A man-god who is soon to be just a man

photo of billboard with likeness of Sathya Sai...

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Satya Sai Baba who claims to be a living god residing in India, and who has a following of millions around the world, lies in hospital with a lung infection and possible renal complications as well.

That’s hardly a befitting circumstance for a man-god to find himself in. Rather embarrassing actually, considering his claims over the years to have performed many miracles, including bringing people back to life from death.

But what about his many devotees who include high-ranking Indian politicians, even Prime Ministers, other bureaucrats, businessmen and even some cricketers who have just won the World Cup? Surely they doubt his claimed amazing powers, as this report in the hindustan times seems to suggest that the political elite who support him have mobilized vast medical and other resources to manage his condition and save him from impending death.

It’s always a telling indictment on the power of religion, faith and the gods, when ardent followers turn to medical science to seek a cure for common ailments, while consistently advocating the infallibility of divine intervention.

There have been damning allegations over the years over the deviant sexual conduct of Sai Baba, but he has never been prosecuted. This is probably due to the immense influence his wealthy but allegedly fraudulent religious organization has over the country’s political elite. Some of the so-called powers he demonstrates regularly which seem to have his rather followers enthralled, have also been exposed as common parlour tricks by skeptic investigators.

If this charlatan somehow escapes death on this occasion, it won’t be because of his assumed prowess as a living divine entity, but rather due to the power of medical science.

I am convinced that a successor is waiting in the wings of Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi, to assume the reigns of quackery, should he die. The [phony] show must go on, after all.