Sri Sathya Sai education neither free nor remotely liberal
Posted by robertpriddy on December 21, 2014
The official Sri Sathya Sai higher secondary school website publicly proves what we already knew privately from some former students that – already in 2005 – it was far from being the free education that Sai Baba continually boasted it was. Under the heading ‘Info for new entrants’ it is specified that Rs 25,000 was to be paid at the time of admission, since all students had to reside in the hostel. It also confirms to the hilt many very eye-wateringly disturbing facts about the Sri Sathya Sai educational system at Puttaparthi, as have been exposed by a number of former students of his educational institutions.
Not only did students have to provide everything from their own means but, once enrolled, became virtual work slaves to run the entire infrastructure of the hostels under the name of ‘Sai Baba selfless service’! The regime for students was draconian, systematically destroying their independence of thought, act and belief and allowing them no normal liberties (unless they were ‘form boys’, that is, did service as Sai Baba’s private ‘chics’, who were allowed liberties far exceeding those who were not his chosen sexual partners and were rewarded with top marks, degrees and golden medals).
Eileen Weed writes: Another eye-opener is the number of students who have 100% marks in their exams. Is this all skill or are they fed answer papers thanks to sb’s name and influence? You decide!
Selection lists are interesting, in that they clearly list the reservations according to caste (SC=Scheduled Class, ST = Scheduled Tribe, EBC = Backward Class) (caste is illegal according to Indian govt. but apparently still practiced today officially all over the place!) and reserved seats for the children of old students and staff. (Of course, even the ‘General Category’ no doubt includes many recommendations of VIPs.)
Shockingly, essentials that students are expected to bring include: their own bucket and mug (probably for shower!), plate and cup, cushion to sit on, mattress, pillows, blankets and bedsheets. The schools can’t even provide basic items like that! I heard from former students that they have to sleep on the cold cement floor crammed in like sardines with no space in-between.
The discipline is also severe, including students not allowed to read any book or magazine not connected with their academics (unless with teacher approval)! No cameras or electronic gadgets allowed! They are also responsible paying for all repairs if they break something.
Among the many restrictive rules we find: “Personal possession of Iron box, tape recorder or transistor, video games etc. is not allowed in the hostel. All students are required to maintain high standard of personal cleanliness and room cleanliness as well as the cleanliness of the surroundings.” Further, in accordance with the strict prohibitions at all Sai Baba ashrams of any ways of recording proof of untoward events, abuses, and other crimes, the information for new entrants states that boys are not permitted to have any electronic devices or cameras.
In short, the entire educational system, from primary school to ‘deemed’ university was controlled with the strictness of a concentration camp, and reports whose claimants we have checked out, told how students were sometimes beaten mercilessly for offending ‘the avatar’ by mentioning his sexuality. Never forget that in 1993 four rebellious ex-students were actually openly executed by police in accordance with Sai Baba’s order. The control extended to freedom of thought too, as no questioning of the indoctrination, or of Sai Baba’s countless false and ignorant statements, was tolerated.
The prospectus boasts: “The school offers students a unique educational experience which, in many ways, is different from schools elsewhere.” So far one can agree in a literal sense, for the school is a uniquely awful example of what a school should not be; a virtual physical and mental prison, fanatically controlling, manipulative, indoctrinating, often abusive and as out-of-touch with all modern educational standards as were most schools in Dickens’ time. Parents of students are invariably Sai Baba devotees who would not listen or believe their sons when they told of sexual and other abuses. A well-balanced review was written by former SSB university graduate Kartick Vaddadi.
A former Sai Baba student mailed me, asking for anonymity, and wrote:-
“…the 1983-4 batch defections at the Brindavan campus….this was always a hush-hush affair and many senior teacher know about it though they were uncomfortable talking about it. What angers me most is the mental stubborness of those professionals at parthi who know these things and still continue to work for the sake of money or whatever.How can they call themselves educated ….this reflects the very flawed status of the Indian upbringing…men are not what they can be but brainwashed to believe whatever they are told. It’s a very unfortunate thing.“
Sathya Sai College: ex-student tells of awful culture there
Two previous accounts of the Sathya Sai College etc. by ‘t.t’ are found here:- More testimony from another ex-Sai Baba student
More evidence piles up on male sex abuse by Sathya Sai Baba and teachers etc.
Also read accounts from ‘Raman’ here:- An account of false Sai Baba miracles in early days