First convocation of Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, after the demise of Saibaba, is a tame affair

The first convocation of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, after the demise of Sathya Sai Baba, on Tuesday turned out to be a surprise for many as the voice of Sathya Saibaba himself announced the start of the convocation function.

Nevertheless, this also proved to be some sort of a metaphor with the thought reminding many of the absence of Baba at the function and the fact that the hollowness could not be filled.

“It is our bad luck that we do not have the good fortune of having Baba in our midst while graduating. Never could I imagine this when I joined the institute,” said a student speaking toThe Hindu, expressing grief over the absence of Baba.

Many a speaker at the 30th convocation function of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning held at the Sai Kulwant hall in Puttaparthi, during their speeches, sounded the same sentiment saying the divine address and the presence of Baba would be missed although his wishes would permeate to everyone around.

Meanwhile, the function which began at 9.30 a.m. at Prasanthi Nilayam, had as acting Chancellor, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice P.N.Bhagwati.

The doctorates were handed over to the students by the director of IISc Bangalore and chief guest of the function, P Balram, in the presence of Vice Chancellor Sasidhar Prasad.

Event sans pomp

Speaking at the event, Mr. Balram said that the Sathya Sai Institute offered an excellent education along with the highest ethics and human values. These, he said, were what eventually would help society and the nation.

In all, 22 students were given their post-doctoral as well as doctoral certificates from fields as varied as finance, sciences, arts and business administration besides other disciplines.

Among the dignitaries present at the function were the all the trustees, besides the local MLA, Palle Raghunath Reddy, and some district officials who sorely missed the pomp and show when VIPs from across the country used to attend.

At the convocation last year, an entire galaxy of VIPs starting from the Prime Minister to the Chief Minister of the State were present.