Can the Sai Baba make Shashi Tharoor win?

The Indian Rationalist (sic) Association has demanded that India withdraw the nomination of Shashi Tharoor for the post of United Nations’ Secretary-General. The president of the association, Sanal Edamaruku, has labelled Tharoor a “hardcore propagandist of obscurantism, miracle-belief and all kinds of superstitions, who does not miss a single opportunity to raise his voice in the international media in favour of paranormal claims and in praise of godmen and miracle mongers.”

Edamaruku cites Tharoor’s defence of the Sai Baba of Puttaparthi despite his (Sai Baba’s) outrageous behaviour towards many young devotees.

“In International Herald Tribune (dated 3 December 2002), Tharoor declared Sai Baba’s conjuring trick of “producing holy ash” to be a miracle. He certified that Satya Sai Baba did materialize gifts for his devotees from thin air and boasted that he himself was the recipient of a gold ring with nine embedded stones. The secret of the godman’s magic was already exposed by rationalists and his hand-sleight tricks were caught red-handed by television cameras and shown in television documentaries around the world. But Shashi Tharoor remained his staunch defender.”

Edamaraku also slams Tharoor for writing about another “holy” figure thus:

She took to standing in a crucified position, and blood appeared spontaneously on her hands and feet—the stigmata of Christian lore. Like Saint Teresa of Avila centuries earlier, she suffered seizures during which she levitated: neighbours would come to her family home on Fridays to see her suspended high against the wall in a crucified pose. 

“If a person who has such sinister views about India and propagates them with arrogance can contest as India’s nominee for the UN top office, it is shameful for all progressive-minded Indians,” says Edamaraku, and demands the withdrawal by Tharoor’s nomination.

http://indianrationalists.blogspot.com/2006/06/indian-rationalists-call-for-withrawal.html

Questions: Is the rationalists’ association simply grabbing a bit of the spotlight? Should Tharoor’s personal views on godmen and women be held against him? By sponsoring his candidature, has India done a disservice to the scientific outlook enshrined in India’s Constitution? Or is this just much ado about nothing? On the other hand, if the Sai Baba really has those magical powers, as Tharoor claims, can he pull off his disciple’s win? 

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7 Responses to “Can the Sai Baba make Shashi Tharoor win?”

  1. sateesh Says:

    I had a kinda of good impression about Tharoor, though I had not read any of his books. His candidature for UN is bringing out more of him in the spotlight. I don’t think rationalists’ association has any partisan agenda in opposing Tharoor’s nomination. The concern they raise is a very valid one. His lavish praise on a conman is just not his personal view; what we need as our man at UN is a progressive, forward looking individual and not some one who goes around singing paens about miracles sounding more like a snake oil salesman. Of course lot of Indian politicians do priase conmans, seek their blessings etc. for the sake of vote bank. If Tharoor is doing the same then it seems he is one of those kind of folks.

  2. Mohan Says:

    I guess this is the article Rationalists Association is unhappy about: http://www.shashitharoor.com/articles/hindu/reality.php

    Tharoor clearly says that he was a sceptic and he even says whatever Baba did can be done by a skilled magician. So it is wrong to say that he believes in those miracles. What he has done is to praise the good social work done by Sai Baba. While I personally hate these con men (the Sai baba’s or our own Ganapathi Sachidananda’s etc) and I am not happy that an intelligent person like Tharoor chose to praise one of these guys in public, I think it is important to make the distinction that Tharoor has only praised the social work done by Sai baba, he has not accepted him as a miracle maker.

  3. thornundertherose Says:

    Sai baba has followers who were supreme court justices, election commissioners, top Indian scientist (yes, i.e right Indian scientist, not just scientist!!), central ministers and top industrialists. No wonder no one dares to challege Sai Baba for his miracles, uncounted wealth or murder of youths in his ashram. If Tharoor becomes the UN chief Sai Baba’s mystic powers will be used to solve problems in Gaza strip, Iraq, Sr Lanka and Kashmir. It is wisely said along with the cream even the scum rises to the top.

  4. Mysore Huduga Says:

    Saibaba and the likes could do good work only after being recognised and popularised by people (politicians, business tycoons) for the mystic powers.

    the aethist Dr HN (who questioned the baba powers) despite doing good work could not grow beyond establishing few schools and colleges. Had he was supported in the same way as Saibaba or Swamiji’s (in karnataka or around india) he would have built hospitals, engg & medical colleges, etc.,

    Taroor and others who selectively support Saibaba (for their personal benefits) has to realise the genesis of baba before making any such tatements.

  5. kam Says:

    The rationalist association is anything but rational. Any rational person would see the prestige and more importantly the leverage that India would gain if Mr. Tharoor were elected. This organisation sould be renamed the nitpickers association or maybe bickering bozos!

    There is no rational explanation as to what a person’s PERSONAL beliefs have anything to do with his nomination. so much for rationalism!

  6. prem terror Says:

    This is something ridiculous and bull shit and distracting the people of this Country, Mr Sai Baba @ satyanarayana and Mr Ganapathi Sachidananda also @ sahtyanarayana are people who are spoling the society in the name of God none of these Swamis have any power to erradicate this nation’s poverty and no one till the day have contributed to the progress of this nation and mr Sahi tharoor did not even won in the election

  7. Subhash Bakshi Says:

    We appreciate the social work done by Sathya Sai Baba but do not subscribe to views that he has miraculous powers to sort out the problems the poor and his influential devotees face , They will have to atone for their Karmas.

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