Samanta Roy acquaintance alleges discrimination

The Shawano Leader/October 17, 2004
By Tim Ryan

A local resident who said he has known Dr. R.C. Samanta Roy for years said the religious leader has been the target of discrimination in the community, and that prejudice is behind rumors about him and efforts to block his plans for a school in the Town of Wescott.

"I've never saw anyone so incredibly stereotyped," he said.

The man asked that his name not be used out of concern that there would be a backlash against him in the community for speaking in defense of Samanta Roy.

The Leader attempted to speak with at least two other business people in the community who have done business with Samanta Roy or were known to have been acquainted with him. They would not comment even without attribution.

The local resident who did speak to the Leader said that anyone else would have been praised for doing what Samanta Roy has done.

"He bought a bunch of worthless buildings to make a go of them," the man said. "Anybody else, they'd say what a great guy he is."

The local resident called rumors that have circulated about Samanta Roy, including allegations of abuse and taking money from followers, lies. He praised Samanta Roy as a good neighbor and solid Christian.

"His faith is rock solid," the man said.

"He pays his taxes. He's severely honest. The man doesn't hurt anyone. He's never hurt anyone and people are messing with him all the time," he said.

He said Samanta Roy is a brilliant man with a Ph.D. though he said he was not certain of where the degree was bestowed. He said he was told it was Columbia University.

He said Samanta Roy does not need the money that former followers alleged they have given him.

"He's the son of the richest maharaja in India, I think," the man said, adding that there was $200 million that Samanta Roy was ready to invest in an international boarding school.

He reiterated claims made by representatives of Samanta Roy that the school was being blocked by the Town of Wescott.

The town's Zoning and Planning Committee rejected a rezoning request in 1998 that would have allowed the school to be built. Officials asked for a more detailed plan. They said Samanta Roy has not returned to offer an alternative proposal for the school.

"The school would have more employees than almost anything else in Shawano," the man said. "If the school came to pass, it would be the greatest thing that ever happened to this town."

He said he was personally aware of a school that Samanta Roy was running in India and knew of materials for the school that had been shipped there. He said it was his understanding that Samanta Roy - who he said lives in Boston - has a school somewhere on the East Coast. However, he said he wasn't certain of that.

The man said that Samanta Roy had spoken to him about the need for a school that would focus on math, physics, and chemistry. He said Samanta Roy once told him: "America is the greatest country in the world and we're falling behind in these sciences. We have to do something about it."

He also said that Samanta Roy has helped his followers lead better lives.

"Some of his people were dregs of society at one time," he said. "They've turned out to be grand citizens. They own their own homes, pay their taxes, and ask nothing from no one."

He said he has been to the Samanta Roy property on a number of occasions and has never seen any abuse. He added that discipline is important.

"Discipline is not a bad thing," he said, noting that all of the kids in the group were well behaved.

He described one encounter with Samanta Roy that took place as he was driving past Samanta Roy's Frailing Road property. He said there were children sitting silently in the back of a truck with their heads bowed.

He said Samanta Roy has a dynamic personality and is extremely interesting.

"His conversation captures you," he said.

He also described Samanta Roy as a perfectionist.

"Everything has to be perfect," he said. "He doesn't mess around. He's extremely clean. Everything he owns sparkles and shines."

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