Erico Nadel was murdered while engaged in the investigation of shonky Meherabad land transactions and other issues. Perhaps this was no coincidence. Who are the players involved? We know for certain that Erico was highly displeased with Mehernath Kalchuri’s behavior as a trustee of the AMBPPCT (Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust) for his vicious attacks against the orphanage, Pumpkin House and presumably in his capacity as the trustee responsible for land acquisition as well. Erico stated his belief on several occasions that under no circumstance should Mehernath become the Chairman of the Trust which was his father’s- the standing Chairman Bhau Kalchuri’s, earnest and pathetic (as he was obsessed with creating a Kalchuri dynasty) desire. Details are unfortunately sketchy as to what exactly the dossier contained that Erico prepared on Mehernath’s skulduggery and which he allegedly divulged, or was about to divulge, to a certain Trustee residing at Meherazad, when he was murdered. No Trustee to my knowledge has ever acknowledged seeing or discussing its contents.
The broader context for a discussion of this subject concerns Bhau Kalchuri’s role in initiating and promoting land acquisition around Meherabad. What alliances were made to further this objective? What developers were part of this scenario? The name of the contractor Joshi, who built the MPR- the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, and who is presently under contract to build the “Memorial Spike”- at extremely high cost-overrun- evidently the current cost estimate is $800,000, as was the case with the MPR, pops up. Who is the much despised Sharad, a former partner of James Cox who embarked on a revenge theme against Meherabad land purchasers when James Cox allegedly precipitously left India with their land development company’s cash and left him with only the titles to their investors’ purchases? Is his brother really a powerful former Ahmednagar politician or policeman? What kind of control does Sharad exert over the Trust and residents?
One hears talk of an Ahmednagar mafia whose tentacles have embraced Meherabad land speculation. It should be noted that in India there is no business like the pilgrimage business- witness Sai Baba’s Samadhi at Shirdi; is it possible that Meherabad is increasingly coming under the control of criminal elements?
And then what is one to say about the speculation in Meherabad land engaged in by Trustees and former/ present residents? What does the Trust have to say about this?
Some of the above is mere conjecture, but much is for certain. The outstanding question for particularly those who live at Meherabad and Meherazad is what do they have to contribute to the public discussion of what really has gone on and is going on. The most amazing thing about the hitherto non-discussion about the selling of Meherabad is the absolutely deafening silence by Trustees and residents. It’s like this is not and never has been an issue! The standard conjecture to this observation is that they are frightened by what might happen by speaking out or are simply unwilling to put the Trust in a bad light that might result in the Trust being taken over by a government agency and resulting in the Trustees’ removal and the westerners’ expulsion from India.
I believe both Erico and Baba deserve better than such yawning and calculated indifference to a problem that will only fester if not addressed.
This blog post invites emendation and amplification.