CNN-IBN TV interviews: "Debate - Sai Baba a Godsend?"


Date: 12-04-06

By: Exbaba Admin

Source: CNN

(Interesting points and terminology in red text)

In the series of video clips, the female announcer (name not stated), said, among other things:
"The enduring - his devotees would say 'magnificent' - movement around Sathya Sai Baba. Today is Sai Baba's 81st birthday. It marks decades of an incredibly popular cult and charitable works and international appeal. His devotees now number between six and ten million, in spite of many controversies and many detractors, is Sai Baba perhaps India's most enduring saint? Here is a report from from the celebrations at Sai Baba's city Puttaparthi by Deepevale Krishnan".:

(D. Krishnan): "As Sai Baba stepped into his 81st year, it was his failing health that was noticed first. The self-proclaimed godman had to be helped around his ashram and his school. But that did not dampen the spirit of his many waiting devotees. Scientists over the years have questioned his miracles .." etc.

Transcript of the interview Video 4: [If no longer on-line at CNN-IBN, see here]

Female Announcer: "This is India Three Sixty. We are discussing Sathya Sai Baba and the magnificent growing movement around him, he's India's most enduring saint, perhaps, but who is the real Sathya Sai Baba. For some he is God, for others he is not comparable to the original Sai Baba of Shirdi. Others dismiss his miracles as simply a sleight-of-hand."

(Male presenter's voice 'Samkyar'? name garbled): "The self-styled godman has not been without controversy. He has been accused of fraud and sexual abuse by many devotees, particularly from Western countries. But his followers dismiss allegations as baseless.

Sathya Sai Baba survived two assasination attempts, first in 1993 and one in 2002. As the week-long 81st birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba begins the high and mighty is expected to be in full attendance. He remains a living god to his countless devotees, but the controversy trailing him fails to die down.

Female Announcer: Godman or Fraud man? The question still remains. In New Delhi, Sanal Edamaruku (garbled). The high and mighty always throng to Sathya Sai Baba.Let's carry on with our discussion now. Let us go across to Susil Kumar Shinde, Union Minister for Power. Why do so many devotees get attracted to Sathya Sai Baba?

(Susil Kumar Shinde): "I think it is not because of Baba use some jewellry or some vibuti or anything, Baba use advice many times. You see I tell you there are so many letters that the ladies and the.. eerr.. young people they use and Baba receive replies to them, how it is replies, it is a miracle. He can, you see, you can say you see it is a trick for one or two perons but hundred thousands of people if the .. uuhh.. he has been .. nerer, eerr, eerr .. doing it and giving advices. How you can say that he is a cheat?" (Garbled/interrupted by female Announcer: "So many followers, how can you say -- (garbled)"

(Sanal Edamaruku): Stage magicians show very simply how questions can be answered when it is given in an envelope. I mean, this as a student in school is magic. There's a very small magic trick which can be done by any small-time magician, and all these things that he does including production of holy ash to necklace to receiving letters - these are simple tricks which have been shown so many times - including by me - and from the magicians everywhere - and all these things like holy ash production are caught in cameras and shown in several television channels all around the world several times. And he has been challenged to show it {under?} foolbproof conditions, I've challenged him also ..

Interrupted by female announcer (garbled):".. provisions .. contradicting in the fact that he is - he's a social reformer as well as an incarnation of god - let's put that to the minister. Mr. Shinde, eerr,eerr .. you are saying that eerr .. Why do you have to accept someone as an incarnation of god if you want to accept him as a social reformer, why can't he just be a social reformer, why does he have to be divine?"

(Susil Kumar Shinde): (garbled) " .. you see I accept, I, I, accept him in both the way but I more accept him as a social reformist, one who has done .. this is a god who has sent somebody to do his job. It has happened in the history, so it has happened and I'm not a blind faith man to believe in such things. I am .. on one of the occasions I asked the justice Bhagvati and Manipal .. (garbled name 'Kuvalad?). they are supposed to be the best brains of the country .. ask the same things. I don't know to whom you are asking in the same manner I asked, but they told me that with their experience he has got powers and I believe, you see, he has got some power but he is utilizing power, you see, to do good for the society - that is the basic thing!"

(NOTE ASIDE: S.K. Shinde is Union Minister for Power! He should know about power.. or maybe should know better? His talk is certainly quite confused)