Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Douse the atmosphere of doubt and distrust

Press release

The birthday of Sri Aurobindo, a national icon of India and an international luminary is celebrated on August 15 every year with much fanfare. But this year his devotees and followers are undergoing widespread consternation and resentment. The reason being a particular biography brought out by an American publisher in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry that has earned notoriety for allegedly containing “statements that do rub people the wrong way.”

Uncalled for critical comments on Sri Aurobindo scattered throughout the book is a clear transgression of the mandate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and the followers have been demanding that the Ashram formally dissociates itself from the book. The Ashram authorities, however, prefer to be silent, thus providing tacit support to the book. Large scale alterations in Sri Aurobindo’s original writings and poetic creations have further accentuated the atmosphere of doubt and distrust.

In the interest of institutional sanctity and intellectual propriety, it is essential on the part of the Ashram Trust to take immediate remedial measures. At least, a public statement clarifying the apprehensions expressed by various quarters needs to be issued before August 15, so that the agitation subsides and the celebrations on that date take place in a peaceful manner.

Concerned citizens and civil society organizations are hereby requested to generate public awareness on this issue and lodge their protest in whatever fashion they deem fit. Coverage by local editions and language newspapers may also be availed of for wide publicity.

Tusar N. Mohapatra, 
President, Savitri Era Party.
August 10, 2010

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