Last updated on 31st Dec. 2015
I am writing this post as my UNPLEASANT DUTY to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai fraternity. If readers do not like to read criticism then they may want to skip reading this post.
I have heard from multiple sources that Dr. Naren Ramji, current Registrar of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL/Sai university), is one of the persons who is being considered for induction as a trustee of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT). I do not know how accurate this information is but I would not be surprised if the information is true. However, it could be false as well.
The problem we have in these matters is that induction of new trustees into SSSCT is a very secretive affair with the Sathya Sai fraternity being informed about the event after it has been done via some notice. When Bhagavan was in physical form as Bhagavan had Divine Insight and Divine Knowledge about such matters, we Sathya Sai devotees could leave it to Him to make the decision, and we would follow the decision that He took as a DIVINE DECISION.
Now the situation is different. However eminent and noble the esteemed trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust may be, they DO NOT HAVE DIVINE INSIGHT AND DIVINE KNOWLEDGE INTO SUCH MATTERS. Therefore we need to look at modern best practices that are followed for induction of persons into top organizational positions. As the post Mahasamadhi Sathya Sai movement is essentially being powered by and dependent on the Sathya Sai fraternity, the Sathya Sai fraternity at large should be given a chance to voice its views on such matters. One way to do that is for the trust (SSSCT) to PUBLICLY put up the names of the persons it is considering to be inducted as trustee on its website and give Sathya Sai fraternity time to write to SSSCT about any objections they have to any candidate. SSSCT need not pay heed to every objection that is raised against the candidates but they can go through it, and any serious objection with supporting evidence can be included in the decision making process to make an informed decision in this very important matter of inducting new trustees into SSSCT.
Anyway, now we do not have this system. The Sathya Sai fraternity is simply informed after the fact, that so-and-so has/have become trustee(s). Therefore I felt it appropriate to put up my views/objections regarding Naren Ramji being considered as trustee, on social media even though I do not know for sure whether this information (his being considered for trustee position) is true or false.
As I was a teacher (designations of Honorary Staff/Honorary Faculty/Visiting Faculty) from Jan. 2003 to Mar. 2012 in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL/Sai university), Prasanthi Nilayam campus, offering FREE SERVICE, I have direct experience of POWER CRAZE, record tampering and VERY ARROGANT behaviour of Naren Ramji who has been Registrar of the Sai university from a few years before Mahasamadhi.
An extract from my blog post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html, related to this matter is given below:
I write this letter to you gentlemen to resolve confusion regarding my designation during my years of service in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS), Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) from Jan. 2003 to March 2012 and also to request for my correct service record for the same period. I have written to both Vice-Chancellor, SSSIHL as well as Director, Prasanthinilayam (PSN) campus, SSSIHL so that you may please co-ordinate as to who is the right person to look into this matter. I have copied this mail to the ex-Principal, PSN, SSSIHL as he was the campus authority who signed on all the identity cards which specified my designation and were issued to me during my service period in SSSIHL. I shall also send all three of you gentlemen a paper hard copy of this email with my handwritten signature to prove that this mail/letter is from me as that may be necessary from a procedural point of view for SSSIHL, a University Grants Commission (UGC) deemed university, and also a paper copy of the attachments, by courier in a day or two.
I am writing this letter to you gentlemen instead of writing to the Registrar, SSSIHL, Dr. Naren Ramji, as I found the Registrar's behaviour to be very strange when I met him on March 2nd 2012. Though he had given me a letter dated 4th June 2011 on SSSIHL letterhead and duly signed by him which clearly stated that I am designated as Visiting Faculty in DMACS for Academic year 2011-12 (please see attachment: "Ravi Iyer Revised Designation 2011.jpg"), he said that I was not designated as "Visiting Faculty" on his records!!! He further said that I was a "Seva Dal" (I presume he implied that his records had me as a "Seva Dal")!!! I found this behaviour to be very odd and extremely inappropriate for a Registrar of a deemed university. I have rejected his oral view and gone only by the aforementioned written letter where I am designated as Visiting Faculty. Further I felt that it is inappropriate for me to interact with the Registrar any further and so I decided to write directly to you gentlemen on this matter. It is also appropriate for me to state that I decided to part ways with SSSIHL due to this strange behaviour of the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, in my meeting with him on March 2nd 2012.
[I must also mention that from a spiritual perspective I consider Sri Sathya Sai "Seva Dal" to be a badge of great spiritual honour and prestige. But I believe that the Registrar of SSSIHL, Dr. Naren Ramji, has to follow UGC norms for his record keeping duties and "Seva Dal", in my opinion, is an unacceptable designation from UGC norms point of view for a person who taught lab. courses for over 8 years as free service.]
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Above pic has the letter from Naren Ramji, Registrar of SSSIHL clearly stating that my designation is Visiting Faculty for the year 2011-12. [To see the pic in original size, use Mouse right-click followed by Open link in new tab and then mouse left-click on image to magnify.]
Ravi: So on March 2nd 2012, Naren Ramji, Registrar of SSSIHL, thought that he had the power to CANCEL an official letter that he had sent me dated 4th June 2011 designating me as Visiting Faculty, and instead ORALLY designate me as "Seva Dal"! Now just imagine what will happen if as trustee, SSSCT, he tries to CANCEL official letters sent by him in a similar manner, and humiliate FREE SERVICE Sai devotees who are serving Prasanthi Nilayam system. Perhaps there will be a further exodus of Sai devotees from Prasanthi Nilayam system, either to do service activities individually (like me) or even to consider joining Muddenahalli group!
Extract 2 from blog post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html:
Some, if not all, of you gentlemen know that SSSIHL had FALSELY shown me as a Teaching Assistant in a document titled, "Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR) for the year 2009-10 submitted by Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC)". Please see attached document, "Page35-SSSIHL-AQAR-2009-10.pdf" which has the offending page of the document. If you gentlemen want the entire document please let me know as I have downloaded a copy of the document from SSSIHL website. I was shocked beyond belief when I saw this document on SSSIHL web site in February 2012 and demanded that the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, and DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran initiate corrective action which was done by the document being removed from SSSIHL website. I request you gentlemen to please ensure that the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran and/or anybody else in SSSIHL do not succeed in any possible attempts to show me FALSELY as a Teaching Assistant in my service record.
I also request you gentlemen to please understand my request for having this matter resolved only through written communication. Ever since I showed interest in the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project sometime in October 2010 I feel I have been mentally harassed and persecuted by an individual in DMACS. The very strange behaviour of the Registrar, SSSIHL, Dr. Naren Ramji, when I met him on March 2nd 2012, has added to this feeling of mental harassment and persecution. This has affected my health. I do not want to risk spoiling my health any further by having any meetings or oral interaction on this matter with concerned office bearers of SSSIHL.
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Ravi: Now, ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR (Dharma) demands a WRITTEN APOLOGY from Naren Ramji, Chandrashekaran and SSSIHL for this act of record tampering and malicious defamation where they showed me (an international software consultant with 18 years experience offering FREE SERVICE to SSSIHL) as "Teaching Assistant" (a very junior academic designation) in documents they sent to UGC (and so it probably is still there on RECORDS of the UGC). But, instead of APOLOGY, I was BULLIED by Naren Ramji who said I was "Seva Dal"!!! The Vice-chancellor then, Shashidhar Prasad, accused me of spewing poisonous venom!!! The director Prasanthi Nilayam campus, Sudhir Bhaskar, tried to put the blame on me! Please note that record tampering and malicious defamation are CRIMINAL OFFENCES UNDER THE INDIAN PENAL CODE!!!
After TERMINATING my relationship with SSSIHL in March 2012 which under Naren Ramji, Shashidhar Prasad and Chandrashekaran was following the PATH OF ASATHYA and ADHARMA [For more on it you may view, Debate on Prof. Shashidhar Prasad and Muddenahalli subtle body believers, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/08/a-debate-related-to-prof-shashidhar.html], I have moved on and am happy in my role as a blogger/social media writer on spirituality & religion and other matters. So I am not writing this post out of any desire for JUSTICE for me from SSSIHL. The intent of this post is to inform readers about Naren Ramji's history as the rumour is that he is being considered for trustee position in SSSCT.
Some more info. about Naren Ramji. One senior faculty who had served Swami for two to three decades I believe, Prof. Krupanidhi (former Dean of Sciences and HOD, Biosciences dept., SSSIHL), informed me sometime in 2011-12 (after Mahasamadhi), how humiliated he felt by the way Registrar Naren Ramji & Vice-chancellor Shashidhar Prasad were treating him. The manner in which Prof. Krupanidhi parted ways with SSSIHL and the reaction of Shashidhar Prasad and Naren Ramji to that was HORRIFYING. Prof. Krupanidhi was labelled a 'runaway' or something like that in attempts to pressurise him to continue with SSSIHL. I was ASTOUNDED to see some mails in connection with this matter. I mean, we were living in early 21st century democratic India and not some tin-pot dictatorial country! How can you force anybody to continue to serve in any institution in 21st century democratic India (except for trainee under bond positions or defence related institutions)? All you can do, I believe, is to penalize the person financially for not giving the appropriate notice period. If the matter had gone to an Indian court, the court would have had a fit! Anyway, Prof. Krupanidhi did not cave in to those RIDICULOUS but SCARY threats and stayed away from SSSIHL, and seems to have moved on to a respected academic position & career in another university in Andhra Pradesh.
I have already written elsewhere about how Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju, the famous speaker on Swami & Sai literature/teachings as well as translator of Swami discourses was brutally marginalized in SSSIHL by administrative authorities in the chaotic year or two period after Mahasamadhi. I do not know the exact role of Naren Ramji in this brutal marginalization of Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju but, as far as I know, he did not do anything significant, in his position as Registrar, to PREVENT marginalization of this senior faculty of SSSIHL and important leader of Sai fraternity.
Given the above, I would like to inform readers that many senior faculty & staff (former & current) of SSSIHL have a VERY POOR OPINION of Naren Ramji's performance as Registrar of SSSIHL, with a few deciding to part ways from SSSIHL, at least in part, because of him.
That finishes my unpleasant duty. Now it is upto readers (and any SSSCT trustees if this post/content comes to their notice) to accept/reject my views. Further, who knows, maybe Naren Ramji has got transformed from his VERY ARROGANT, POWER-CRAZY and POWER-ABUSIVE attitude of the past to an enlightened administrator now. I mean, we all make mistakes and some learn from our mistakes. I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes and I believe that I have learned from at least some of them. Maybe that is the case with Naren Ramji of end 2015 (my above account is of Naren Ramji of 2011 & 2012).