Amma has signed the contract. She will commit to help ending slavery by 2020. By the way who had the idea of organizing such a summit? Surprisingly, religion had nothing to do with it, at least at the begining.
This idea came to the mind of an Australian billionaire called Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest. He can be seen on the picture taken with the religious leaders, in suit and tie next to the blonde woman. Why launching such an initiative? The story that roots its foundation sounds extremely heart-breaking, not to say tear-drawing :
The terrified screams of a traumatised sex-trafficked teenager, witnessed by an Australian billionaire, have led to a history-making alliance between three of the world's major religions to end slavery...
Five years ago his daughter Grace, aged 15, volunteered at an orphanage in Nepal – but then found out that all the children she had been looking after had been 'groomed' for sex work...
'It was horrible for [Grace],' Mr Forrest said. He set up a team to find out what happened: the children had been trafficked through India into the Middle East...
Mr Forrest travelled to Asia and met some of the victims. 'There was one kid there [from Kathmandu] who could only say she had been sent to a land where the men wore long dresses'...
'When I walked through the little columns of beds to this kid, she was wailing at the back and just rocking from side to side. The screams she let out when she saw an approaching male, and the horror and revulsion and the terror on her little face will be stuck with (my wife) Nicola and I forever'
Struck by this shocking event, Mr Forrest created the Walk Free Foundation and the Global Freedom Network (GFN) in order to do something against human trafficking. The initial project was only involving three religious leader :
"At the Vatican on Monday, West Australian iron-ore magnate Andrew Forrest launched the Global Freedom Network – an organisation led by the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar in Egypt"He is so rich, why not performing the job on his own? Why asking religious leaders to help him saving the world? The reason is cristal clear :
"'Wherever we've gone around the world we've found quite significant gaps: the holy texts, no matter which one you turn to, has ambiguity in it around slavery,' he said.
'That, we knew, was being used as justification by slavers all over the world'"That is the one and only reason. Religion has been legitimating slavery since the dawn of times. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist... all "sacred" scriptures mention the despicable status of women or the unconditional surrender of the disciple or the absolute obedience of the child or the right to treat the enemy in hideous ways or the inhuman supremacy of chosen men upon the not-chosen ones. So in order to end slavery, all religions must cooperate, there is no other choice. Religion sustains slavery. Without the support of religion, slavery becomes an unethical immoral disgusting practice.
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13,300,000 to 14,700,000 Indians live in slavery and it is the world record!
Mr Forrest has been working on his project since 2010 and now the GFN is fitted with planned and well defined aims, implying that specific efforts must be provided by companies, governements and religions worldwide. Is he sincere or is it one more humanitarian scam, skillfully concealing a private selfish agenda behind moving intentions? Time will tell. In the meantime we grant ourselves the right to be puzzled and to ask a few questions.
At least 13,300,000 people live in slavery in India. The second most affected country is China with "only" at most 3,100,000 slaves. In third position comes Pakistan with 2,200,00 slaves at most. India ranks very far ahead of other countries. The study estimates that there are 29,800,000 slaves in the whole world. Does it mean that India accounts for 50% of them? 50% of the slaves worldwide are Indians? The all-knowing "Thugging Saint" has been laughing and singing for years in the middle of such a dreadful situation and it seems like their fate never moved her legendary compassion. She had to wait for a rich foreigner to tap on her shoulder and say : "Hey, your Holiness! Open your divine eyes and take a look around you. There's something awful going on". How come that an Australian billionaire shows more compassion for Indians inhabitants than the Embodiment of Love?
The map's comment for India says : "Men, women and children, many enslaved in their own villages by debt bondage...". Debt bondage leads to slavery? One of Amma's brothers has become wealthy by "working" as a professional money lender. Are we the only ones to find this confusing?
What about her devotees, who work for free in her ashrams and profitable institutions, are deprived from sleep, are denied protein in their daily diet and must surrender to her will no matter what she does, precisely in the name of a religion that legitimates slavery? What about the accounts of mistreatments, insults, blows, rapes told by Gail Tredwell in her book Holy Hell? Is it only a harsh loving way of "helping" her devotees to unfold spiritually? From the outside we are tempted to call this "SLAVERY". If she considers slavery as a standard way of life, how is she supposed to fight against it?
Then we have a last question. India sprouts plenty of Godmen. From a religious point of view, many are far more important than Mata Amritanandamayi. So why sending her to represent Hinduism? Did they need a few women to attend to the meeting in order to avoid holding a male-only summit? Is she appointed to deal with Western countries? Has this encounter been negociated by her dream team of Western Globalization Chaperones? Why her?