At the very same time that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have given voice to women, and led to sexual abusers being held accountable, Kausthub Desikachar in the field of yoga has been engaging in a marketing campaign to whitewash his sexual misconduct, continue with “business as usual”, and rebrand himself as “the lineage holder of the Viniyoga® tradition.”
See also #TimesUp: Ending Sexual Abuse in the Yoga Community via YogaJournal.com
Kausthub Desikachar’s history of sexual misconduct emerges in 2007 with complaints surfacing from students in the form of letters and protests to KHYF in India. In 2012, formal sex abuse complaints are filed by 4 women with the Austrian police against Kausthub Desikachar and complaints went as far as the Interpol. A smoke and mirrors act ensues, and Kausthub re-emerges in the same position that he held three years prior when the 2012 sex abuse scandal became public.
Kausthub Desikachar has announced plans to visit and teach in Europe this year. In light of his history of sex abuse, we ask should he be allowed to enter and teach in Europe?
On the risk of repeat sex offending, the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women states:
“At present, it appears that the best predictor of sexual recidivism is a history of re-offending: the more sexual crimes an offender has committed, the more likely that offender will continue to do so.”
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, Schengen Visa may be denied for past or current criminal actions:
“The past and current circumstances and actions of the applicant matter a lot in the decision of the consular officer in issuing a Schengen visa. In such cases, the refusal might occur because the applicant is considered a threat to the public policy, internal security or public wealth of Schengen Area (i.e. terrorism, drug abuse, child abuse, addiction, other serious crimes).”
According to Section 2 (b) of Article 24 of Regulation (EC) No. 1987/2006 of the European Parliament, the following is a condition for issuing an alert on refusal of entry or stay:
“A third-country national in respect of whom there are serious grounds for believing that he has committed a serious criminal offence or in respect of whom there are clear indications of an intention to commit such an offence in the territory of a Member State.”
Ahimsa (non-violence or non-harming) is a core principle in yoga and is the first limb of yoga from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Practicing ahimsa means we attempt to stop the harm caused by others too.
We cannot rely on karma alone. To those who are supporting Kausthub Desikachar, knowingly or unknowingly, we request you to do the right thing. Withdraw support. Speak up. Prevent abuse and protect students.