Friday, January 18, 2008

Amma Lifted On Hindu Right Wing

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

The Hindu right wing political party in Ammachi's home state of Kerala, India, has nominated her for a regional social award:
"Amritanandamayi has been taking up various social service initiatives and her Mutt was involved in the rehabilitation of tsunami-hit people," Puthezhath Ramachandran, President of the organisation, said.

The Mutt's services for the welfare of elderly people and in the education sector have been acknowledged by all, he said.

Though Amritanandamayi has been honoured by several countries, India has not yet bestowed any award on her, he said adding she should be considered for the top honour of the country, Bharat Ratna.
Think of it like a Republican U.S. state governor nominating a top ten TV evangelical preacher for an accolade from the Southern Baptist Convention, if the SBC had more obvious ties to the KKK than it shows to the world.

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20 Comments:

At 1/18/2008 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, well I want to know who this "mutt" is who's doing all the work that Amma is getting credit for. You'd think she'd have a pure bred dog with all of those followers.

puzzled ( :),:) )

 
At 1/19/2008 1:42 AM, Blogger gregory said...

my take, the political party front organization is trying to ride on her coat tails, er, sari tails.... she is far more popluar than the BJP in the south

and she is immensely pragmatic, as most gurus are... how you get water and electricity for an institution is by being powerful, and there are very clear-cut markers in that culture that everybody knows about which indicate power.... if your job is to play in that arena, this is what you do, it is all laid out

my opinion about amma, if one percent of the world were doing their jobs as well as she is doing hers, this planet would be on another plane

if you don't believe in magic, as you don't, you can only explain her growth by incredibly hard work over many many years

 
At 1/19/2008 1:08 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

what about, maybe she is an integrated, self-realized , effective being.? Is that magic or work?

 
At 1/19/2008 4:07 PM, Blogger jody said...

maybe she is an integrated, self-realized , effective being.?

That's a very real possibility. However, she is guilty of allowing her devotees to believe she is magic. Her swamis reinforce that belief. They employ miracle mongering as a sales tool. These are all very bad things in the Guruphiliac handbook on how to be a good guru.

Being self-realized makes one no more divine than anyone else. Amma has done some good things. But some bad things have been done in her name, too. And she implicitly supports the Hinduvta, which makes her complicit in the Gujarat genocide.

 
At 1/20/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

Well the Gujarat genocide as you call it was retaliation wasn't it? for destroying the Ram temple, yes it was a mosque , but Muslims seen as original invaders. and as far as i know no other actions have happened since the train bombing , that doesn't justify it but i don't know if it qualifies as genocide, it's an on going conflict. but if you say it is ,then all suicide bombers are committing genocide as well. I think it's not hard to understand why there is a militant strain to Hinduism at this point, after all there are like minded neighbors in the region, and an on going history of all kinds of power struggles.
As for westerners who follow hindi style gurus i think they just avert their minds from some of these unpleasant realities. it's common to keep eastern and western students isolated from each other, as I've read they do at Siddha ashrams in India , as Neem Karoli Baba did and his ashrams still do. and I'm guessing this is what Amma does as well. Ostensibly it is because westerners are so impure , but i think more rightly it is to keep them cushioned from the harsh realities the the easterners just accept. Also I notice that signing up for this kind of spirituality seems to absolve one from thinking or making adult decisions, so it seems.
The economy in India is good right now , and that i think keeps violence down. Amma Is a very good business! she would have to be in bed with the powers that be, but maybe she thinks the good out weighs the bad, if indeed she thinks of such things. I'm sure she must be pretty lonely. I would be.

 
At 1/20/2008 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>" And she implicitly supports the Hinduvta, which makes her complicit in the Gujarat genocide.">>


Jody, really? Some might say that all of us "implicitly" support George Bush... even though we may not have voted for him and may even detest him and/or his policies..we are living in this country and "tolerating" his continued presence as leader without a great deal of the "out in the streets" kind of action that I remember only too well from the sixties. Does that make us "complicit" in the genocides and horrors this administration may have supported around the world? And, if the answer is yes...then what?
I think accusing Ammachi of being "complicit" in the Gujarat genocide is a bit over the top, even for you . However, if you will accept responsibility for being complicit" in the excesses at Guantanamo, I will think more carefully about your condemnation of Ammachi in this instance.

 
At 1/20/2008 5:10 PM, Blogger jody said...

However, if you will accept responsibility for being complicit" in the excesses at Guantanamo

I didn't vote for Bush either time, and I've never given money to the Republican Party.

Amma has almost certainly given money to Hinduvta candidates, or at the very least, offered her support of their candidacy.

Big difference.

 
At 1/20/2008 7:33 PM, Blogger gregory said...

for sheer moxie, mojo, juju, brains, insight, those rss guys and hindutva guys don't hold a candle to amma. i have seen them like little boys in her company, and believe it, she is not blind to their games. nor is she uncritical.

seeing what is and using it to your ends is a sign of wisdom in action. you or i cannot do squat about gujurat or the rss, i think amma can, and is, as much as is possible...



and as for complicity with george bush, if you are paying taxes, you are buying bombs killing iraqis, so your hands are bloody. not voting for the guy changes nothing

 
At 1/20/2008 8:10 PM, Blogger jody said...

if you are paying taxes, you are buying bombs killing iraqis

No, Gregory. I am not buying bombs. I am fulfilling my duties as a citizen of this country, fucked up as it is. Unfortunately, my power to change how the money is spent ends at my vote.

However, Amma's popularity with the Hinduvta necessitates her exercising her influence and getting them to stand down as racists. Until she does that, she's not much more than a show-woman playing to the cheap seats.

 
At 1/21/2008 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody please back this statement you made up:

Amma has almost certainly given money to Hinduvta candidates, or at the very least, offered her support of their candidacy.

I am unaware of her donations or support for any candidate.

I don't believe that Amma supports Hindutva violence. I do believe that some of her followers are bizarre, violent, Hindutva fanatics who are not controlled by her or anyone else for that matter.

 
At 1/21/2008 9:48 AM, Blogger jody said...

I do believe that some of her followers are bizarre, violent, Hindutva fanatics who are not controlled by her or anyone else for that matter.

For Christ's sake! She is seen as the LIVING GOD by them. If she isn't saying anything to them about being fucked up racist terrorists, she's as culpable in their behavior as their own mothers!

 
At 1/21/2008 7:56 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

well upon further reading and remembering on this subject, i would say yes this is closer to genocide than i thought. some think the government should at least try to bring justice and restitution to the Gujarat victims, Some feel that Modi and his ilk should just be ousted, but would the later be that different from the US going into Iraq? at least these guys really got elected as far as I can tell.

 
At 1/21/2008 8:01 PM, Blogger jody said...

would the later be that different from the US going into Iraq?

It was WAY different. It would be like born-again Christian police ganging up on Wiccan hippies in the States.

 
At 1/22/2008 12:40 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

no, i mean if the central Indian goverment went and took out Modi because he is a bad guy, like we justify taking out Sadam. The fact is these guys keep getting elected. Apparently they don't even censure them , that's like if the US gov. did nothing about an attack of born- agains on wiccans. and having abosolutly no recourse to justice. It just sucks.

 
At 1/22/2008 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Jody, you still didn't back up your statements about Amma giving support to Hindutva leaders in India.

I doubt she meets all her followers or has time to pay attention to what the millions of them are doing daily.

Their being nuts doesn't make her nuts.

If Judas was a murdering betrayer (some think not, through other writings founds, but for the sake of it...), would that make Jesus a murdering betrayer?

Lots of lunatics take the name of God or Guru to do their dirty work. That doesn't make what they are doing the name of God or that Guru they are claiming.

 
At 1/22/2008 8:33 PM, Blogger jody said...

you still didn't back up your statements about Amma giving support to Hindutva leaders in India.

The fact she's up for an award from them could be construed as evidence of this. I'm just speculating.

I doubt she meets all her followers or has time to pay attention to what the millions of them are doing daily.

But she does have the power to make a statement denouncing those things done in her name. But she doesn't, because she'd alienate a large segment of her following. She'd rather hold on to them than do the right thing. It's political. Necessary for a big-time guru, but having absolutely nothing to do with their enlightenment, it having everything to do with their business interests, instead.

Their being nuts doesn't make her nuts.

I'm not saying she's nuts. On the contrary, she's obviously a very shrewd woman. That's why she won't come out against the racist Hinduvta. There's just too many sheep for the shearing there.

 
At 1/23/2008 10:26 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

Martin Luther King she ain't, let alone god. It's handy how if someone has the god card or is considered spiritual in some official way they get a pass on a lot of stuff. People overlook what they might take others to task for. That people like her aren't speaking out on this stuff is a shame.

 
At 1/24/2008 10:00 PM, Blogger gregory said...

youse guys don't understand the volatility of india, nor do you understand the balancing act anyone has to use in order to do their work

do you know the name m. f, hussein? a 90 year old fabulous and famous senior artist, living abroad in exile because he will be killed if he comes to india ... he made a drawing long ago that had a bit of breast showing on saraswati.

amma plays the game, she knows her tour buses would be attacked and people, including foreigners, could be easily killed if any disapproval was expressed

india is a rough and lawless place, the power equations are complex, she plays the system well. she does the same thing with the women's issues, guarding her tone so that the least damage comes from the most change she can instigate. (do you know she lets her women devotees be priests? that infuriates the rss). she is also a conservative village woman with a redneck family, she knows how to sneak between the sllepong elephants

in short, i disagree with most of the comments on this thread

 
At 1/28/2008 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard Ammachi say, in public, that no society will ever progress as long as they treat their women oppressively. I wonder what society she was referring to? Duh.

The way she criticizes causes people to have to look at their own actions and judge. She refrains from saying things like "if you guys keep marrying off your little girls you'll always be dirt poor and backward..." because it wouldn't do the good she wants to do. She actually wants change for women, having come from such oppression herself!

I also disagree with jody's comments against Ammachi, even though I don't follow her. I visit her when I can, in India or in the USA, and feel she is a good social worker, and a great saint. That's just my opinion.

Speaking out in anger against specific groups in India will, as the last poster said, get you, your followers and anyone you know, killed. It's a very dangerous place in many ways. Ammachi really does a better job than most I've seen to bring attention to the problems, while still not getting herself exiled or killed.

An example that might more appeal to Jody perhaps, or others who don't understand why Amma just keeps quiet in some areas where it appears speech is needed:

History shows us that the French and Dutch and others in Europe who kept quiet and worked underground, during the 40s, did the most to help in keeping the maximum number of remaining Jews alive. Going around screaming how bad the Nazis were would have gotten everyone killed, even those they were hiding. Sometimes it works best to keep your head down, and work for change, not just go around blabbing.

 
At 1/28/2008 7:32 AM, Blogger jody said...

Sometimes it works best to keep your head down, and work for change, not just go around blabbing

Every time Amma doesn't speak, it emboldens more acts of violence and racism, IN HER NAME.

She's being a coward as much as she's playing it smart.

 

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