Osho International Foundation is a charitable trust, applied this year in January, before the Charity Commissioner’s office in Mumbai, seeking consent to sell two plots.
What is Osho Ashram?
Chandra Mohan Jain Osho established the Osho International Foundation (OIF). The Osho Ashram, now Osho International Meditation Resort, is located in the Koregaon Park area of Pune. It is a meditation centre that focuses on different meditation techniques like Osho Kundalini meditation, Osho Nataraj, and Osho Nadabrahma.
Reason For Sale
Citing the “financial crisis” caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Osho International Foundation plans to sell two plots in the resort for Rs.107 crore.
The meditation activities that attracted its wealthy clients from around the world were discontinued last March. The OIF has planned to sell the two plots, each about 1.5 acres, to Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing Director and CEO of Bajaj Auto.
The application submitted by the OIF seeks permission for sale. “Looking at the present situation in India and around the world, and uncertainty about the continuation of Covid-19 effect, it would not be possible to restart the meditation activities shortly. This has severely affected the trust’s cash flow, leading to a dire need for the fund to meet its financial obligations. The cash flow situation caused on account of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a situation whereby the trust will not have any income for a long period. Still, there will be fixed costs for maintaining the premises and properties of the trust,” it said.
The application mentioned that initially, it had received three bids for the sale from – Rajiv Bajaj for Rs.107 crore; Atul Ishwardas Chordia, the Chairman of Panchshil Realty for Rs.90 crore and A2Z Online Services Pvt Ltd for Rs.85.5 crore.
One of the OIF’s application said, “We have unanimously resolved to alienate the rights in the property and enter sign an MoU with Rajivnayan Bajaj who has paid an earnest money of Rs 50 crore.”
Objections Taken By The Devotees
On the other hand, a group of Osho disciples, who go by the name Osho Friends Foundation, have objected to the plot’s selling. “As per the application filed by the OIF, they are selling a part of the community property to neighbour Rajiv Bajaj for Rs. 107 crores, out of which Rs. 50 crore has already been paid,” said Yogesh Thakkar of the Osho Friends Foundation. He adds, “The Commissioner’s Office has agreed to hear us on March 15.”
“The OIF has made the application on bogus grounds that due to the Covid pandemic, they need maintenance money for the community. On the one hand, OIF has closed the doors of the Osho community on all of us and the other, and they want to sell the community’s property which thousands of Osho disciples have developed in the presence of our Guru Osho. If they cannot manage the community efficiently by utilizing their resources creatively, it is time for them to let other people run the place. Osho devotees make this place for Osho devotees, and it belongs to Osho devotees,” Thakkar said.
To prevent the sale, he added, “We would seek the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.”
What Are The Community Members Saying?
“It has come to our notice that the group in Pune, controlled by a Zurich-based entity, had filed for permission to sell a prime property of the ashram to a prominent industrial group in the vicinity of the ashram. This was opposed by long-time sanyasis of Osho, Prem Geet, and Prem Anadi, among others, who have been resisting similar earlier attempts by the OIF Pune (licensee of OIF based in Zurich) to sell properties of the ashram.” said Swami Chaitanya Keerti, an old disciple of the community. He alleged that a “group of foreigners” had taken control over the Osho Ashram in Pune.
Maa Amrit Sadhana, the community spokesperson, said, “The matter is sub judice; we cannot comment on it.”