The Hindu – only some comments allowed?
Posted by robertpriddy on May 17, 2011
The Hindu accepts e-mail letters about articles it has posted on-line. A couple of such letters were sensible (shown here), the rest were the usual apologists’ one-sided defense of Sathya Sai Baba. I have written a brief e-mail, signed Robert Priddy, and await with interest to see whether The Hindu will post it, or whether they are still too biased. Watch this URL: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/article2024043.ece
One of my best friends among all Indians and my closest confidante when I was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba was V.K. Narasimhan, who was – for most of his journalistic life – the assistant editor of The Hindu. After an illustrious career in journalist – ending as Editor-in-Chief of the Experss Group – he followed his devotee wife to Sai Baba’s ashram, where they settled. He felt that Sai Baba’s social works were one of the best things in Andhra Pradesh at the time, since he was extremely cynical about the government and their achievements – even the will to improve the lot of anyone but their own class or caste. He did not believe Sathya Sai Baba was omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent… nor did he believe in the miracles or the many alleged healings by Sai Baba (he was himself let down badly and lost an eye despite SB applying vibuti etc.) All this I have described at length, and I have scanned and posted many excerpts from the daily diaries I wrote during my over 1 1/2 years in the ashrams, especially my conversations with Narasimhan.
It was also VKN, as he was widely known, who administered the felling blow to my faith in Sai Baba by telling me in strict confidence and a lowered voice of SB’s younger brother’s blackmailing of the police and Sai Baba’s own covered-up involvement in those events. “They did a terrible thing…” was his judgement, and the Home Minister S.B. Chavan laughed together with Sai Baba’s younger brother – a multi-millionaire property speculator and Puttaparti brother owner Janaki Ramiah – commenting “Dead men tell no tales!” Such was my faith that, even then, it took me four years to deal with the information properly and rid myself about the many confusions about Sai Baba which naturally arise before one takes the bull by the horns and allows oneself to think seriously and critically… which eventually led me to investigate the sex abuse claims. This led to utter conviction that at least a majority of the testimonies were true… little though I wished for that outcome! Knowing the details of how SB was a willing accomplice to murder and its cover-up, along with Sathya Sai Central Trust, other ashram officials and – not least – the Home Minister S.B. Chavan and then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, I had after VKN had safely departed this life to shoulder the heavy burden of telling the public what I knew.