An attempt to avert criticism of female infanticide in India (not an unknown fact, but one that double-accounting Indians try to bury or misrepresent) - and also to correct and improve me as a person - were forwarded as a comment on my wordpress blog (robertpriddy.wordpress.com) by someone who never met me nor evidently learned much about my life, as follows:-
Harish P Subramanian
In response to Sathya Sai Baba family tree – and female infanticide?
Submitted on 2014/01/31 at 1:55 am
I am not Sai Baba follower but these are overboard comments without understanding the Indian context and the period in question. Yes planned abortion is wrong, but it fairly common in those days in India, to have so many miscarriages. Also marriage of cousins as shown in above genealogical chart, is extremely common in south India and there is nothing unholy about it. Not any more incest than Bible stories. To crave for a son, and performing sathyanarayana pooja is an individual preference. Most people in those times in India preferred a male progeny. However infanticide and planned abortions was not common among traditional classes in south India. I get a feeling that inspite of being an ex devotee , you seem unusually obsessed with Sai Baba. Needless to say, you need to get on with other positive things in life. Your negative comments are already there in plenty and available on net for posterity. Spend your later days of life in more fruitful things and get out of your obsession with Baba, if you are truly an ex devotee.
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Infanticide has been and still is rife in India, basta. Evidently, not ‘needless to say’ as many Indians are clearly in denial about the issue! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_infanticide_in_India. “Craving for a son” is not just an “individual preference”, it is the result of the intense pressures of an unjust system whereby women are treated mostly as second or third class citizens (or worse) and absurdly large marriage dowries burden the parents of girls.
As to the marriage of cousins – I know it is not illegal in many communities, especially communities which are endogamous. Indian castes intermarry and their castes and isolation are perpetuated through failing to intermix with other social groups. Where such close genetic relatives as first cousins are concerned, there is much evidence that this is the cause of many inherited illnesses, and has been widely regarded as unhealthy, if not consequently against the natural order and, for some religionists, immoral. See for example http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7957808/700-children-born-with-genetic-disabilities-due-to-cousin-marriages-every-year.html which records that where more than half of marriages are between first cousins, and children are 10 times more likely than the general population to suffer genetic disorders. The problem is worst among children born in Britain’s Pakistani community.
My work to expose Sathya Sai Baba is a public duty, and not one that I especially wanted. I learned secrets I did not wish to know, so I had to bring them out – as I had written a most positive book about SB – and because of tragedies in the Norwegian organisation I led which I came fully to understand as due to his deceptions and their influence. The work has brought me into contact with a host of people who have been abused by him in many ways. They seek information and understanding, help and support, so I do not give up on them and there is still a need and a danger to the vulnerable. I would help unwitting people falling into the guru trap and give away their energy, independence, ability to think properly and masses of hard-earned money! I am constantly being told what a valuable service this is, am asked by many to keep on, otherwise there would only be the lies and propaganda of the Sai mafia to find. You get your feelings out – and prejudices against me… but you do not know me at all, yet you presume to tell me what I should do. Very Indian male trait that! You know nothing of the other positive things in my life which I am fully engaged in.
I note you are keen to see me stop exposing the on-going wickedness and are enamoured of temples and such useless rubbish and also seem infected with the Sai doctrine, despite yourself – wondering whether I am really an ex-devotee and trying to write off the very suspicious facts about Eashwaramma (the ‘mother of the divine’ but whose husband left her with nothing but a one-room shack while he lived with a courtesan!) and also Venkamma (I know a great deal more about her life, too, from one who lived in her apartment for years. She was common villager type and not a very nice cup of tea, hardly what one would expect from a family of a holy man).
Mr. S., you act pompously by trying to advise me, a man of 78 who has lived a very full life, what to do with my remaining years. Why not just mind your own business. RP