August 5, 2016
Retired professor Kamaraj has submitted a petition to the chief minister in a fresh move to get his two daughters back who he claims are being held captive by Coimbatore-based Isha Yoga centre.
He told The Covai Post, “I have submitted a petition at the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell. We have been assured of further investigation into the matter.”
Earlier he sought the help of the district collector to set them free.
In a petition to the collector, Kamaraj alleged that his two daughters, aged 33 and 31, who had gone to the centre to learn yoga some time ago, were “brain washed” and forced to stay there.
In its first official reaction, Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation has refuted the allegations made by Kamaraj and his wife. It said the allegations of holding their two daughters captive, brainwashing and forcing individuals into sanyas or brahmacharya are absolutely false.
“We would like to clearly state on record that all the above allegations of holding captives, brainwashing, and forcing individuals into sanyas or brahmacharya are absolutely false,” the Foundation said in a release.
“We have come across media reports of false allegations against Isha Foundation by Mr and Mrs Kamaraj of Coimbatore, that his two daughters – Maa Mathi and Maa Maayu (previously Geetha and Lata) – are being held captive at the Isha Yoga Center.
“Mr Kamaraj had petitioned the Collector of Coimbatore stating that his daughters had been brainwashed into taking sanyas after tonsuring their head.
Stating that the Foundation has already sent individual responses to the media and the government in this context refuting these allegations, the release said that despite this, these false allegations have been carried by several media houses and begun to circulate on the social media, it was decided to strongly respond to these baseless allegations on a public platform.
“There are about 1,500 fulltime volunteers (including about 200 brahmacharis and 640 married people) residing at the Isha Yoga Center,” the release said.
“Every one of them is here by their own choice and is free to leave any time they may wish to do so, it said.
“Similarly, in this particular case of Maa Mathi (34) and Maa Maayu (31), they are here by their own choice and are by no means held here against their will. They have been residing at the ashram for the last seven years. “Five years ago, they took up brahmacharya as a spiritual path, again through their own full willingness, it said.
“Both Math and Maayu have attached a statement, saying that they were both bewildered as to why our parents are creating a commotion, five years after they decided and took brahmacharya.
“It was, in fact, our parents who introduced us to Isha. And before we took our decisions, we both spent a year explaining to them what brahmacharya meant and why we wished to pursue this spiritual path. In the last five years, they have visited us at the Isha Yoga Center numerous times, have spoken with us, eaten with us, and spent time at the Center.
“When we met our father at the Deputy Superintendent’s Office in Coimbatore on July 30, we tried to resolve the problem through discussion. But he began to shout and use abusive language towards us. He threatened us with consequences and said that he would bring people to protest against Isha, to disturb the peace and tranquility of the area. He threatened us that he will go to any extent to disturb our life, they said.
“We realize that perhaps our parents are disappointed that we did not follow their advice in our life choices – a conventional path of marriage and financial achievement.
“But once again, we wish to convey to them that there is no cause for concern. We assure them that our well-being is not in question. We hope that they will take pride in the fact that both their daughters have taken their well-being into their hands, and are also working for the wellbeing of all,” the release quoted the daughters as saying.
“It is unfortunate that such false allegations have been circulated without any amount of truth in them. We request the media houses/individuals to please check for authenticity before spreading such news,” the foundation said in the release.
Kamaraj had alleged the yoga centre’s head had allegedly made the two tonsure their heads and wear saffron clothes.
He was not allowing them to mingle with outsiders, Kamaraj, who had come to the collectorate with his wife, had said.
Kamaraj alleged that he was not even allowed to meet and talk to his daughters, who were M Tech and B Tech degree holders and holding good posts.
He had expressed apprehensions about their safety.