Osho disciples urged Maharashtra Governor to launch investigation into OIF, writes Manoj Dattatrye More in The Indian Express, June 28, 2021.
Disciples of Osho have urged Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to launch an investigation into activities of Osho International Foundation, a charitable trust, and also sought his intervention to stop the bid to sell two plots of the Osho Ashram at Koregaon Park in Pune.
A delegation of Osho disciples earlier this week met the governor and submitted him a memorandum of their demands.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a delegation member, Hemant Malik, said, “We met the governor in Mumbai on Thursday and submitted our memorandum of demands. We urged him to launch an investigation against the foundation. We also urged him to use his good offices to stop the attempts being made to sell part of the Osho Ashram.” Malik said the governor sounded positive about extending his best possible.
Citing “financial distress” induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Zurich-based Osho International Foundation, which owns the sprawling Osho Commune in the Koregaon Park area of the city, has sought to sell two plots in the resort for Rs 107 crore. It has applied to the Charity Commissioner’s Office [see note below], seeking permission for selling the land. The matter is still pending.
The foundation decided to sell the two plots, each about 1.5 acres, which currently house a swimming pool and a tennis court, to Rajiv Bajaj, MD and CEO of Bajaj Auto, who lives on an adjacent plot.
“In July 2020, the trustees tried to sell a part of the Ashram to Rajivnayan Bajaj for 107 cr alleging losses due to Covid. An application was made to the Charity Commissioner Mumbai to approve this sale. The reason given was a loss of Rs 3.5 crore during the Covid lockdown of 2020. This is despite many Osho friends offering to provide funds to prevent such a sale. Also, there is no explanation for the alleged fund shortage. All attempts to reach the trustees have been in vain,” the memorandum said.
The delegation members alleged that Osho’s legacy is the heritage of India and specifically to Pune and hence Maharashtra, and is being systematically destroyed or hijacked and transferred overseas based on forged will.
The members urged the governor to investigate the sale of any part of the ashram property in Koregaon Park, Pune via the Charity Commissioner’s Office. “An Enforcement Department inquiry should also be launched into the financial transactions carried out by the trustees and the management team in India and overseas.”
They also demanded immediate removal of the trustees and management team.
Note by Osho News: The next hearing on this case in Mumbai has been scheduled for July 6, 2021.
- Citing funds crunch, Osho Foundation puts up Pune plots for sale; disciples cry foul – Article by Indian Express, dated March 2021