The PM's Babagiri
The Prime Minister of India has every right to believe in whatever he chooses to in his personal capacity. This does not have to be flaunted. He was at Puttarpathi ostensibly for the convocation ceremony at the Sri Satyasai Institute of Higher Learning; it coincided with the Baba’s birthday. As the patron of the institute, Sri Sathya Sai Baba ought to have greeted the PM and such pictures would have been taken by the photographers. What we see here is the holy man sitting on his throne and the PM standing quietly like a bhakt or, worse, one of the assistants.
The caption in the TOI uses the phrase, ‘SAI SARANAM GACHHAMI’. It is used for the Buddha and in this instance would mean ‘I take refuge in the Sai’. I should hope this is tongue-on-cheek, but given the record of certain powerful media houses and their penchant for ‘speaking trees’ and ‘sacred spaces’, it might be quite literal.
This is an insult to the nation. He was invited as a public servant, not as Manmohan Singh, private citizen. I assume he is aware that there had been cases against Sathya Sai Baba. But then, the PM isn’t untainted either, is he?
I guess we should be happy that we at least do not have a picture of him touching the godman’s feet (which he could have done, as many politicians did) or carried his footwear.