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A holy furore rages in Britain
Ginnie Mahajan/Brajesh Kumar
Sunday, November 05, 2006  02:00 IST

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DELHI: Old allegations of sexual abuse of boys by spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba have created a fresh furore in Britain.

The issue snowballed after the British press reported that 200 boys would visit India on a month-long humanitarian pilgrimage starting November 13, organised by the Sai Youth Movement, a division of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation.

These boys are to receive the Duke of Edinburgh award for their humanitarian work. According to the Guardian, the British public is irked by two issues — safety of the boys at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and the involvement of royalty with the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation.

The newspaper quotes a former home office minister Tom Sackville, who also runs a victim support group, as saying, “It is appallingly naive for the award scheme to involve young people and the royal family with an organisation whose leader is accused of paedophilia.”

Interestingly, the United States Department of State has a travel advisory against the Sathya Sai Organisation: “US citizens should be aware that there have been unconfirmed reports of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a prominent local religious leader at an ashram or religious retreat located in Andhra Pradesh.”

The Guardian says US state officials have confirmed that this is a direct reference to Sathya Sai Baba. There have been rumours for years that the spiritual guru, who calls himself an incarnation of god, molested young devotees during interviews. Both Indian and foreign visitors to the ashram have come on record to say how he has abused them.

The public relations officer of Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram, however, told DNA: “We do not care what the advisory says. People and organisations can write whatever they want to believe. We have no more to say on this issue. Yes, the boys are coming to India in about two weeks’ time.”

The visit coincides with Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday. He had apparently given a ‘divine commandment’ to the Sai Youth Movement to visit him on the occasion.

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Readers' comments
Do your own reasearch
Do your own research guys before you report on one who is beleived to be Divine Incranation by many and also learned people. This is usual case of fascination of you guys with whatever the Fair Skin people say. Look on Net. Recently one such frivolous case was dismissed in US Courts. Just allegation doen not mean any thing. It be better if you guys also have decency to report the good work done by Sai TRust. Free Education is provided from UG to PG and free Health care, even Heart Operation, is provided to everyone irrespective of caste and creed. The trust also has underatken succcessful water projects in Andhra and Chennai. He is transforming the misguided youth and also exhorting and guding then to do social work. The award from Duke is on account of Social Work done by them. It would be better if you guys took sensitivity of Indian Public into account and research stories properly instead of a delayed copy and paste.
By Mannu
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Holy furore story
Two US scientists, Dr. Heraldson & Dr. Oasis, no Sai Baba devotees, have done extensive research over a couple of decades on what goes on at Puttaparthi, and published their findings in a book (Miracle is my visiting card). Won't be a bad idea if, along with the sexual abuse slant, a reader were also given a gist of their findings. That would be the real DNA test.
By Mohan Kaul
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
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