Sorrow, slander start with Sai Baba’s departure

The death of Sathya Sai Baba has sparked off a debate on the genuineness of godman culture, culmination of riches and spiritualism and what is honest and what is fraud

FP Editors April 25, 2011 15:44:55 IST
Sorrow, slander start with Sai Baba’s departure

Enormous debates about whether Puttaparti’s Sathya Sai Baba in Andhra Pradesh was really a godman, a conman or just a wonderfully skilled businessman have started in the cyberspace with devotees pouring their hearts out in grief and the cynics calculating the valuation of his massive property.Sorrow slander start with Sai Babas departure

Media eye

As the Indian Internet space went into a frenzy over the death of Sai Baba, the news websites were quick enough to post about Sai Baba was and what kind of impact he had over politicians, big names in different sports, foreigners and common Indian families.

Even as the media went overboard with the mammoth number of devotees the Baba had, the many controversies that the Bhagawan, as his followers call him, were not forgotten either.

Blogger Mohammed Siruhan said: “Sai Baba was also mired in controversies, with several news reports about allegations of sexual abuse and fake miracles.”

Who would be the next head of the huge Sai empire was another aspect that the media was interested, rightly because of its valuation and no apparent legal heir appointed by the trust so far.

A Times of India news article read:

Worth of Sathya Sai Central Trust as per income tax estimates | Rs 4,000 crore in Puttaparthi, the trust runs the university complex, a specialty hospital, world religious museum, Chaitanya Jyoti, a planetarium, a railway station, hill-view stadium, a music college, an administrative building, an airport, an indoor stadium, a sports complex, 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba centres in over 180 countries, schools, cultural and health centres.

Miracle man, as the Baba was referred by many, still continued to occupy headlines as stories of miracles after his death were reported. A particular Sai picture in Andhra’s Warangal district was supposedly flowing out ‘honey’.

The Times of India said: “Even before the `miraculous' episode of oozing of scented oil from a Saibaba idol in Puttaparthi could be forgotten, came another `divine miracle' in Warangal district on Sunday morning when honey reportedly started flowing from a photoframe of Saibaba in the residence of a government employee here.”

They did not like him

The Baba might have had a great fan base like a rock star but there is no people who did not approve of him. Blogger Hari Sampath wrote a lengthy post on his blog to prove that Sai Baba was a mere mortal with common human limitations. Hewas completely cynical of the frailties Sai Baba faced in the later part of his life, writing:

The hand that promised to lift a ‘range of mountains’ can't even cut a cake now or wear his dress properly when it slips!

Former head of the Sai Baba organization in Norway, Robert C Priddy is highly critical of the way the Baba passed away and the honesty of the people at the helm of the Sathya Sai Baba Trust. The blogger is totally unhappy with the medical team that checked upon Baba and found the medical bulletin mentioning the cause of death unconvincing.

Priddy wrote:

The medical report states Cardio-respiratory failure. Now that is very neutral medical terminology, but what caused this breathing and heart failure?

Tweets on Sai Baba

Twitter played a major role to put views and news on Sai Baba allowing people either to mourn or being critical of the dead godman.  While the tweets are in abundance, Firstpost loved some of them.

Sunil Saxena from Noida tweeted about the headlines by newspapers reporting on Baba's death. Ashutosh Tripathi from Mumbai praised the life and work of Sai Baba in his Tweet.

May His Holiness Sri Satya Sai Baba's soul rest in peace ! What a fantastic human being ! What a great life He has lead !

However, Bhavik Makan from Pretoria, South Africa chose to be brutal. The tweet said:

One less fraudster.



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