Since I recall that there was an incident at the ‘Sports meet’ in 1991 which Sai Baba claimed to have taken upon himself injuries that would otherwise have debilitated a student (Anil Patel). I wondered if Raman Sharma had confused the dates (he had referred to ca. 1999) so I wrote and asked him to explain. He replied:-
Dear Robert Priddy,
I know all about the incident in 1991, and I had therefore fully understood the workings of the system. It was in 1998 or 99 at the sports meet. As Sai Baba came in his white chariot, he fell down and cooked up a story. I remember the form boys names during the time of the story which include Dibya jyoti Das, Deepak Anand., who were all new recruits (as most of the oldies were being left behind). This changing of Form boys occurred on a massive scale every three years. Before Satyajit, one Dilip was a personal caretaker of Sai Baba. I don’t know why he left or what mistake he did to invite SB’s rage. Otherwise Dilip was a smiling person always. I am sure if SB had a bit of goodness in him, these people (for ex. Dilip) would never leave and disappear from Puttaparthi.
Even when we were selected for the Kodaikanal trip (I have already mentioned that SB had very little to do with the selections) we were given many orientation classes by the school /Institute teachers. One thing repeatedly stressed was never to contradict Sai Baba, along with the remark “you don’t know to whom you are talking…” In any sort of discussion SB always had the final word.His devotees also do things in a similar manner (i.e. devoid of logic) and whenever they seem to be on the wrong side of any discussion, they always end it with “Swami Knows best…Swami is God…etc” Of course it was fun to argue with SB as he had very little knowledge on scientific subjects and would try and reason out his arguments in a most illogical manner. I think SB had an Inferiority complex of not being well educated …so he did try and speak on science which was very amusing and gave us ample opportunity to laugh to our hearts content. Such behaviour on his part was considered as “feigned ignorance” etc by teachers who had implicit faith in Sai Baba.
There was a lot of discrepancy in payments to teachers etc. We often wondered where the money collected by the Education trust went. His chosen form boys whom he would select as research scholars and who also had to involve themselves in regular teaching were paid a mere pittance… Rs2500/- per month..
I remember talking to hostel canteen in charge Mr. Venkatachalam, along with a group of boys who told us that whatever good rice or ghee etc was received as donation was resold in the market and the hostel food was always prepared using the materials purchased from the subsidized rates through govt. dealers. (see previous blog)