Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Telangana’

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2008

Directly after the November 2006 article in The Guardian (UK), The Indian living god, The paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards by Paul Lewis, an historic Indian media feed seachange started to happen.

The UK Guardian Exposes Indian Guru, Sai Baba

Paul Lewis article in The Guardian (UK) Exposed links with Duke of Edinburgh Awards

There were many successful IANS (Indo-Asian News Service) feeds to Indian media (and a few overseas) which referred to this article, with some added input from IANS Staffer Sudeshna Sarkar who followed up on the story, and filed from London. (See Resources, below).

hrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh.jpg

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

His Royal Highness’s officials had to act on top of a ‘politically’ not very experienced or competent UK Duke of Edinburgh Awards CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE. They were slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davies KCVO, CBE,

sir-miles-hunt-davis.jpg

realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, head of Sathya Sai Baba’s international propaganda apparatus and deputy world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, that an official Sai Baba website take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. Venkataraman complied.

Guardian Article and IANS News Agency Feed Loosen Indian Media Censorship on Sathya Sai Baba

This IANS feed broke decades’-long silence from from an Indian press which (with a rare notable exception such as India Today in December 2000) almost exclusively has censored news adverse to the extraordinarily powerful and influential Sathya Sai Baba. The Telangana separatist issue, in which vast conflicting interests were involved, was the next blow to Sai Baba’s virtual immunity to criticism in the Indian media. He spoke publicly about this hot topic, whereas in years past he has avoided comments concerning political issues. Why, after all, would he want to alienate huge number of followers who have many political suasions? More recently, however, he has been making increasing errors of judgement. See Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail

Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise of Moon Darshan Fails

This marked media change was yet again seen in early October 2007 in the wide Indian press coverage of reports that Sathya Sai Baba had promised a great divine miracle, subsequently cancelled when clouds appeared, in which thousands of his devotees gathered at his private airport, creating terrible traffic snarls and potential danger to human life and limb. This immediately followed an announcement in the evening via his close aide and chief translator Professor Anil Kumar, that Sai Baba would miraculously show the universal form of God (or vishwarupa darshanam) in the moon. But both Sai Baba’s own vision AND the moon itself that night were clouded over! (Sai Baba’s gesture, though unfulfilled, is redolent of the type of vision Sri Krishna gave to his chief disciple Arjuna as recorded in the Bhagavad Gita).

Again, it was the upstart news agency IANS which was aggressive in getting its feeds accepted in India.

Significantly:

  • Many NRI’s (non-resident Indians) freely are able to read news and views highly critical of Sai Baba in other countries around the world. A mere glance at the dozens of overseas media that have carried articles adverse to Sathya Sai Baba gives an idea of how exposing it is for Indian media that has normally imposed a heavy blanket on information critical of him
  • New generational influences are arising in Indian media far more inclined to secularism, and that what with the arrival of a rising ‘star’ news agency like IANS, Satha Sai Baba and his semi-feudal, ancien régime servitors and minders now face some tough challenges. New generations of movers and shakers are gradually emerging out of the grip of the gradually fading, but still rife, gerontocracy of the Indian power echelons.

Resources

The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards

Paul Lewis, UK Guardian. Saturday November 04 2006. Page 3 of the Top section.

Tom Sackville, a former Home Office minister and chairman of Fair, a cult-watching and victim support group, said: “It is appallingly naive for the award scheme to involve young people and the royal family with an organisation whose leader is accused of paedophilia.

‘Parents who plan to send their children on this month’s pilgrimage … should be aware of the danger their children are being exposed to.'”

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

“Officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the boasting of those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and about the Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation. See Shitu Chudasama HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator”.

TRS students wing attack Satya Sai temple over Telangana issue

“While addressing a gathering of devotees at his ashram in Puttaparthi in Anantapur district yesterday, Sai Baba had opposed the division of the state and said overall development was possible only if the state remained united.

The TRS leaders condemned his remarks and demanded his apology for hurting the sentiments of Telangana people”.

Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

“It is interesting that so many devotees have assumed that the vision apparently promised by Sai Baba via his chief translator and close servitor Professor Anil Kumar to many thousands of devotees gathered at his Puttaparthi ashram would entail seeing the form of Sai Baba on the moon. If they had consulted their timeless sacred classic, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, they might have recalled that the vision granted by Sri Krishna to Lord Arjuna (vishwarupa or vishvarupa darshana) was of a very different character. It was not the form of Sri Krishna -who was right beside him! – but a cosmic vision of enormous range and depth”.

Further articles at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com on the moon darshan issue

Sai Baba Fails To Appear In Moon, IANS Reports
‘Moon Mission of Sathya Sai Baba’. Re Merinews Article
Sai Baba Fails To Grant Great Moon Vision. Endangers Crowds
Is Indian ‘Godman’ Sai Baba’s Moon Waning Still Further?
Robert Priddy writes on Moon darshan issue at http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com
Hundreds see Sai Baba on the moon
Sai Baba appearances on the moon
Sai moon miracle again
Sai Baba on the Moon videos
Long-awaited photo of Sai Baba in the moon
Sai Baba on the Moon – photo for his birthday?
Deceiving ‘devotee’ makes bogus image of Sai in the Moon
Oops! Apparently Sai Baba DID appear on the moon?
More Sathya Sai Baba Moon Madness

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Further Resources

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. Part One Part Two Part Three

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Article on)

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on June 28, 2009

Witnesses (An alphabetical list linked to testimonies)

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

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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 Miracles, New Age, Religion, Royal Family, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Why Might There Be Religious and Political Disconnects?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 25, 2007

These short extracts from Shantanu Dutta’s article, Power of godmen, can provide a stimulus for discussion on the issue – are godmen (and godwomen, one supposes) beneficial or baneful or an intriguing mixture of both? (see extract below)

Of a statement by TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) president K. Chandrasekhara Rao, Dutta says:

 “Apparently (it) indicates that in the political mind there is a big disconnect between the teachings and thoughts shared in discourses and the course of action that naturally follows as a consequence”.

It Can Take Two To Disconnect

And the disconnect no doubt is not just disconnect by politician from spiritual leader, but the reverse as well.

It is surely a situation which is relevant to religious leaders of any country. Are they fortified by ivory towers or dreaming spires – or can they genuinely relate to the day-to-day issues of people in general? If they cannot, then a disconnect is bound to occur. Might, for example, a lay person think the best counselor to go to in quest of a solution to practical marital problems is a lifelong monk or nun?

That is one side of the question. But then, suppose that a spiritual leader – whether worldly-wise or not – has some useful insight into a public matter. I agree with Dutta. Why should Sai Baba, or anyone for that matter, shut up about important issues? In regard to the greater public weal, who is not a stakeholder of one degree or another?

The issue of religious leaders speaking out arises as an explosive one when few speak out. Let only a few do it and they are a novelty – even a shocking one.

What is the case when abstracts or ideals, are preached? What would be needed to bring about a connect?

Ought We Disconnect from Disconnected Gurus?

Here, are but two questions some of my readers might like to run with their spiritual leaders – whether at a mandir or temple, synagogue, mosque, vihara, church, and so forth:

1. what is our Faith’s specific, injunction or declared statement – if there is one – on sexual abuse?

2. What policy guidelines – if any – are there for dealing with offenses, proved or as yet alleged – within the ranks of the authority or amongst the congregation? (Please be so kind as to write to me with the details. I am interested. Email: bpittard (at) optusnet.com.au)

There is bound to be conflict when a preacher does not grapple with the question of how lay persons can, without great stress – and indeed hypocrisy – act out the precepts in practical and meaningful ways.

That is to say – connected.
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Shantanu Dutta Article Extract

“The other Godman in the news was Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He didn’t get accolades of course for his remarks on Telengana and his opinion that those who talk in terms of the division of the country are actually committing a sin. His remarks led to a huge agitation and even violence. The TRS president , K Chandrasekhara Rao commenting on the Sai Baba’s remarks suggested that the Baba stick to singing Bhajans and other dharmic activities. Apparently that statement indicates that in the political mind there is a big disconnect between the teachings and thoughts shared in discourses and the course of action that naturally follows as a consequence”. Power of godmen, by Shantanu Dutta. MeriNews. 25 January 2007, Thursday. Link at begining of this blog. Dutta’s  article is also available at Desicritics.org – HERE

Further Reading

See my article, Sai Baba Sparks Political Furore. At the foot of it there are plentiful links to articles from major Indian newspaper sources. My point here was not whether Sai Baba was correct or not in speaking out about a hot political issue. It was this: He has, at 81 years of age, deviated from long decades of non-entry into hot political topics. My view is that, from time to time, he speaks without full control because of his increasingly visible and audible loss of mental faculties. This deterioration his close servitors have gone to great lengths to hide. In an extremely rare moment, the BBC was able to film this happening. It is little wonder that the ashram authorities evicted the BBC documentary makers, who began to ask perfectly reasonable questions – truthful answers to which the public has a right to know. See various film clips, including one where Sai Baba collapses and afterwards, by way of explanation, utters almost certifiable inanities before a vast crowd, HERE. Or for the whole of the BBC’s one-hour documentary (2004), go HERE for broadband and HERE for dialup modem. My detailed review-article The BBC’s The Secret Swami – A Revision is Here

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »