismanagement By Crisis. Sai Baba Not Sighted

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 25, 2010

At the 11th hour, after India’s fiasco-ridden series of chaotic mismanagements, India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh (a follower of Sathya Sai Baba), and emergency teams of officials are racing to save the 2010 Commonwealth Games. 

If India’s leadership had been ready to live within that country’s relative means, it is arguable that India could have staged a bold, imaginative and unique Games. Why did the leaders attempt to ape the West?  And it was not for the first time, either.  The huge and costly Bollywood-style splurge at 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, showed that ruling forces in India are bent on glitter rather than substance. On looking good, rather than in serving the Indian people at large. This is a country where 380 million Indians ‘live’ on under $1 per day, and another 400 million on less than $2. Some 350 million people cannot read or write. For a number of years, I lived in and have always dearly loved India and deplored, as vast numbers of Indians themselves do, her elitist, corrupt, nepotist and gerontocratic leaders, and her venal, robotic bureaucracy.

Go to virtually any online media site – where, from a huge cross-section of Indians, one sees extensive comment on what has been so acutely exposed in the present Games débâcle.  

Former devotee writers and other critics correctly point (amid his many other failed predictions) to Sathya Sai Baba’s inability to counteract – to all but the smallest degree – India’s problems. (See the glaringly revealing scan from Sai Baba’s close follower Dr John Hislop’s book ‘Conversations With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”, below). Despite the mass of contradictions and the vast corruptions in India, conscienceless attackers such as the Sathya Sai Baba man, Gerald Moreno of New Mexico, USA, allied with some of Sai Baba’s notable followers, who stay in the background, accuses these critics of “India bashing”.  Such cultic blindess in a populist spokesperson is but the public face of countless Sai Baba followers whose heads are deeply buried in the sands by the banks of the Chitravathi River. Whatever the extent of social service volunteer work that Sai Baba devotees undertake in their spare time, it is the smallest drop poured upon India’s ocean of social disfunction. Of Moreno’s unabating slanderous attacts on virtually each individual who speaks out, Robert Priddy – in his article Beatings, torture and killings by Police in India – writes:

“Moreno’ speaks of India on his original vishvarupa.com website in 2003 of India as follows:  “For the past 14 years I have travelled many times to India. I’m captivated by India. (Much to the bewilderment of friends and family)” and he has never made a single critical observation about the vast poverty, the general unconcern with the poor and suffering, the host of embezzling and self-serving politicians and mafias and the depths of depravity whereby children are sold into prostitution in the millions and tiny babies are maimed in horrendous ways to turn them into beggars. His only concern is to bash and harass in every possible way every dissident of his admired gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, convicted murderer and rapist Swami Premananda, Ammachi the heavy-duty hugging matron, the long-expired Ramana Maharshi and such others”.

What the former devotee and other critics point out has long been stated by many courageous and truthful Indian citizens down many decades. It may be hoped that these forces of decency and efficiency in India will be aided by the glaring world spotlight which has all too suddenly, because she is hosting the Commonwealth Games, swung on the many corrupt and befuddled Indian leaders.

A welcome sign of a sea-change is the Clean Sports India movement.  See:

Sathya Sai Baba’s “Own Backyard” Still In A Profound Mess

The now severely ailing Sathya Sai Baba long ago said:

  

  

Many reports of India hiding squalor from Commonwealth Games visitors
India Bridge Collapse

                                                     The collapse of the bridge has fuelled athletes’ concerns over safety and security issues /AP Source: AP 

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

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

But the reality is very different from the perspective of his devotees, who relegate all contrary evidence to a nether region of what is left of their logical minds. See:  

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

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

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions 

When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises  

India’s prophesied future world leadership?  

Major World Catastrophe Predictions Attributed to Sathya Sai Baba 

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Commonwealth Games fiasco: “The people of New Delhi are very upset” 

bridge-teaser-m.jpg

Screenshot of collapsed bridge aired on Indian television on September 21, 2010. 

The games were supposed to showcase India as an emerging power of international stature. Instead, they have become a national embarrassment. The day after the bridge collapse, a portion of false ceiling at the new weightlifting venue crumbled. 

Compounding concerns over the readiness of the games facilities are security fears, after the Sunday shooting of two tourists outside one of the city’s top attractions. Health conditions are also a concern, with reports of an outburst of dengue fever due to stagnant water puddles on unfinished construction sites. 

The games were supposed to showcase India as an emerging power of international stature. Instead, they have become a national embarrassment. The day after the bridge collapse, a portion of false ceiling at the new weightlifting venue crumbled. 

Compounding concerns over the readiness of the games facilities are security fears, after the Sunday shooting of two tourists outside one of the city’s top attractions. Health conditions are also a concern, with reports of an outburst of dengue fever due to stagnant water puddles on unfinished construction sites. 

Related Coverage

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games

                                                    Frantic finish: Indians clear debris from the front the Lawn Bowls venue at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium/Source: Getty Images

India’s $10m ‘bribe’ to win Commonwealth Games   

By Robert Craddock and Amanda Hodge. From: The Daily Telegraph, The Australian.  September 24, 2010 12:00AM.   

The Commonwealth Games Association has decided to ban 11th-hour inducements as a consequence of the outrage over India’s tactics (Read more about the inducements at The Daily Telegraph).  

Filthy toilets  

The revelation comes as photos and video footage taken secretly inside the Games compound show just how squalid the athletes’ village is.  

Undercover reporters from The Australian and The Daily Telegraph reported seeing filthy toilets, widespread flooding and children defecating in the street.  

The images raise more questions about India’s ability to bring the Games facilities up to scratch before the opening ceremony on October 3.  

The India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called an emergency meeting of his ministers last night to deal with the crisis and Commonwealth Games chief Mike Fennell was flying into Delhi early today to meet Mr Singh and Games officials.  

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met national team leaders from 25 countries to discuss their concerns about the athletes’ village  

Australian team general manager Perry Crosswhite said the workforce of cleaners and maintenance staff had increased “ten-fold” in the village yesterday.  

“They have elevated their response and brought in people who have the power to make it happen,” Mr Crosswhite said.  

As well as an army of cleaners, bomb squad officers and dogs have been deployed outside the village as security forces took control, weeks after the original scheduled lockdown deadline.  

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 26, 2010

The Swami Nithyananda sex scandal unfolds in India. One might well wonder – although a great many Indians who know the corruption that pervades the power elites in India will not be puzzled – why there have been decades of news blanketing in that country of reports that threaten the power and prestige of Sathya Sai Baba.

 Sathya Sai Baba, Lord of Mega Buck Pomp and Circumstance

Sathya Sai Baba, Lord of Mega Buck Pomp and Circumstance

The greatest factor is the grip that he has on politicians, judiciary, police, armed services, corporates, and so on. But there is a new and questing India that is growing among her young, who are increasingly throwing off the trammels of their forbears, who were profoundly locked in superstition and subservient to their British colonial masters. That she is still to a chronic degree prey to old and crippling attitudes, however, is evidenced by the prevalence of gerontocracy, nepotism and casteism among so many of her rulers. (These days, the casteism is often cleverly disguised). The young Nithyananda, though visited by various politicians, has clearly not had powerful enough protective patronage at high levels. His story got out. It was not spiked – or sufficiently spiked by editors. Which would be a bit difficult after Sun TV had broadcast steamy footage.

Another  factor is that decades of allegations against Sathya Sai Baba relate to pedophilia and also sex with young men. Heavily tabooed sex more often repels. It is not likely to grind down the internet search engines with queries such as:

Nityananda sex video, Nityananda Ranjitha video, Nityananda sex tape, Nityananda fraud, Nityananda video, Nityananda video of sexual act, Swami Nityananda Ranjitha full video, Nityananda video clippings, Ranjitha hot video, etc., …

Heterosexuality is, of course, by far the norm, and here sex sells enormously more widely.  Especially, when the names of glamorous female film actresses like Ranjitha and Yurvarani are coupled with the hapless Nithyananda, the salaciousness index climbs sky-high. Of course, these young women are also hapless, and it is all very saddening to think of the likely impact on their lives.

A glance at a cross-section of the Indian media, blogsite and other reactions indicate an appalling lack of respect for such civilized notions as benefit of doubt until more evidence is produced. The evidence against Sathya Sai Baba is huge, and, if she does nothing about this, India’s shame will endure down the ages. In the case of one so vastly powerful and influential as Sathya Sai Baba, history does not easily forget.

A great many Hindus take the celibacy of monks and nuns under vows very seriously. The practice of ‘bramacharya’  means that a monk and a nun (swami or swamini) abjures a sexual life so that they can pursue single-mindedly a life of service to others, of prayer, meditation, and so on. Millions of Hindus support ashrams with this understanding in mind. It is a very ancient one. Therefore, a monk or nun who practises a double standard violates not only sacred oaths but is breaking faith with the understanding and trust that lie behind huge donations and other forms of support for any given ashram. In short, false pretenses.

See also:

Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

Robert Priddy

  • Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits
  • Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’
  • Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners
  • ——————————-

    Report from

    Bangalore, Mar 20: Troubles are only adding up for scandal-tainted Swami Nithyananda as two more cases have been registered against him in Karnataka.

    Ramanagaram district police has received a statement from Guru Charan, nephew of Union external affairs minister SM Krishna alleging that the Swamiji is involved in many more criminal activities, reports DNA.
    “I have come forward on my own to file a complaint against the spiritual leader, who has hurt the religious sentiments of the people of Karnataka. This is required as no other person from the state has come forward to lodge any complaint against him till date,” Charan is quoted as saying.

    Besides this, a Kannada actor, Praveen has also reportedly lodged a similar police complaint.

    The media report published on Saturday, Mar 20 notes that both the men are from Mandya.

    The godman has already been slapped with several charges including rape, cheating, unnatural sex among others. Karnataka police is hunting for the godman, whose sex scandal came to light on Mar 2 when a sleazy video showing the Swamiji in a compromising position with Tamil actress Ranjitha hit the media.

    The case was transferred from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka as the sex tape is believed to have been recorded in Nithyananda’s Bidadi ashram.

    The Karnataka police believes that this is just the beginning and is expecting a lot more cases in the coming days.

    OneIndia News.

    http://news.oneindia.in/2010/03/11/swami-nithyananda-dismisses-all-allegations.html

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    Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

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    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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    Posted in Movie Stars, New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

    Will A Newer India Throw Off Old Oppressions?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on February 10, 2009

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

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

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

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A 'tryst with destiny'

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A 'tryst with destiny'

     

     

    spoke of a time: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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