Seeking legal action against those who “insult and defame” spiritual leader Sai Baba, the trust of Kandivali-based Sai Dham Temple has approached the Bombay High Court claiming that the saint was not a Muslim but a Brahmin.
The trust, in its petition filed through its chief trustee Ramesh Joshi, has accused Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati from Madhya Pradesh of calling Sai Baba a Muslim and thereby “hurting the beliefs and sentiments of his followers”.
“Shri Sai Satcharitra written by Govind Raghunath Dabholkar in Marathi was published by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust in Shirdi. This granth is revered as a sacred book by the followers of Sai Baba,” the petition said. According to the petitioner, it was clear from the book that no one had any evidence to show if Sai Baba, who was born in Pathari Village, was a Muslim. “And there will not be any such evidence because Sai Baba was a Hindu (Brahmin). He was handed over by his parents to a Muslim fakir when he was young,” added the petition.
“Saraswati and his followers have made several defamatory and insulting remarks against Sai Baba. They said he was neither a god, nor a saint, and when Muslims did not believe in him, then why were Hindus following him,” alleged the petition.
According to the petitioner, the Shirdi-based trust, being the founder trust of Sai Baba, should have taken “stern legal action” against Saraswati. When it did not do so, we were left with no option but to move court, the petition said.
The trust further alleged that the Centre and the state had failed to take action against Saraswati and his followers by not restraining media from publishing their version of Sai Baba.
The Kandivali-based trust further said that through media they found out that Saraswati had decided to form a committee to remove all the idols of Sai Baba installed in Hindu temples in India. “It is submitted that any such action will only deteriorate the law and order situation across the country,” said the petitioner.
Seeking the HC’s directions to restrain media from publishing “derogatory” news, the petition also sought directions to the Centre and state to initiate action against those who had defamed the saint.