There is something suspicious about Sathya Sai Baba’s continual praise for Indian women (it is evident from the contexts of his outpourings that he is always referring to them, not foreign women). What first strikes the eye is the chauvinism in expecting women to look after the household, bring up children and can work at jobs too only on top of all that. No female emancipation for Sai Baba! It is well known from many reports that Sathya Sai Baba gave 90% of his attention to men and boys and behaved like a misogynist, which some of his students have reported on this blogsite too. The students of the Ananturpur College for Women had very infrequent visits to interviews, while boys were constantly included and visited in their campus most regularly by Sai Baba, also invited in groups almost every evening to his residence for talks. Many foreign women (and their husbands) complained constantly that they were repeatdly treated at his ashrams as second- or third-class citizens. They would have to sit on the floor and often at the back at most events.
In short, women were praised by him in public only insofar as they are 1) chaste 2) religious 3) home-makers 4) good child educators (i.e. upholders of the traditional values of Sai Baba’s strict requirement) and finally as good workers in certain jobs, but NOT as political leaders! Of the 365 days of the year, only ONE day was chosen for women to partake fully in the main ceremonies of the ashram… “Ladies Day”… November 19. A charade to keep up a façade if ever there was one: see Ladies Day – Sathya Sai Baba vs. Women’s Day and true female emancipation The values he claimed they embody – and other times said they should change themselves to embody – patience, fortitude, compassion, and sacrifice – are noteworthy because surely they the very qualities which have made women endure without revolt the vast injustices of patriarchal and male chauvinist societies throughout history. The sufferings that so many women face in India are legion: being made into social pariahs if their husband dies and they become widows (!), often being forced into ‘suitable’ marriages (and even still sometimes only as children), to being dominated by their husbands in most cases and to risk being set alight in their kitchens if they do not follow the family’s demands (bride murder). Female prostitution is a major unregulated and dangerous industry involving millions, often sold away from home and taken into brothels as children, often being forced to do back-breaking underpaid work in fields, mines, factories etc., not seldom being expected to produce sons only (and then – due to the huge rate of female infanticide in India, to kill their newborn girls). These are just some of the enormous hardships faced by millions… but where did Sathya Sai Baba ever speak up or give a moral teaching specifically about any of these shameful practises? Nowhere at all is the answer!