UPDATE: Followers protest fresh bid to sell two plots of Osho International Foundation in Koregaon Park

Media Watch

Published on Oct 18, 2022 in Hindustan Times, by Nadeem Inamdar. Update Oct 20: Chronology of events by Keerti and Kashmira.

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Osho Resort front gate
Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park, Pune. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Osho lovers have claimed that special permission has been given to Osho International Foundation (OIF) for new bid to sell its Basho property plot numbers 15 and 16 at Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park. OIF is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

The office of Charity Commissioner of Mumbai through newspaper advertisements published on October 10 has invited fresh offers for the sale of two plots of OIF. Meanwhile, Swami Chaitanya Kirti, former OIF trustee and editor of Osho World, and disciples of Osho have decided to challenge the order in the high court.

According to statement released by Keerti, “Basho is the most significant part of the commune, with an Olympic-size swimming pool, built 20 years ago, according to the guidance of our beloved Master Osho for ‘floating meditation’ and ‘let-go’. The new date for sale bid scheduled for November 15 is to raise the price higher than ₹107 crore (amount reached at the earlier deal). Bidders have to be personally present at the court of charity commissioner in Mumbai.”

Keerti said that Osho’s followers worldwide have maintained that there is no need to sell the Osho Basho to a private group or any other new bidders as the reasons given by OIF are invalid. They demanded an inquiry into the working of OIF management, which has not happened in the last two years after the first bid. The OIF has not presented documents related to financial revenues and expenditure.

The protesting Osho followers allege OIF trustees of channelling funds to their private companies.

The property in question bearing city survey number 15 and 16 is spread over 9,836.20 square metres together with bungalow and other structures at Koregaon Park and falling within the limits of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Earlier, OIF had decided to sell two plots in Osho Ashram to Rajeev Bajaj, managing director and CEO of Bajaj Auto.


Shock for Osho friends and disciples in India and around the world!

An update of the Osho Basho issue by Chaitanya Keerti and Nirvana Kashmira, October 20, 2022 

The recent order from the office of Hon. Charity Commissioner of Mumbai has shocked Osho lovers in India and abroad. This shock is due to the special permission given to Osho International Foundation (OIF) in Pune for a new bid to sell part of Osho’s legacy, his ashram (now called Osho International Meditation Resort) – namely plots numbers 15 and 16 in Koregaon Park, Pune. This part of the land has an Olympic size swimming pool and tennis court and is called Osho Basho. This order has been issued while the hearing on the last bid process, that was started in July 2020 by OIF, is still in process at the same Charity Commissioner of Mumbai office.  
It is important to understand the background chronologically. The swimming pool and tennis court area was developed as per Osho’s instructions. His guidance was that for many, sports like swimming and racquet play can become doorways to meditation. His insistence was that the modern man will require modern methods to bring him to meditation. 

Over the last decades, thousands have participated in meditation in this part of the ashram and there is a special energy field created here, noticeable even to the first-time visitor! Therefore, plots 15 and 16 are indivisible units of a living energy field that Osho created for humanity, and selling and re-purposing any inch of the land will be an irreplaceable loss for those interested in spirituality and inner search.  

Despite knowing the importance of this energy field well, in July 2020, a hasty and incomplete bid process was executed by OIF under the cover of covid closures to sell Osho Basho and an MOU was signed with the highest bidder, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, for this sale. An advance amount of Rs. 50 crore was taken from Mr. Bajaj by OIF.  

This was before the permission to sell was secured from the Office of the Charity Commissioner Mumbai – which is the due process of law. The reasons cited for this sale were losses of Rs. 3 crore incurred due to property closure during covid and to build a corpus fund for such future calamities. 

The four trustees who signed this MOU on behalf of OIF are Mukesh Sarda, Pratap Singh, Devendra Dewal, and Sadhana Belapurkar. 

In January 2021, many sannyasins began to hear about this sale and were outraged. For the last 12 years, two Osho sannyasins, Sw Premgeet (Yogesh Thakkar) and Sw Anadi (Kishore Rawal), have been stalwarts in opposing various OIF actions to diminish Osho’s Koregaon Park ashram.  

Starting March 2021, other sannyasins and Osho friends began to join the two in this protest. The protest was made public via social media, meeting political and bureaucratic stakeholders and running a massive email campaign. And 28 sannyasins also legally intervened to object to the sale of Basho by making applications with the Charity Commissioner. 

In July 2022, an Osho sannyasin, Sw Yog Sunil (Sunil Mirpuri) made an application to the Charity Commissioner asking for the hearing on Osho Basho to be stayed pending investigation of the operations of the Trust and the OIF Trustees themselves. This application was partially accepted allowing Sunil to approach the High Court. 

In the meantime, in August 2022, the High Court (where Yogesh Thakkar / Kishore Rawal have been seeking relief and justice on related matters of misappropriation of funds, negligence, discrimination towards other Osho lovers, etc) issued an order that asked for investigation of the Trust’s operations before any alienation of property was allowed. It did say that any alienation that is underway can continue to proceed as per due process of law. 

Then in October, the Charity Commissioner Mumbai issued this order (that seems an overplay of her jurisdiction and in partial opposition to the orders of the High Court) that asks for fresh bids for the sale of Basho.  

Bids will be opened on the 15th of November in her presence. Suddenly, there seems to be an override of process, an unseen urgency and speed and bias. 
Osho sannyasins have filed petitions in the High Court asking for the cancellation of the sale completely. There is a lot of work happening on the ground in responding to this outrageous development. However, a lot more can be done with additional resources and support.

We, in India and everywhere else, need to come together urgently to ensure that Osho’s invaluable and precious gift to us and future generations of seekers remains undivided and whole. 

Osho said time and time again: “My people will come.” It is for us to hold and preserve this living, throbbing Buddhafield so that millions of seekers can be supported on their inner journey.  

Swami Chaitanya Keerti 
Ma Nirvana Kashmira

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