My new is archived on the YiJ website, here: Scroll down to ARTICLE 10. It is called DOWNWARD FACING DOGS, CORE INDIAN VALUES AND INSTITUTIONALISED RAPE OF CHILDREN, and is published in the SOCIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL.
The Royal Commission into institutionalised child abuse in Australia has, for the first time since the Catholic Church, included other faith-based organisations within its exploratory gaze. Case number 21 focused on Satyananda Yoga. During the 1970s and 1980s, children were systematically abused at the Satyananda Yoga ashram just north of Sydney, Australia. This abuse was rationalised and excused as being an essential part of the ‘core Indian values’ passed down through the guru-disciple tradition that was a gift to those children fortunate enough to have their spiritual evolution occur at a faster pace than the less fortunate children who were not abused. Through the context of discussing ‘core Indian values’ at the heart of Hindutva’s argument that ‘rape does not occur in Bharat, only India’, this article continues by exploring the contest over commodifying what constitutes legitimate ‘yoga’ as Narendra Modi has asserted yoga is ‘India’s greatest export good to the world’. This article then discusses to the unbalanced power relationship between gurus and disciples, finally expanding to a broader discussion of the more infamous cases of hyper-gurus and their falls from grace.