I Certainly do have a Vision for the Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust, and it is Continuous with Narendra Modi’s Vision for India.
((Editing on 19 Aug: Check out this excellent evaluation of N. Modi by the WSJ: Narendra Modi Gets Five Stars from the Wall Street Journal (19 Aug14) ))
This blog gets administrative attention. I know that by traffic dynamics, which do not indicate casual interest; what is indicated is the operation of highly-focused administrative minds, often acting in groups. One of the most hit posts recently has been Jai Ho, Mr. Modi, in which I identified the fact that the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust’s problems with respect to corruption are continuous with India’s, and voiced certainty that the recent election of a radical reformer named Narendra Modi, may his retinues increase and may the deepest impulses of his thoroughly Indian heart come to fruition, as the head of the Indian government, would lead to similar changes at the Trust.
Those changes at the Trust have not yet happened. The current Chairman of the Trust, whose current term expires in February 2016, is by no means a radical reformer. He is a conservative guardian of the status quo. That is better than no effective leadership at all, but it is not sufficient to rid the Trust of the routine participation in corrupt dynamics that has become the status quo there since the passing of the first Chairman, Manija S. Irani.
So I feel the need to reassert my intention and vision for the Trust, which is like that of Narendra Modi for India. There is no easy or gradual way out of corruption. Such a status quo cannot be changed without confrontation. The known corruptors must be thrown out. That is the only way to prevent their example from continuing to establish the norm. Every transaction with them in the present is implicit with the corruption that they have come to represent, and further empowers their corrupt influence into the future.
The election of Narendra Modi was a sea-change in Indian administrative practice in general, and it represented the triumph of democratic processes. But even more basic than that, it was the triumph of India’s spiritual values. The Indian people would not have elected N. Modi, who is a real devotee of God and whose vision for India, as the Spiritual Leader of the World, is equal to that of Meher Baba, if they were not animated by the spiritual mandate of their sacred homeland.
So here is my question for the protectors of the status quo at AMBPPCT in India: is radical political and administrative reform finally an expression of Meher Baba’s spiritual values, or is it not? It certainly is when the implicit and administratively assumed standard of sexual morality in the communities supported by the Trust does not come up to that of any major religion, and when known financial and administrative corruption is routinely hidden, denied, and white-washed. There is no spiritual justification for any of that, from any source, including Meher Baba.
What the Trust needs and has not yet arrived at, therefore, is the triumph of Meher Baba’s spiritual presence and communicated message, at the level of day-to-day business, and the conduct of individual relations. And as in India at large, this kind of triumph does not come from the top down. It comes from the whole Community acting together with one voice, with an indomitable intention to resort to whatever it may take to bring about effective change. If that means solving Erico Nadel’s brutal 2009 murder, in which a Trustee was implicated circumstantially, resulting in the criminal prosecution of that Trustee, then so be it. That murder took place in an Indian village, and Indian villages being what they are, this crime certainly could have been solved at the time, and can still be solved in the present. If it means plumbing the murky depths of “Corpus” funds (to which I happen to be a monthly contributor BTW), and publishing the results of that investigation, for better or worse, then so be that as well. If it means calling down an Indian government audit of the disposition of the Trust’s real assets, which as I understand it could result in any administrative punishment in the books whatsoever, then so be that as well. If it means that the silence of female victims on Trust lands can no longer be bought by the Trust or by anyone else, resulting in police action, civil litigation, and the criminal prosecution of sexual predators working for, or associated with the Trust, then so be that as well.
To end on a positive note, I summarize the implications of my Vision for the Trust, which I do not conceive apart from either Narendra Modi or Meher Baba (or Bhumi Devi for that matter): What’s good for the Trust is good for India, and what’s good for India is good for the world. Actual real-time reform is well worth whatever the price may prove to be. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,