THE DESPOT IDI
and the myth of Sai Baba's influence over him
Rumours about Sai Baba's intervention to delay expulsion of asians from Uganda rebutted.
COMMENT: Note how the besotted writer (no doubt Dr. G. Venkataraman, who decides on all publicity matters anyhow) of the above claims that not only people but the animals (wild) of Africa are "devoted to Swami". Sathya Sai Baba has encouraged this codswallop in line with his original claim to be the creator of the Universe. "They raised their trunks in veneration and paid obeisance to Swami" we are told. But how did the writer know what the elephants were thinking? Well, the animals would have to worship their creator, wouldn't they? It is laughable in the extreme.
The enthusiasm about the "moment of moments" when Sai Baba "related how Mr. Idi Amin was very fond of him" - and how Sai Baba gave him double daily doses of darsan!" Amin's devotion "melted the heart of Swami" (I ask you - or was it mutual flattery?) - yes, this most horrific of ghastly rapists, torturers, killers, the sweet-hearted Idi Amin had to be given the blessing of another day's stay from Swami! Sai gave apples to the crocodiles which were too"captivated by the divine darsan" even to eat the apples. Probably crocs to not like or eat apples - but now, Amin knew their tastes better than that. He gave them human flesh!
Sai Baba propounded that there is no feeling of hatred in these animal (which is reasonable as they are predators naturally) but - and this is another 'moment of moments' in Sathya Sai Baba's down-putting of his fellow men and women - therefore "The noble qualities in these animals are not even to be found in human being"! All this is sheer comedy, but it has a very sinister message if you stop to think about it.
One story about Sai Baba and Idi Amin circulated in the Sai movement during the near two decades when I was the national leader for Norway in the Sathya Sai Organisation. This was that Sai Baba had gone to stay with a Mr. Patel (in Uganda) and not least so he could meet Idi Amin and tell him to postpone the extradition of Asians (mostly Indians) from Uganda for one year. It was said that those few Indians who were devoted heeded Sai Baba’s alleged warning to them and supposedly left without losing their possessions, others left later and lost most or all they had. However, this does not fit with the dates or any known facts at all. There is no reliable testimony to support the story… nor could I get any sensible, consistent answers from some Indians who were Sai followers whom I met in London in the 1980s who had fled Uganda.
Here is a scanned excerpt about his journey to Uganda and Idi Amin from the discourse:-
“Some years ago, when I went on a tour to East Africa, several Africans came to Me for darshan. Each one of them prayed, “Swami! Please spend some time with us”. There were a few hundred children among them. All of them had their vision glued to My form. You know the then President of Uganda, Mr. Idi Amin. He was a military officer. He was young and very energetic then. He was tall and hefty. He had a number of wives. He was very fond of Swami. He used to have the darshan of Swami both in the morning and evening. I was very short before that giant. The sight of Me beside him was like the view of a deer by the side of a camel. People were surprised at his love and devotion towards Swami. He was well educated and was the President of his country, Uganda. He was known for his stern nature. Such a person shed tears when I started on My return journey. He told Me, “Swami! I have never shed tears since my birth. Today, I am very sad and have a feeling of separation because Swami is leaving us." He covered his face with a handkerchief so that others may not notice his feelings. His hands were very strong. He held My hands firmly, expressing thanks for My visit. He also prostrated before Me. He held My feet so tightly that it became difficult for Me later to climb the ladder for boarding the aeroplane. At the time of My departure, he pleaded with Me “Swami! I will surely come to have Your darshan shortly. Otherwise, You please visit our country again. I cannot bear the separation from You.” The situation in Uganda then was such that he could not leave the country.
During My stay in Uganda, he planned to host a dinner for Me in his house. He therefore came to the house of Dr. Patel to personally enquire about the arrangements to be made in this regard. He collected all information as to how to organise the dinner, what should be the menu, who are to be invited as guests, etc. He arranged for brand new utensils for cooking various dishes. He also arranged for new tumblers for the guests. Finally, when I visited his palace for the dinner, all his wives stood in rows on either side and greeted Me with veneration. He introduced them to Me, one by one. I stayed in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The last day was Guru Purnima, an important occasion for Sai devotees. I had earlier promised to return to Bombay by that date. But, the Africans did not allow Me. They fell at My feet and prayed: “Bhagawan! Please spend this holy day with us", with tears in their eyes. In answer to their prayers I stayed back to spend Guru Purnima with them.
On that day, they wished to take photos with Me. I told them that they might silently pray in their hearts so that their request would be fulfilled. To their joy, each one of them found a photo with Swami standing beside them. The devotion of Africans is indescribable. Even now, I feel very happy when I think of their devotion. My next visit was to the country of Tanzania. There also, everyone who
came to have My darshan felt very happy. Ladies and gents came in large numbers to welcome Me, wearing their traditional dresses. They danced in ecstasy on seeing Me. On the day of departure, just before the plane took off, all of them stood in front of the aircraft and pleaded with Me, “Swami! You should not go from here. You must be here only.” How can I accede to their request? I had to leave. The pilots and other officers in the airport counselled them saying, “You should not obstruct Swami's aircraft like this. This is not good." They then moved away. I was observing all this from the window of the aircraft. Finally, when the plane started to take off, many of them nearly fainted in grief. That
scene was fresh in My memory till I reached Bombay.
During that trip, I visited three countries - Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. They are all neighbouring countries. I was very happy and felt deeply touched at the devotion of African people. During My return journey, the aircraft was filled to the brim with the articles gifted by the African devotees. What are those gifts any way? They brought all sorts of articles like dinner sets and tea sets in gold colour.
They are still with Me. We are making use of them while hosting high dignitaries like Prime Ministers and Governors.”
Sathya Sai Baba on Christmas Day, 2006.