Sathya Sai Baba makes some extraordinary claims here. Bharat (i.e. India) was safe from two world wars simply because of its virtuous women? Firstly, not all India’s women were virtuous, it would seem, since prostitution was very widespread during both world wars and has increased continually since then. Now there is a massive AIDS crisis which also involves women, of course. Secondly, the greatness of Bharat… there is a suggestion here of India’s former supposed glories. India’s greatness today – whatever it consists in – does not exceed that of other countries surely? It’s glory is harder to discover nowadays, even with all due respects.One can applaud the sentiment to respect women and make them happy… but Sathya Sai Baba is known for preferring men to women on all occasions… he spends far more time on the male side during darshan and is always surrounded only by male attendants. In his ashrams – at conferences and festivals – women are relegated to sit on the ground, while important men occupy chairs. After many decades, Sai Baba agreed to have a “Ladies day” once a year. (the remaining 364 days are actually Men’s days).
Lacking democracy and ‘rights’ for women
Sai Baba does not allow women on his Sathya Sai Central Trust, nor can more than a very few ever be seen in leadership positions in his organization, especially in India. See this quotation too:
“Women too are doing all jobs equal to men. In fact, women do work more sincerely with dedication… …They have the work culture better than men.” (Sai Echoes from Kodai Hills, 1998, p. 48-9)This is true enough, and well-deserved praise generally, and especially for dedication at such tedious and unchanging tasks as telephone exchanges offered. Yet it is noteworthy that Sai Baba nowhere has deemed to mention that women in India are very largely much underpaid compared to men, vastly overworked – and those who have to labour also have to run the home and take care of the children almost entirely in India’s male-dominated culture. Sai Baba confirms this himself and would reinforce this double burden on women, as in:-
“Women should realise that, irrespective of their education or position, their foremost obligation is to protect the home. For Indian (Bharatiya) women, the first duty is to reform the home and run it along ideal lines!” Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam on `Ladies day` 19/10/1996. (Sanathana Sarathi, Dec. 1996, p. 334)
More on Sai Baba’s confusion about women here
Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization