Tony Blair - Sai Baba
By: Hari Sampath
From: Sathya Sai Baba Discussion Club
British Prime Minister Tony Blair snubs Vajpayee and Sai Baba.
As many of you may have known, there had been several extremely critical news stories about Sai Baba in the international media, and in particular, UK. In August 2001, The Times reported three major news stories about the criminal activities and the fraud of Sai Baba, written by The Times senior correspondent Dominic Kennedy. Additionally, The Telegraph had done a comprehensive expose story on Sai Baba, by Mick Brown, in late 2000, and both these news stories had a very high impact in India, with the mainstream Indian media reproducing these stories, doing follow up stories etc.
The Sai Baba organization began to realize that these expose efforts were hitting Sai Baba's reputation hard in India and abroad, and started taking measures to counter this extremely negative impact amongst the public. India Today did a 10 page cover story , in 6 languages, in December 2000, after The Telegraph story in Oct 2000. In November 2000, the Sai Baba matter was raised in the British Parliament. In August 2001, when The Times did these three stories, it resulted in the stories being reported in several European countries, major newspapers/magazines in India etc.
The Sai Baba organization in India decided to do damage control by getting very high important political leaders involved in this process, particularly Prime Minister Vajpayee, a publicly committed follower of Sai Baba. The plan of the Sai Baba organization in India and UK was to get Vajpayee to use his influence with PM Blair, and somehow get PM Blair to condemn these developing news about Sai Baba, and also to get PM Blair to visit Sai Baba so that the Sai Baba org could now claim that PM Blair himself was impressed by Sai Baba, and to add respectability to Sai Baba. For this purpose, PM Vajpayee had to first denounce these allegations against Sai Baba, and then PM Blair would be expected to accept Sai Baba as a spiritual leader , probably visit him, and the Sai Baba org hoped that this would counter the negative image that Sai Baba is increasingly getting by the day, in the world.
I was always anticipating that this scenario would develop sooner or later, and along with other members of the CCG, we were watching out for such moves. Sure enough, in November 2001 the UK Sai Baba org publicly put a letter on their website, written by PM Vajpayee , supporting Sai Baba , and condemning the allegations as malicious. This letter from Vajpayee was given to PM Blair, along with a letter from the UK Sai Baba org, which described why Sai Baba was such a great spiritual leader, and how a few people were maligning him etc. The letter also had a specific invitation to PM Blair to visit Sai Baba and see for himself. Both PM Vajpayee's letter and the UK Sai Baba org letter to PM can be seen on their website at http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk. For your ready reference, we have links to the copies of the same letters at the bottom of this page.
Most interestingly, the letter written by Vajpayee and several other top politicians and others, was undated, while the letter written by the UK Sai Baba org to PM Blair was dated Nov 13th 2001. PM Vajpayee was in London on November 12th for a 2 day stopover, on his way to New York from Moscow. Vajpayee had met PM Blair two times in these two days regarding the international campaign against terrorism. I have sources in the highest levels of the Sai Baba org in India, who confirmed to me that top level Sai Baba org leaders had prevailed upon Vajpayee to talk to PM Blair about Sai Baba , and do some damage control exercise. Vajpayee's letter, as well as the UK Sai Baba org's letter published on their website seem to perfectly confirm this and it is very easy to see what was happening.
PM Tony Blair was scheduled to be visiting India in the first week of January 2002, and a trip was scheduled to inaugurate a technology park/electronic city in Whitefield, near Bangalore. My sources informed me reliably that there was a very specific plan to make PM Blair visit Sai Baba in his Whitefield Ashram without announcing it publicly earlier. Please check this link at The Hindu Online for PM Blair's Bangalore visit plans and the arrangements made for this. The Electronic city in Whitefield is less than 10 min drive from Sai Baba's ashram , and it is easy to see what the Sai Baba org and Vajpayee were planning.
When I got information about Vajpayee's letter, and the Sai Baba Org's letter to PM Blair on Nov 13th 2001, I was absolutely sure what was being planned. I checked these plans and information several times with people in the inner circles of Sai Baba, and I was reliably informed that Sai Baba was scheduled to travel to Whitefield , from Prashanti, by Jan 3rd.
I consulted with a few members of the CCG, notably David Bailey, and we decided that we will stop PM Blair from visiting Sai Baba in Whitefield, and make sure that the Sai Baba organization did not succeed in its nefarious plan. This was in Late December 2001, and PM Blair had just gone to Egypt for a vacation, before visiting India. I contacted some people in UK, close to the Foreign Commonwealth office , FCO, and also the British High commission in New Delhi, India and David and his contacts too were doing the same in London. We placed before the British authorities all the facts about Sai Baba, and why the Indian PM Vajpayee was trying to arrange a meeting for PM Blair with Sai Baba. The FCO wanted specific information, which I sent to them, about Sai Baba, and the developments of the last 2 years. They conveyed the information to 10 Downing, the British PM Blair's residence, and also to the British High commission in Delhi.
Tony Colman, the MP , was instrumental in taking great initiatives, and ensured that PM Blair was informed about this situation. 10 Downing immediately passed everything on to PM Blair and also informed the British High commission in India.
PM Blair visited Bangalore, but did not visit Sai Baba. Journalists in UK and India were repeatedly calling the British High commission asking if PM Blair was going to meet Sai Baba, and if they could ask him questions about his opinions on Sai Baba and the current controversial allegations against him, if Blair did indeed visit. The British High commission confirmed to David Bailey, myself and other journalists, that there was no such trip to meet Sai Baba being considered at that time. Some journalists in Delhi told me that the British staff were very rattled by all this.
Blair did not visit Sai Baba, and also wrote a letter dated Jan 23rd to Tony Colman MP (see link at bottom of this page) , thanking him about the warnings about Sai Baba, and stating categorically that no visit to took place when he was in India earlier in the month.
Tony Blair further refers to the fact that there has been no cases in India chargesheeting Sai Baba, and recommends the victims to take everything to the Indian police. Tony Blair also specifically says that he had asked the British High commission in New Delhi and the Chennai consulate to closely monitor the Sai Baba developments.
All this clearly establishes the position that Tony Blair and the British Govt have taken on Sai Baba, which is - they know what is going on, they are also aware of the Vajpayee Sai Baba nexus, and at the same time believe that the British Govt cannot do anything about it, but the Indian Govt should. The letter by Tony Blair to Tony Colman is a virtual slap in the face to Vajpayee, Sai Baba and the Sai Baba org, and leaves no room for two opinions as to how the efforts to snare Tony Blair into the Sai Baba circle were received by the British Govt.
Note from editors of www.exbaba.com:
The letter from Vajpayee was already on our site on Short News:
12-06-01:So, Mr. Vajpayee, it is not true after all?