Divine Downfall: Abuse Charges Rock Guru’s Followers

Divine Downfall: Abuse Charges Rock Guru’s
Followers

Growing up in an Indian-American community, I was surrounded by
pictures of Sai Baba, a self-proclaimed holy man whose devotees
around the world are estimated at up to 50 million. Some pictures
were ornately framed and others were affixed rather crudely to
pieces of cardboard, but all were prominently and lovingly
placed.

As a young child, I didn’t know quite what to make of this
strange-looking man–he was Indian with a large afro and flowing
orange robes–but I did form an instant dislike, perceiving him as
an unsettling and cultish figure. My adolescent instincts may have
proved right.

Writing in the British newspaper The Telegraph, Mick Brown unveils
charges that Sai Baba has been sexually abusing boy disciples for
years. Sai Baba’s followers, who tend to be drawn from the educated
middle-class, are bitterly divided over the allegations–some
ripping their pictures up and severing ties with a man they now
view as a charlatan, others choosing to believe in the man they
still see as god.

While many feel betrayed and view the Indian guru simply as a sex
maniac, defenders of Sai Baba state that because he is divine, ‘one
cannot attribute human sexual motives to him.’ In other words,
Brown writes, ‘Because Sai Baba is divine, whatever he does is
beyond understanding and beyond accountability.’
–Anjula
Razdan
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