Exchange of emails between webmaster and on or about January 27th. 2004

Question: Do Indian people pay the same prices as Western people?

Answer: Some things are charged differently for different people. It all depends on what passport people have and where they live, not whether people are "Indian" or "Western."

Question: I am a Thai and I live in Thailand would that help me?

Answer: No, people from Thailand would be charged at the normal International rates.

Comment: Dual pricing is everywhere. The daily entry fee to the Poona Ashram has risen by stages from 10 Rupees to 100 Rupees to 150 Rupees and now 700 Rupees for Foreigners, while Indians pay a fraction of that. That does include all meditations but no food or other services, both of which are also dual priced on the high side. And by Indian standards these prices are a fortune. Many people live on 20 Rupees per day. Indian visitors to the ashram do not need to show a passport. They may not have a passport. Visitors are racially profiled by the Welcome center and classified as N, national (Indian), or F, foreign (the rest of us). This profile is based on skin colour. It helps to be able to speak Hindi. Your webmaster knows. He is white English but after a good suntan has been addressed in Hindi, unfortunately he knew not how to reply. There is a further twist to this bizarre process. The prospective entrant may then be photographed using one of those imposing four lens Polaroid type cameras. The stop is closed down for western people to make them appear darker, while the stop is opened right up for Indian people to make them appear whiter. Sometimes the staff are as perplexed by the process as the rest of us and get it wrong resulting in anemic westerners or coal black Indians. This segregation is contrary to Osho's teachings. In his time it was a white western ashram with Indian people allowed in only for special events. They were not allowed to hang out. There was no entry fee. Racialism is endemic in all eastern cultures.

Depending on the source consulted the entry price has risen to 850 Rupees and then to 960 Rupees, while the cost of the hotel is now 5000 Rupees or about $100 and the ashram is 95% empty. Meanwhile there is a court case alleging fraud over the sale of some land for 50 crore Rupees or about $10,000,000. So the drama that is Osho continues. Could it ever be otherwise?

the court battle for the spoils of osho - ugly but true.

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