Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘The Times of India’

Indian Army and Police Torture: Wikileaks Revelations

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2011

At Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in the south Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, one cannot but notice how –  up to the top echelons – the ranks of the armed forces and police are to be seen represented in the mass pilgrimage there. For decades it has been so.

These same Indian armed forces and police who flock to Sathya Sai Baba number many of those guilty of human rights violations, and the sort of atrocities referred to in the two articles from The Guardian, see below …

Where, then, is his restraining, so-called ‘Divine Hand’ on his countless devotees who are members of those barbaric forces? And on the governments who deploy them?

Indian democracy? Yes, one may think it good idea ….

The very forces of democratic law and order in India are far from reformed. His long-ago made undertakings to transform India are, at every level, refuse stacked on the tall pile of his many broken promises and predictions.

Related Resources

Police and Army Rapists Rarely Punished, Says Kavita Krishnan (Of AIPWA)

Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’

Serial Sex Abuse And Broken Promises of Miracle Healing

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

Predictions and Promises Made by Sathya Sai Baba plus his Persistent Rumours

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Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘father of modern India’,  said:

Apostle of non-violence. Did what he preached

Apostle of non-violence. Did what he preached


You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees.
An evil system never deserves such allegiance.
Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.
A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.

Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will.
Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.

Violent means will give violent freedom.

WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir

Jason Burke in Delhi.  The Guardian (Guardian.co.uk), Thursday 16 December 2010 21.30 GMT

Beatings and electric shocks inflicted on hundreds of civilians detained in Kashmir, US diplomats in Delhi told by International Red Cross

WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir
Beatings and electric shocks inflicted on hundreds of civilians detained in Kashmir, US diplomats in Delhi told by ICRC

Unrest in Kashmir, where a leaked cable said the Indian government ‘condoned torture’. Photograph: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables.

The dispatches, obtained by website WikiLeaks, reveal that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.

Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

The revelations will be intensely embarrassing for Delhi, which takes pride in its status as the world’s biggest democracy, and come at a time of heightened sensitivity in Kashmir after renewed protests and violence this year.

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WikiLeaks cables: will the world now intervene over torture in Kashmir?

By Dilnaz Boga. The Guardian (Guardian.co.uk), Tuesday 21 December 2010 12.45 GMT

Will the leaked communiqués mark a shift in western foreign policy, or is it to be business as usual in Kashmir?

WikiLeaks cables: will the world now intervene over torture in Kashmir? A mother of a disappeared son protests on the eve of International Human Rights Day in Srinagar, Kashmir. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

Almost every household in Kashmir has a story to tell of human rights violation by the local police or the Indian security forces. Generations have experienced violence amid a culture of impunity spanning six decades.

Last Friday, leaked US embassy cables disclosed the findings of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on torture in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) between 2002-2004.

ICRC claimed out of 1,296 detainees it had interviewed, 681 had said that they had been tortured. Of those, 498 claimed to have been electrocuted, 381 said they were suspended from the ceiling, and 304 cases were described as sexual. Things haven’t changed much since that period.

Now, Kashmiris who have endured years of abductions, enforced disappearances, custodial killings, rape, torture and detentions want to know if the cables’ release will make a difference. Will there be a change in policy on torture internationally? Will these revelations fortify India’s justice mechanism after civil society’s intervention? Or will it propel the Indian mainstream media to report Kashmir’s human rights issues from the highest militarised zone in the world?

Kashmiris want answers.

Serious impediments to human rights can stall progress in any society. Kashmir is no different. In the Valley, the state feels free to flout its own constitution. Therefore, the people expect intervention from the international community.

The summer of 2010 brought on a significant change in the Kashmiri struggle for independence from India. From being a pan-Islamic militant movement sponsored by Pakistan in 1989, it has now transformed into a non-violent indigenous people’s movement. But the response of the state has not altered since the 1990s.

Kashmiris expressed themselves against what they view as an illegal military occupation by India through peaceful protests, civil strikes, sit-ins, internet and graffiti campaigns, rallies and demonstrations.

Despite the fear of arrest, young people have used the internet to post blogs, photographs of human rights violations and videos of killings, while the government gagged the press for weeks.

Since June, over 100 men, women and children have been killed at demonstrations for protesting against widespread human rights violations. All of this happened as the world watched silently.

The leaked US cables stated that, in 2005, ICRC’s findings were also communicated to the UK, France and Holland. They chose to stay silent. And why shouldn’t they, when there are defence deals to be signed and investments to be made in the soaring Indian markets?

Diplomacy, coupled with the prospects of a burgeoning economy, have shielded India from criticism by the global community. Even the UN only issued a statement, urging India to tone down its response to the protesters.

Responding to ICRC’s allegations, an official spokesperson from the Indian ministry of external affairs said: “India is an open and democratic nation which adheres to the rule of law. If and when an aberration occurs, it is promptly and firmly dealt with under existing legal mechanisms, in an effective and transparent manner.”

Meanwhile, J&K’s chief minister Omar Abdullah said the government doesn’t condone torture. Passing the buck, he added, “I am not getting into it… it pertains to 2005, and you know who was in power that time.” Omar was referring to the coalition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress that ruled the state from November 2002-August 2008.

On Saturday, Indian broadsheet, The Times of India, chose to report on the row over a statement on Hindu terrorism, and comments about Indian Muslims made by former US envoy to New Delhi, David Mulford. In a commentary about India’s 150 million-plus Muslims, Mulford stated: “India’s vibrant democracy, inclusive culture and growing economy have made it easier for Muslim youth to find a place in the mainstream, reduced the pool of potential recruits, and the space in which Islamic extremist organisations can operate.”

There was no mention of torture or of Kashmir in the newspapers.

It is doubtful that India will make changes after these leaks, but hope never dies in places where violence is a way of life. Kashmiris are still hoping, against all odds, for a change.

Courtesy: The Guardian (Guardian.co.uk)

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: 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)

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Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 26, 2010

Why are Indian authorities and the Indian media so selective in exposing errant religious figures in that country? Anyone who knows a wide cross-section of Indians is well aware of the great shame they feel for the corrupt institutions in their country?

Non-resident Indians (NRI’s) are freely able to read exposing investigations about Sathya Sai Baba in major western media such as the BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, and newspapers in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc., but are prohibited from doing so in their own country.

One makes, though, the honorable exception of India Today. I well remember learning of how one of the journalists associated with the India Today cover story, Vijay Jung Thapa, had to have security mounted (‘close body protection’) during and for some time after he was involved in the exposure story on Sathya Sai Baba. Those among us who have great respect for the Gurka people of Nepal (of which Thapa is one) were not suprised by his courage, professionalism and tenacity in digging into the story. I see that he has now risen high as of 2008, getting the Editorship of The Hindustan Times, which has also, by the way, run an outspoken article by a former editor (although it was all too impressionistic, rather than the product of hard-nosed research) against Sathya Sai Baba.

See:  December 04, 2000 Issue COVER STORY: SATHYA SAI BABA

Test of Faith

The 75th birthday celebrations of the godman focus attention on his work ineducation, healthcare and social welfare. But allegations about sexual misconduct persist.

We do not see any detail reported in Indian media, in regard to Sathya Sai Baba such as (see below):

“A CID official said most of those who enrolled for this programme were women, and 90% were from Tamil Nadu. CID sleuths had watched a CD with more than 35 video clippings of Nityananda in compromising positions with at least five women”.

In short, why is Nityananda being investigated and not Sathya Sai Baba too? In short, someone far more powerful and influential than Nityananda, and who commands almost unimaginable wealth?

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Report from The Times of India

Godman’s flock signed ‘sex pacts’

Vinay Madhav, TNN, Apr 23, 2010, 03.06am IST

Karnataka High Court to hear ‘Sex’ guru Nityananda’s plea

BANGALORE: Nudity, sexual activity, and physical intimacy were part of the “learning and practice of ancient tantrik secrets’’ at Dhyanapeetam Ashram of controversial godman Swami Nityananda at Bidadi, near Bangalore. Nityananda was caught on camera during an alleged sex romp with an actress last month.

Bizarrely, those who volunteered for the programmes were made to sign an agreement prohibiting them from disclosing any of these details or taking legal recourse after practising “ancient tantrik secrets’’. The programme is called ‘Learning from the Master Program’.

The “non-disclosure agreements” were part of the documents seized by CID during raids on the ashram, where they seized computer hard disks, and mobiles.

One clause of the agreement, accessed by TOI, states: “Volunteer understands that the Program may involve the learning and practice of ancient tantric secrets associated with male and female ecstasy, including the use of sexual energy for increased intimacy/spiritual connection, pleasure, harmony and freedom. Volunteer understands that these activities could be physically and mentally challenging, and may involve nudity, access to visual images, graphic visual depictions, and descriptions of nudity and sexual activity, close physical proximity and intimacy, verbal and written descriptions and audio sounds of a sexually oriented, and erotic nature, etc.”

It further says: “By reading and signing this addendum, Volunteer irrevocably acknowledges that he/she is voluntarily giving his unconditional acceptance of such activities and discharges the Leader and the Foundation, and anyone else not specifically mentioned here but directly or indirectly involved in the organization, management or conduct of any such programs from any liability, direct or indirect, arising from such activities.”

A CID official said most of those who enrolled for this programme were women, and 90% were from Tamil Nadu. CID sleuths had watched a CD with more than 35 video clippings of Nityananda in compromising positions with at least five women.

 

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Related posts at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: 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)

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Posted in New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

No Nobel Peace Prize For Self-Claimed God of Gods Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2009

Not far short of a decade ago, it had been announced in Sathya Sai Baba centers round the world that Sathya Sai Baba was a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. On behalf of our networked group of former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, I wrote to Dr Geir Lundestad, then Director of the Nobel Institute. An exchange of emails ensued, and I provided him with in-depth documentation concerning Sathya Sai Baba and his sect. 

Dr Geir Lundestad ex-Nobel Institute Director. No Prize For Sathya Sai Baba

(Photo: But no Nobel Prize for Sathya Sai Baba. Dr Lundestad is on the Left of H.H. the Dalai Lama, recipient of that Prize in 1989).

Dr Lundestad emphasized that the policy of the Institute is never to issue any list of candidates, either before or after the winners of the Peace Prize are announced, and that the names of Nobel Prize recipients are announced, while the names of failed candidates are not revealed.

Dr Lundestad’s statements are a far cry from the announcement of Sathya Sai center leaders worldwide. Great had been the rejoicings of devotees, despite the fact that a Nobel Peace Prize – in an odd come-down from the dizzy heights of Heaven – would sit oddly encircling the neck of God.

The fact of the matter is that this was a time when there was great and organized dissent by former devotees. Increasing numbers – including very prominent and respected leaders – were leaving the Sathya Sai Organization. The Sathya Sai Organization had a problem of huge dimensions on its hands.  See:

 

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

 

Any straw to clutch onto was welcome, or even the hope of a plum from the Nobel Insitute ‘tree’.

 

To the Nobel Institute, we offered, among other compelling evidence, material that referred to UNESCO, Interpol, FBI, Australian Federal Police, and so on. We had witnesses with credentials of outstanding service and repute in their own communities. These came from many professions, trades and cultures. We had decent families who have invested years of dedication and sacrificial service to Sathya Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of their children, and other grievous abuses, had shattered their lives. The names of most we have not allowed to be publicized, though they have long stood ready to cooperate with well-reputed media, institutes, etc.

 

Moving into Scandavavian waters, we also cited  ‘Seduced’ by DR, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster, subsequently shown by SBS in Australia, retitled: ‘Seduced By Sai Baba’, which, as it had done with DR, the Sathya Sai Organization threatened to sue. In a phone conversation with me, when I mentioned the (then) Australian head of the Sathya Sai Organization T.Sri Ramanathan’s threat to sue, a senior Producer with SBS laughed, and said: “Let them!”.  As always, when Sathya Sai Baba’s officials have threatened instrumentalities like the BBC and other leading media, they failed to carry out their threats. It is a behaviour seen in many groups widely deemed to be cults that reveal a strong autocracy, perhaps most famously Scientology.

 

Among other documentation available to the Nobel Institute was that from former devotees from several countries, including sworn testimony, earlier provided for UNESCO, resulting in a stern Media Advisory. Furthermore, UNESCO successfully intervened with a complaint to the Press Trust of India when The Times of India (with a leading member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust on its Board of Directors, ex-Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati) tried to water down the Advisory. See:

 

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory.

UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Note:  Puttaparthi officials and the Indian Foreign Minister (himself a follower of Sathya Sai Baba) tried to get UNESCO to suppress the Media Advisory – but were sharply thwarted by the BBC.  

Further Reading

 

‘Black Sheep’ Of Sweden’s Nobel Family Called By Ba-Ba (Sathya Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 14, 2009

QUOTES

‘One of Sathya Sai Baba’s many hugely expensive and major Sai propaganda efforts has been the setting up of Sai Global Harmony via WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service. It broadcasts 24/7 to many countries. A director of WorldSpace is Dr Michael Nobel.”

Note:  Sai Baba publicly mistakenly stated thatThe man who gives the Nobel Prize (Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee) is coming here on the 22nd November. The ones who will show this to the whole world, TV people, are all coming here on the 22nd”.

‘In fact, Michael Nobel has been repudiated by the Swedish Nobel Committee and exposed in the New York Times.

There are many instances that show how Sathya Sai Baba, far from his being, as he claims, all-knowing and all-seeing, has behind him a trail of egregious blunders and unfulfilled predictions, promises of cures, and much else. In this article, I quote the mess he made in the (would-be) Nobel Peace Prize incident. Repeatedly, he hangs his claims on their own petard. His apologists are too blinded to see, not the ‘Glory of Puttaparthi’ but the absurdity of Puttaparthi’. 

http://robertpriddy.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/nobel.jpg

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UNESCO Media Advisory 

UNESCO WITHDRAWS FROM CONFERENCE

Paris, September 15 – UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.

UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE 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. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.

Posted in Morality, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Scandal, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »