Sathya Sai Baba cult-biased and Hindu-biassed religious conceptions of morals in 'Human Values in Education'
Exemplified by Dr. Madhavi Majmudar, who was Convenor of Scottish Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) until June 1998.
Dr. Madhava Majmudar is involved in efforts to cover up a case of sex abuse at the Sathya Sai School Leicester, where she is a director. The abuse complaints reported:
“Breaking news of sexual harassment in Sathya Sai School – I have come to know through parents of this school that the headteacher’s husband (Mr Cheng Hoe Lim) who is a PE instructor in the school is being accused of sexual harassment by a female staff member. All this going on in this school with a Sathya Sai name is revolting. Parents have already lodged a complaint against Mrs Usha LIm the headteacher of bullying and physical punishment to students. Dr Michael Goldstein and Kalyan Ray along with Dr Madhavi Majmudar (chair of school directors) are doing their best to hide this news from the rest of the world. Nice human values they teach eh????” Smith Rajeswar
This web page was posted entirely because of the total imperviousness of the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) staff in all countries to any outside comment - other than praise. This is a dangerous kind of educational agenda, to isolate from dialogue and to ignore educationally qualified critics because they are seen as non-believers in the guru God, Sathya Sai Baba. Let me state clearly at the outset that the word done by many persons engaged in Sathya Sai Human values education may very frequently be beneficial in diverse ways for young children. My own engagement in promoting this enterprise, and trying to contribute to improving it, speaks of that. However, issues of major importance have arisen since Sathya Sai Baba from 2000 was very credibly exposed (including in a BBC documentary) as a sexual abuser of underage boys and young men... issues which the SSEHV teachers and promoters have failed to address due to their strong attachments to the personality cult around the guru to which they are devoted. The Sathya Sai Organization was always autocratic and has - since 2000 - closed in on itself as the cultist institution it in reality is. Necessary changes to the values and their shortcomings have been totally resisted and ignored by the organization, which causes me to take issue with this work. I experienced that virtually all who were attracted to Sathya Sai Education in Human Values were well-intentioned persons wishing to serve voluntarily to improve the lives of children by enthusing them through moral value education. The problem is that they failed to penetrate the devious nature of their superiors and Sathya Sai baba himself, whose break of trust with those who believed in him is now known to be very great.
Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) is a system run by well-meaning but almost entirely unqualified 'educators' on a voluntary basis which tries to teach children the virtues of truth, peace, love, right action, and non-violence. Admirable as these ideas no doubt are in general, the overall syllabus and it ideological contents are set in stone as 'divine wisdom' of the self-proclaimed 'avatar' or God incarnate. Its leaders in all countries - bar none - are impervious to any comments other than those which praise them. They have no interactive dialogue with the world of professional educationalists and researchers in pedagogy, for they are no allowed to modify the ideology or the methods ordained by the top-down organization, which has set the parameters for them permanently according to Sathya Sai Baba's 'eternal wisdom' and religious teaching. This means that they are not even teaching "human" values, but the "divinely-given values" of their guru-God, held also to be the essence of all religions (i.e. religious and not secular values!). Though the values which are held by human beings have common features, they are nonetheless very diverse and changing in many ways. No teaching based on a set of chosen values which cannot be modified or disputed can reasonably be considered to be dealing with genuine human values.
Dr. Madhava Majmudar: In an article entitled "Education for Peace - Human Values, educating the Whole Child for peace, and being a citizen in Multi-ethnic Britain" Dr Madhava Majmudar, representing Sathya Sai Education in Human Values, UK writes the following:
"The importance of nurturing human values in education cannot
be over emphasised. The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values approach
is a response to the very ideals that enhance the sustainability of
Here I contest this claim by Ms. Majmudar on various educational, philosophical and moral grounds - not least for the complete neglect in the educational agenda she supports one-sidedly - of any cogent viewpoint on human rights, human justice, democracy, social equality, sexual education issues and the protection of children. I wish seriously to warn any unsuspecting parties as to what the organised activity to introduce Sathya Sai Baba's teachings really implies both in theory and practice. Her use of a limited number of references to other educators (some of them Sathya Sai Baba amateur educators) is an unimpressive cover for the poverty of the EHV values system when compared with any moral intellectual discussion by genuine educators and researchers in disciplines bearing on character development and morals. She rebuffed a Russian educator - a former leader of EHV in Russia- who contacted her in a friendly way to question her about the value education she promotes in the hope of stimulating her to critical investigation. She blankly refused any dialogue on the issue. This typifies the doctrinaire attitude of all would-be EHV educators I have contacted on similar issues.
Ms. Madhava Majmudar has been active in promoting this basically cultist moral system in Scotland, not least through the helpful offices of Dr. Malcolm Green, formerly Chairman of the Strathclyde Education Committee and later a prominent EU politician, who once declared his support to the Sathya Sai EHV programme and aided its dissemination as part of his multi-cultural agenda... until he suddenly broke all connection with the Sathya Sai movement without any announcement, apparently after seeing the definitive BBC documentary 'The Secret Swami'. With his aid, the EHV system had become somewhat entrenched in some Scottish educational programmes, if in a modified form and allegedly without direct mention of Sathya Sai Baba. (See scan from 'Sai Gazette' in which Dr. Malcolm Green declared his allegiance etc.). That Dr. Malcolm Green supported the Sathya Sai human values enterprise is understandable from his engagement in promoting multiculturalism. It is less understandable in that he did not apparently seek to modify and expand the programme to bring it into line with modern secular requirements and important rights of children and humans in British society or to seek to engage the Sathya Sai believers into serious dialogue with experts in the field outside their limited dogmas. The text of his statement is here.
I am in a position to show conclusively that, despite all positive appearances, the reality behind the Education in Human Values (EHV) movement she endorses is a latent danger to children in that it arises from - and is closely related ideologically to - an extremely doubtful set of dogmatic and out-dated 'teachings' about selfhood, and esoteric 'knowledge' by a charismatic 'guru' (Sathya Sai Baba). There is a huge personality cult around him and who exercises a virtually totalitarian control of his followers through self-programming techniques of mind control, group pressures and many other features common to closed but secretive and unaccountable religious sects. Ms. Majmudar is evidently suffering from 'blind faith' in Sai Baba as being the living Divinity, and promotes the programmes of what can now only be called a secretive and unaccountable cult, the Sathya Sai Organisation, which labours under a major cloud of many convincing allegations of their' guru as suspected criminal. In trying to advance a set of supposedly 'divinely-ordained' values under the cloak of the title "human values". Superficially examined, these may seem very acceptable, but when one looks beneath the surface of these simple ideals to see how they compare with modern civilised values and acceptable pedagogical practice, it is quite another story.
I have studied Sathya Sai Baba's entire production - books, discourses and authenticated quotations and reports. This is the background for his human value ideas and the system of education My depth studies were conducted with considerable thoroughness through 18 years - in practice and theory, also in countless discussion groups I led as a former follower. I attended several Education in Human values conferences/seminars. Despite many misgivings and not least because of the low level of knowledge and intelligence among so many Sai Baba devotees, I was active in trying to improve that Organisation (as the national leader in Norway) for nearly two decades until major disclosures about Sathya Sai Baba eventually came to light world-wide due to the spread of communication made possible internationally by the Internet. My wife and I learned that the Organization is totally impervious to all feedback that does not simply support hat has already been decided 'on high', which fact it covers up by appealing for views of members and holding conferences with predetermined agendas and conclusions! Besides, I had never been satisfied that the educational programmes (whether called EHV or Educare or Bal Vikas) were other than deeply flawed, especially as regard to the programmatic negligence of teaching on human rights, democracy and human justice. From my professional viewpoint as an educator at the University of Oslo, I was elected to the Education in Human Values Committee in Europe, where I strove to improve the very amateurish system of recruitment of teachers and the necessary requirements. Despite some success, I found that the key values that were to be taught were ill-defined and seriously lacking in respect of certain key values in all modern democracies and educational systems. These values were treated as 'set in concrete' by the supposedly omniscient figurehead who outlined them, Sathya Sai Baba and had to be taught entirely within the limitations of his doctrines. This effectively cut the Education in Human Values enterprise off from all modern pedagogical and psychological discussion, from all comparative study of morals and ethics... since these are set down by Sathya Sai Baba and are taken as gospel by all followers, especially those who are chosen to teach the EHV classes.
I have since shown in considerable detail exactly how these alleged
"human" values are inseparably intertwined with the religiously
obscurantist and fundamentalist teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and
his extreme superstitions. Further, his absurd lack of knowledge of
modern science generally makes them ethically deficient in today's world and not
least pedagogically and psychologically largely obsolete. The 'five
human values' he has adopted from the Indian religious tradition do
seem acceptable and positive as long as they are taken at face value
and are not subjected to serious discussion or critical intellectual debate,
or set within the professional context of modern educational research
and policy. Nonetheless, these subsidiary cultist ideas and the related
simplistically-developed 'values' are cloaked in a simplified but initially
attractive method of kindergarten and primary school education by American
followers (originally introduced in a Conference in the ashram in India
in 1986/7 by the Sai devotee, Mrs. Ronnie Marantz, taken partly out
of a schooling model used in some schools in the USA).
The UK branch of SSEHV: Their web site promotes EHV at http://www.sathyasaiehv.org.uk, never offers any discussion forum or boards for feedback, as this is not required, the entire ideology being finalised as the product of Sathya Sai Baba's so-called 'spiritual teachings'. The UK Sathya Sai EHV promotes a training programme of which they write: "Upon successful completion of all nine sessions of Course 1 and OCN requirements, participants will gain an OCN/BISSE accredited certificate." This certificate has virtually no recognised value in other than Sathya Sai connections for they issue it themselves. It is based on a set of simple courses which I actually first suggested to the European EHV institute and which was adopted as a model for European EHV. I can state that this work does meet little more than the most elementary requirements for teaching, being led mostly by relatively unqualified teacher trainers and not being designed to give an all-round understanding of the rights, needs and many educational issues involving children under professional schooling. It seeks to associate itself with the National Curriculum in UK through the medium of citizenship education. It has reportedly gained some recognition as suitable for the earliest, simplest stages of citizenship instruction. It certainly needs very considerable supplementation and even correction to make it a stand-alone programme for the most elementary school-age pupils.
Having once been the on the European Education in Human Values team from its inception, I must protest that the system developed remains far from the UNESCO ideals she cites. Of this Dr. MM must also certainly be aware, as the methods in use throughout the Sathya Sai educational movement are based on a doctrine (containing many dogmatic pronouncements) which openly states its strong bias against free discussion, openness and questioning criticism, and the introduction of external ideas or scientific research findings. Scholars and scholarliness is ridiculed in favour of a simplistic appeals to 'personal experience' (see 'personal experience vs. learned facts'). As I became aware of this, I did my best to modify the EHV system in the direction of modern pedagogical and educational methods and research findings, requiring that the teachers should receive at least some teacher training and preferably have at least some professional qualifications - or, failing that, practical experience of teaching children and youth. In this I was only minimally successful, such that I eventually withdrew from the EHV organisation, because it was run on a top-down authoritarian model. It seems likely that Dr. MM, being of ethnic Indian origin, is comfortable with this kind of authoritarianism, which is seen at its extreme in the Sathya Sai Organisation and the practices of it omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent leader, supposedly the Incarnate God the Father and Creator of the Universe.
Ms. Majmudar proclaims in a revealing e-mail with former EHV leader in Russia, Serguei Badaev, that she will never give up her 'Swami', Sathya Sai Baba,who widely and vociferously proclaims himself to be the Godhead Incarnate and much more than that too (i.e. the Creator of the Universe, the Deity of all Deities, the Father who sent Christ etc.).
Trying to influence education in Britain, Majmudar should rather have appealed more to integration than to potentially divisive "multi-ethnicity", which cannot be overcome by preaching a human values doctrine but only by integration into the Western and British (mainly secular) educational value context. The common values of the UK include human rights, democracy, social justice, women's rights, social equality, openness about pubertal and adult sexuality and - above all - freedom of speech. These are excluded from the human values she promotes because they are inimical to Sai Baba's doctrines and also to the kind of imported ethnicity represented by the authoritarian form of Indian spirituality, which is at the core of the Sathya Sai Organisation's agenda to influence education of children and youth. I have mailed my comments - especially concerning the needful corrections to the values and pedagogical methods - to the UK Sathya Sai Organization's EHV leader, but received no reply - not unexpectedly! Persons involved there who have so far been entirely unresponsive to informed views or criticism, however constructive, include the Director Carole Alderman, Pat Hathaway, Shobna Patel, Sharmila Parikh, Vice-chair Region 4 Ramesh Mistry, Chairman Region 5 Sanjay Vaja, Graeme Hunter, PR Officer Jo Pratt, none of whom appear to have any known professional educational qualifications. One exception as to qualifications is Head teacher Lesley Ann Patrick. (If properly informed to the contrary, I can delete or correct this assertion as appropriate). Others SSEHV promoters who confer with the UK branch are Isobel Ritchie (SSEHV Convenor for Scotland since June 1998) and Linda Raine (of Southern Cross University, Australia - student, graduate or what?).
Links for the study of Sathya Sai Education in Human Values and 'Educare' -and their shortcomings or failings - are found here:-
Further to the above, one notes that Dr. Majmudar is being supported by one of the most active pro-Sai Baba slanderers on the Internet today, Gerald 'Joe' Moreno, on his various web sites. She has nowhere disavowed him or his questionable 'support', which suggests strongly that she agrees with him! (Anyone interested may check out these web pages about him : 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8). Dr. Majmudar has not taken issue with him for annexing her name to his slander campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba, which suggests that she is either not dissatisfied with it or is even actually encouraging him to defend her. This supporter of Dr. Majmudhar has no known credentials of any kind, other than that he has defended Sai Baba for many years - and even while openly believing him to be a major homosexual abuser, which so many alleging victims worldwide have testified he is, including minors, his own students and many parents of sons (including on the BBC documentary 'The Secret Swami'). This latter is alone sufficient to make association with Sai Baba's name and also his 'educational teachings' and a matter of extreme caution.
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