Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Civil notoriety

[Lokpal: Ombudsman or Omnipotent Overlord Sandhya Jain 30 Aug 2011
This fascist bill is a recipe for simultaneous paralysis and hyperactivity in all government departments. No minister or officer will take a decision that could bring a motivated Lokpal enquiry; officials will gang up against officers who incur Lokpal anger to save their own skins and salaries; while deals favoured by one or 10 Little Emperors will have smooth passage. No wonder there is no Right to Recall and no clear procedure for removing a corrupt Lokpal. Indeed, the draft does not even envisage the possibility of a corrupt Lokpal. The author is Editor, This article was written as per The Pioneer deadline, prior to the special session of Parliament Back To Home]

However well-meaning the intentions of Jan Lokpal draft bill may be, undermining Parliament’s legislative powers is unacceptable. Luckily India’s MPs did not succumb easily. They summarily rejected the deadline set by Anna and company for passing the Bill. This is correct and needs to be commended. 
Team Anna is not accountable to the electorate or any parliamentary committee, or for that matter anybody at all as far as we can see. They are setting a dangerous precedent for any group with money and muscle to bring people to the streets to dictate their own set of laws. This would be jungle democracy. …
Anna’s fixation in passing his pet Jan Lokpal bill reminds me of a puppet on a string. Naagesh Padmanaban is a US-based Finance Industry professional; he lives in Philadelphia Back To Home]

Srimati Kiran Bedi has visited her erstwhile office (Tihar Prison) in the entourage of its recent most honored guest. The Anna Hazare touch is truly transformative. How else can we explain the phenomenon of Ms. Bedi blossoming into an excellent and lively vaudeville performer from the dour guardian of law and order that she once used to be. Clearly, the struggle against corruption can do wonders for personal development, as was in evidence in her excellent recent performance at Ramlila Maidan.]

[The partyless wonders Shekhar Gupta indian express: Saturday, May 02, 2009
Party politics is the most meritocratic profession of all in democracies.]

[Look who’s talking The Indian Express Wed Aug 31 2011, editorial Admitting the privilege notices would undermine Parliament.
If individual MPs feel defamed, they have the right to legal action, just like any other citizen. But to use Parliament’s extraordinary powers to inhibit free, and howsoever outrageous, speech outside is undemocratic in the extreme and would only undermine Parliament.] 

Any uncivil act or word from an avowedly civil society platform ought to be deplored. The context is also important given the surcharged atmosphere and pan-Indian TV viewers. Instead of leaving the MPs at the mercy of protracted judicial proceedings post-defamation, ensuring protection of their prestige from wanton pronouncements is essential. [TNM55]  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Culprits continue to be in power

The Heehs imbroglio has brought out in the open the questionable role of several pairs of principal actors in abetting the crime, viz., Das Gupta & Das, Heehs & Hartz, Murphy & Kripal, and Banerji & Carlson. Paradoxically, they continue to be in power despite three years of protest by a large number of devotees. Court cases are time-consuming affairs and hence they feel vindicated till the final outcome. This is utter shamelessness and sheer obduracy.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry is in the dire need of a new head. But all civil avenues have failed to bring this about. Gross irregularities and sordid malpractices are waiting to be unearthed. Mobilizing opinion on this score by all concerned is a primary task at hand. [TNM55]  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Savitri Era Party is not in favour of flag-waving type of patriotism

Sri Lanka Guardian - Basil Fernando - ‎Aug 25, 2011‎ (August 26, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) India became a society having replaced religion with humanism quite early. The Western world came to this stage only after the greater 
In the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo lamented the death of the Indian mind and devoted the latter part of his life to recover the lost mind of India. Living in Pondicherry, he tried to motivate young people to regain their lost heritage. Another great Indian, Dr B R Ambedkar, attempted to pursue the same goal as Sri Aurobindo through attempts to reawaken the Untouchables, renamed Dalits by him. In an attempt to reclaim India’s lost glory, he publicly became a Buddhist together with a large gathering.]

[Resisting The Popular from Kafila by apoorvanand AUGUST 21, 2011
The drama that is being enacted in Delhi for the last one week, rather five months, has thoroughly exposed the intellectual hollowness of the political life of India. This moment would also be remembered as the lowest to which collective intelligence of a people can descend to. Critiquing people is not the job of the politicians or the media, not in our times at least . Gone are the days when you had a Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi who could stand up to the masses and withdraw a popular movement risking their wrath or a Jawaharlal Nehru who commanded the authority to chide his own people. The days of Rabindra Nath Tagore are also over who had the courage to openly challenge, criticize a saint like Gandhi and write ‘anti-people’ novels like Ghare baire. If we have time and patience to turn the pages of our history , we would find that their criticism was an integral part of their long and continuous engagement with their people. …
It is the utter failure of the imagination of Indian politics and its complete break with the lives and aspirations of the people which force them back to pre-democratic forms of emotional relationships. It should be a matter of concern for those who fight for recognition of newer forms of relationships. But this moment is not now, it seems. (Rediff on 20 August)]

[India rises but falters Deccan Chronicle August 29, 2011 By Jagmohan
On August 15, 1947, two great visions were entertained by two of the most powerful minds of modern India. One was by statesman Jawaharlal Nehru and the other by savant Sri Aurobindo. Both visions failed to materialise. Why? In the answer to this question lies one of the most instructive lessons of modern Indian history, and also the reason for the whirlpool of moral chaos in which the country finds itself today. …
Clearly, both the visions have fallen flat. First, the spiritual wasteland which India had become, due to long years of civilisational decay, was not reclaimed and fertilised to receive new seeds which freedom and modernity had brought. Second, neither the educational system nor the general atmosphere has been tuned to the need for creation of a permanent stream of men and women of character and conscience.
It is not possible to have an honest and elevating framework of governance without providing an honest and elevating mindscape to the nation. We must now pick up the gems from our wisdom tradition and now compose that mindscape. Jagmohan is a former governor of J&K and a former Union minister]

Jagmohan always exudes optimism, but this time around he sounds despondent. The Hazare agitation has exposed the soft and dangerous underbelly of Indian polity because of the penchant of its people to relapse to pre-democratic forms and norms. The utter hypocrisy of proclaiming victory when practically nothing was achieved is another disturbing phenomenon.

Savitri Era Party is not in favour of flag-waving type of patriotism. The teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo demands serious action and contemplation. The youth of this country must be shown the way for channelizing their energy in the right direction. [TNM55]    

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surrender, tapasya, & ipad

[Saintliness In politics cuts both ways Dileep Padgaonkar, TOI, Aug 27, 2011
The exertions of Anna Hazare might well fetch the nation a robust Lokpal Bill soon. In the bargain, however, we may have to contend with a lethal danger: saintliness in our public life. … Such trappings of saintliness have a wide and instant appeal in a country where religiosity has struck deep roots. …
Ambedkar approvingly quoted John Stuart Mill’s caution to all those who are interested in safeguarding democracy: not to "lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions". Ambedkar then went on to assert that this caution is especially relevant in India where the "path of bhakti (devotion) or hero-worship plays a part in politics that is unequalled in magnitude to the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world". In our country, he concluded, "bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship".]

[Time to step back Indian Express Tue Aug 16 2011, Pratap Bhanu Mehta 
The Anna Hazare movement meanwhile continues to propagate the tyranny of virtue. It has elided the distinction between protest and fast-unto-death. The former is legitimate. The latter is blackmail. Second, it has elided the fact that this is not just a contest between two players, the state and the knights in shining armour of the movement. There are many other actors in civil society who disagree with their institutional proposals. By threatening a fast-unto-death, they are violating two norms of democratic society. First, they are not acknowledging that there can be legitimate differences in a democracy. And to insist that only one proposal is correct is to slight not the state but other citizens. Second, they are violating the norms of reciprocity. Their sense of virtue cannot entitle them to deny that other citizens are also making good-faith arguments to better our democracy. And in the case of a disagreement, we have to resort to the only adjudicative mechanism we have agreed on: our representative democracy.] 

The most comprehensive biography of Sri Aurobindo, November 25, 2010 By Richard Carlson "abdul lateef" (port angeles wa) - See all my reviews - (REAL NAME) -  Permalink  
This book has been the target of Hindu fundamentalist wrath because it refuses to conform to hagiography but rather attempts a biography of the subject as a work of critical scholarship. Thank goodness we have a straightforward account of the biography of Sri Aurobindo, that recognizes the subject's humanity instead of the traditional accounts by devotees that make him into a object for guru worship and a mascot of the Hindu Right. Both statuses would have been rejected by Sri Aurobindo himself outright. Heehs has done a necessary service for the cause of keeping Sri Aurobindo relevant for the contemporary reader. An important book for anyone interested in this important figure in world spirituality.]

[A groundbreaking book, October 22, 2008 By Richard Hartz - See all my reviews - (REAL NAME) - Permalink
Sri Aurobindo's life and works are of considerable historical importance and immense intellectual interest even apart from his stature as a mystic. No writer has come anywhere close to Heehs in covering some aspects of his life, such as his political career. But in the end, the most important thing that many readers are likely to gain from the book is a sense of the limitless possibilities of inner transformation and expansion of consciousness to which they themselves can aspire.
In India this book has aroused controversy in certain circles because of a misunderstanding of the author's intention. Heehs has tried to present Sri Aurobindo to Western or Westernized readers who would not have been interested in a more traditional approach. In the later part of his life, Sri Aurobindo became a revered spiritual teacher. As a result, he has followers who demand a devotional approach from anyone who writes about him - even about his early life before he became a yogi - though bhakti (love for the Divine) is only one element of the Integral Yoga he exemplified and taught. Such devotionally minded readers may find that this book does not fulfil their expectations. To others it is highly recommended.]

[The KMHH Axis of Evil August 22, 2011 auroleaks 1 comment A post by Richard Hartz to the Auroconf list auroleaks
The problem seems to have something to do with what Sri Aurobindo calls the “snag in the worship of Guru or Avatar,” a result of the human mind’s “penchant for taking Truth by the wrong end and arriving at falsehood” (Letters on Yoga, p. 429). He also spoke of “that exclusive tendency of egoistic mind which cries, ‘My God, my Incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru’ ” (The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999 ed., p. 66). Thus the unifying and harmonizing power of spirituality is subverted and replaced by the divisiveness that throughout history has been tragically associated with religion.
The situation as I see it is simple. The problem is the Aurobindonian religion, which has no right to exist since it was unequivocally repudiated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The solution is the Integral Yoga with its unparalleled resources for solving all problems. It only needs to be practised.]

It is certainly not a rhetorical sweep when Hartz harks back to the “limitless possibilities of inner transformation and expansion of consciousness” in “Integral Yoga with its unparalleled resources for solving all problems.” But, a subtle twist can surely be sensed in his other innocuous seeming statement, “bhakti (love for the Divine) is only one element of the Integral Yoga he exemplified and taught.” It’s like Steve Jobs gifting us the ipad which can be used by us in numerous ways without any feeling of gratitude towards him.  

In the socio-political arena, obviously, personal charisma has its downside, and therefore, democratic means is the most preferred avenue. But we can’t impose the same yardsticks upon the teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo of which surrender happens to be sine qua non and can't be equated with “bhakti (love for the Divine)” alone. That said, the problem of interpretation remains especially in view of the short life span of both man and meaning. And hence, discerning how wave function collapses or zeitgeist derives the mean is an intricate choreography of reflexivity where each drop of ink counts. [TNM55] 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Reclaim the absolute significance of the single vote

[Response to Gail Omvedt: Nirmalangshu Mukherjee from Kafila Guest post by NIRMALANGSHU MUKHERJEE AUGUST 26, 2011
He pointed at the crowd to signal what an unarmed campaign of the people can achieve. No wonder Maoists are deeply worried. Clearly, the movement, still in its infancy, has an immense potential to churn Indian political order thoroughly. The huge task is to see how and whether this churning can actually get the parliament back to the people without (much) violence to reclaim the absolute significance of the single vote. Anna & Co will be long gone by the time that happens.] 

I advised her to read my books, published by Macmillan India in 2000 and 2003 and available from - the first titled Antidote: Essays AGAINST The Socialist Indian State; and the second titled Antidote2: For Liberal Governance. If I may add, just for the record, the latter book was originally titled "Columns For Freedom" - but the Editor of Macmillan India who suddenly replaced Joseph Mathai insisted on a change of title.
Now, the second essay in my first book is titled "State! - or Why The Socialist Indian State Is A Predator." This should be fairly obvious to us today, especially if you read Madhu Kishwar's column of today highlighting corruption that plagues rickshaw-wallahs and street vendors throughout India.
But the political atmosphere in India in the 1940s and '50s favoured "State Socialism" as a means of "helping the poor." This, while the poor are debarred from "helping themselves."]

[prof vaidya: Why Anna's middle class has disdain for Parliament by nizhal yoddha aug 25th, 2011 CE Why Anna’s middle class has disdain for Parliament By R Vaidyanathan The tripod constructed by Jawaharlal Nehru consisted of socialism, secularism and parliamentary supremacy.
The socialism part went with Narasimha Rao, even though the word is still in our constitution, which declares us to be a socialist republic. Every elected representative is forced to swear by it, exposing us to total hypocrisy in running our polity.
The day the law was amended to deny alimony to Shah Bano, the edifice of secularism, too, developed a crack. In a society which considers everything, including trees and animals, sacred, the notion of “secularism” was anyway a bit stretched. It came down fully with the Ayodhya agitation. However, our constitution includes secularism in its preface. The word was inserted into the constitution during the emergency, and was not a part of the original statute.
The third leg of the Nehruvian tripod, the primacy of Parliament in making laws, was treated with an enormous amount of respect, even reverence. Members of  state assemblies and Parliament were called law-makers even though a good number among them do not know what kind of laws they make. The disconnect between our burgeoning middle classes and the so-called law-makers has been widening in leaps and bounds in recent decades. A great fault line has been developing for a while, and this hasn’t been noticed by blind political experts.] 

It has become impossible to keep track of all that is being written apropos the Hazare agitation, but the ideological churning that we are witnessing is without doubt a welcome phenomenon. The surprising aspect, however, is how some highly educated people are advocating things contrary to ordinary canons of fairness and common sense. We, on the other hand, have been consistently warning against this ill-conceived agitation and Savitri Erans should come out in the open to express their solidarity with the evolutionary forces. A momentous period in our lives, indeed! [TNM55]  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Illusory debate over allusion

Semiologically speaking, Dr. Gokak’s list under the caption, “Sri Aurobindo’s Allusive Style” placed as Appendix to his 1973 book tells the story of his own moments to pause (and ‘stand and stare’) while reading Savitri. Sensing allusions occur in response to the inventory of one’s own universe of experience, and hence, for each reader such lists would be different. Thus, Dr. Gokak’s pointer might be one of the possible sources of Sri Aurobindo’s inspiration or it might not be at all. With this as the starting point, the debate would have followed an altogether different trajectory. [TNM55]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hartz's White man's burden

Hartz's White man's burden of overthrowing religion is evidently shared by many. But this intellectual crusade should have been carried forward in a forthright manner and not from the cover of the Archives. Official assignment and personal conviction are two different things, and hence, conflating the two without overt concurrence of the community constitutes breach of trust as well as deception.

The irony, therefore, is the high moral ground that Hartz claims and the dismissive attitude he exhibits. Armed with theoretical justifications and quotations from the Masters' works, he might feel invincible but the roots of Savitri Era Religion have grown much deeper than he imagines. [TNM55]

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hazare & Hartz

At last some official response surfaces and one would expect that it clears the air to a considerable extent. But the overall tone is pedantic and pedagogical. Excluding oneself from any wrongdoing - like the Hazare's supporters doing at present - also seems to be a fundamental flaw. Avoiding the core irritants is another ruse employed. On the whole, let the hounds come overground, and the era of guerrilla warfare end.

Hartz simplifies the crisis into a neat docket to be consigned to the dustbin. He also decrees its - like Jokepal's - annihilation. But, the realty is a bit more complex and moreover he is hardly the sole arbiter over what the Masters have said. To sever their life and action from their words would be a worst kind of literalism.

When Hartz complains of miscommunication, Kepler's admirably candid posts during the height of war comes to the mind. Loaded polemics and clever cover-ups can easily be discerned and hence blaming the addressee is futile. Hartz, however, may still try to revert to that "primal" mode of writing. [TNM55]

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Savitri Erans oppose Anna Hazare

As more and more people are getting overwhelmed by the sight of large crowds protesting in support of Anna Hazare’s demands, it is important to stand firm on principles. Not only are the crowds a minuscule considering the vast population of our country, but also yielding to the mob mentality poses a serious danger to our liberal polity. Altering the basic structure of our Constitution, besides, is a highly sophisticated subject which cannot be left to the whims and ambitions of a caucus of dubious intentions. Savitri Erans are requested to display their opposition in order to mould the public opinion. [TNM55]  

Logjam over ontology & democracy

[Which democracy do we want? - The Times of India REBOOTING INDIA. KANTI BAJPAI Aug 20, 2011, 12.00 AM IST ... Of greater significance is the question of democracy. What do we mean by it in India? The Lokpal agitation has brought to the surface a number of viewpoints on democracy. … Some commentators have noted that below the surface, there is a strong current of substantive democracy that is driving the Lokpal agitation. There are those who insist that the real issue is ridding the country of corruption, that to say democracy is in essence to say clean government for all. This is democracy as public honesty.]

[Process Philosophy and OOO from Larval Subjects ... our differences with Whitehead are not failures to understand him (cf. my post on transference), but because of genuine disagreements with Whitehead. For me, there are three basic points of divergence. First, I believe that Whitehead is a complete non-starter so long as his account of God is not severed from his thought and his thought isn’t thoroughly severed from process theology. Following Donald Sherburne, I think that Whitehead’s account of God is incoherent and at odds with the ontological foundations of his own philosophy. Any engagement of Whitehead that doesn’t sever it from his concept of God and substantially modify his ontology is, I believe, a priori to be excluded.] 3:00 PM 

[The Penguin Sri Aurobindo reader - Aurobindo GhoseMakarand R. Paranjape - 1999 - 375 pages - This makes it abundantly clear that no rigid theory or philosophy or system of beliefs or set of rituals can be extrapolated from Sri Aurobindo 's or the Mother's words. Their words were 'a force in action', which therefore ...]

The fact that both scholars and practitioners of politics are perplexed about its meaning in the largest democracy of the world is a landmark event. An equally volcanic occurrence has precipitated by Levi’s confession that their best of ontological laws is flawed. Challenging times for human reason indeed, and therefore, the need to reread The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in search of definite clues for resolving the present predicament. [TNM55]   

Friday, August 19, 2011

A tiny minority resonates to the World Union Day

[Sri Aurobindo: IHU Chapt. 31: The Conditions of a Free World-Union by Sri Aurobindo. Chapter XXXI (March 1918). The Conditions of a Free World-Union. A free world-union must in its very nature be a complex unity based on a ...
The Political Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo - Google Books Result ...V. P. Varma - 1990 - Philosophy - Aurobindo advocates a world union based upon the principle of multiple variation and liberty and enshrining the concept of a free and rational unity. ...
Message by Sri Aurobindo on 15th August 1947 15th August 1947, a message by Sri Aurobindo. ... The third dream was a world-unionforming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. ...
However, Aurobindo considered unity and uniformity as the law of life. Even though the way Aurobindo felt the world union as the ultimate goal, he saw the ...
Sri Aurobindo's Five Dreams: Nation-Souls and the Triple ... 11 Sep 2010 – The third dream of Sri Aurobindo was world union – a global polity in which the security of the world was assured and a sense of harmony and ...
I greet you in the name of the World Union which is the response of Sri Aurobindo Ashram's urgent call to the divided world for existence and for recovering its soul of unity. Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's philosophy and practice of ...
World Union - A non-profit, non-political organisation founded on 26 November 1958 in Pondicherry, fired by the Third Dream of Sri Aurobindo; also publishes a quarterly journal with the same title. A.B. Patel was the driving force and for many years, M.P. Pandit was the leading light.]

August 20 is the World Union Day. A very small number of people are aware about it and resonate to its vast significance and possibilities despite the apparent resistances. Savitri Era Party rededicates itself to the fruition of the silent aspiration of this tiny minority. [TNM55]

Arvind-duo vs. Sri Aurobindo

['Won't budge till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed' Zee News - New Delhi:
Civil rights activist Anna Hazare on Friday set foot on the ...Flanked by his aides Arvind Kejriwal and Suresh Pathare, the Gandhian also ...] [Freedom First - Indian Express Fri Aug 19 2011
His stance is clear, “ab nahin to kabhi nahin”. Arvind Gaur and members of his theatre group Asmita mince no words when they raise their voice against politics of power, violence, injustice, racism, caste issues, communalism, social discrimination and corruption.] 

['Anna Hazare's movement is anti-social justice, manuwadi' Times of India - Avijit Ghosh, TNN | Aug 19, 2011, 09.53PM IST NEW DELHI:
The anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare has found huge support across the country. But several prominent dalit activists, intellectuals as well as those writing regularly on dalit issues have severely castigated the movement.]

[Old-timers rubbish parallel drawn with JP movement Hindustan Times - Nivedita Khandekar , New Delhi, August 19, 2011
Old timers associated with the movement in different capacities said though the people’s response is similar to those times, the issues and the leadership cannot be compared.]

[The Hindu : Looking back at the Emergency HARISH KHARE Sunday, Sep 21, 2003 Magazine IN THE PAST
In Bipan Chandra's perspective, J.P. had stumbled upon a misguided mission. J.P.'s agenda was "mere truism"; he was a prisoner at times of "woolly thinking" and at other times of "hazy, naive, and unrealistic thinking". The "total revolution", a concept that J.P. preached, was "at best a romantic notion or a matter of mere rhetoric", " vague and... Tusar N. Mohapatra  -  Aug 17, 2011]

Hazare has at least a pair of Arvind by his side, but not the sympathy of Sri Aurobindo. This agitation is fast metamorphosing into a fascist confrontation as debate and dialogue has been foreclosed. A handful of individuals have turned it into prestige issue and power has gone to their heads. All this, sadly, has been done in a playful, puerile manner. But, when terrible consequences follow, then, the whole country and its innocent citizens will suffer.

Sri Aurobindo is categorical that transformation of human nature is the key to the cure of corruption. Our Arvind-duo, unfortunately, are blissfully unaware of such plain speaking. They promise simple solutions to complex problems. Right thinking people everywhere must campaign to take the wind out of their sails. [TNM55] 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adolescence, Ontology, & Obsolescence

All of us evolve over the years and change our tastes in one way or another. But there’s no avoiding the decisions. None of us load all philosophy books into an empty drum and choose our summer’s reading at random. We all have some sense, one that is constantly in development, of what we need to read and learn most urgently.] 7:26 PM 

Then what happens to the formulation which is heroically brandished as “the” Ontology? If it goes on evolving, then why should any adolescent brouhaha be taken seriously at the first place? A coat of humility, therefore, is a sine qua non for any quest of knowledge. Mapping the areas of ignorance is also a forthright way of approaching/avoiding them.

Be that as it may, the ontology of The Life Divine stands firm and supreme like the peak of the Everest. And the Invitation of Sri Aurobindo repeats perpetually, “Who will come with me? Who will climb with me?” [TNM55]      

Three cheers for the three legs

Since the S&P rating downgrade, the Obama team is frantically searching for formulas for surmounting the crisis and to shore up his approval. In fact, the team is pondering over the fact that, after the President and his Vice, there is no third at the apex level and this, according to some experts, might be a serious lacuna. That the Statue of Liberty, which supposedly fills the vacuum, at least at the emotional level, is going to be closed for one year has enormously compounded the problem. Confabulation, however, is on and one probable occurrence is to rope in the services of a lady specializing in lullabies from the sixth root race area to officiate in flesh and blood. The US, hopefully can then stand securely on three legs. [TNM55] 

Hazare & Leisure Economy

[The Hindu : Looking back at the Emergency HARISH KHARE Sunday, Sep 21, 2003 Magazine IN THE PAST
If history has to indict, as it must, J.P. for embarking upon a path for which he was neither organisationally nor politically nor even intellectually equipped, then what was Indira Gandhi's excuse for resorting to an extreme solution? In the Name of Democracy: J.P. Movement and the Emergency, Bipan Chandra, Penguin paperback, p. 384, Rs. 350. Tusar N. Mohapatra  -  5:22 PM, 5:43 PM]

[State vs Anna Posted By  Jug Suraiya   TOI 16 August 2011, 10:49 PM IST
Perhaps nothing exemplifies the gulf between the two Indias than the idea of the fast. In the privileged urban India of Hazare and his fans, fasting is a legitimate form of neo-Gandhian protest. In the other India, fasting is not a morally superior form of dissent; it’s a brute necessity and its name is starvation. 5:43 PM]

[Vinay Sitapati, a former journalist who is currently a graduate student at the department of politics in Princeton University, expands the logic some more in the Indian Express:
The new corporate middle class has little patience with the politics of dignity and identity that are — for better or worse — central to Indian politics. For them, the state is about providing services for which they pay with their tax money. Representation and social justice have little meaning. Consequently, they have contempt for electoral politics…. Is only ‘urban middle-class’ in love with Anna? from churumuri

Crowd behavior as flashed upon the TV screen gives the impression of a carnival. Hazare’s protest has turned out to be a fit pretext for coming out of the homes and thus escape boredom. Hence, the hegemony of Leisure Economy is a principal underlying factor.

Competitive careerism, on the other hand, is also driving various sections into the vortex of this protest industry. Aspiring politicians and media persons alike go for the kill, and between them there are any number of other vocations benefiting. One good thing that emerges from this whole chaos, however, is that the young adults of the country are receiving a crash course in Humanities and Political Science. [TNM55]      

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Graham Harman's God

1. Not all of the things happening at any given moment in philosophy are of equal importance. Some will turn out to be decisive, others will eventually pass away without a trace.
2. None of us has the God-like power to know for sure which is which.

I am open to theoretical discussions, but only within a somewhat limited framework. When I discern that the subject is being changed from what I’m trying to write about and suddenly an entirely different set of issues is being introduced unrelated to the main claims I’m developing I get (rightly) annoyed.]

Who said there is no room for God within the OOO marquee? [TNM55]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Post-Amal Savitri slugfest

We are glad to make known the publication of Sri Aurobindo’s Original Edition of Savitri that had come out first in 1950-51. This was issued in two volumes, volume one containing Part I consisting of the first three Books with 24 Cantos in all, and Parts II & III in the second with nine Books and 25 Cantos. It is almost for sixty years that this precious edition was not available. We must congratulate M/S Savitri Foundation ( and Helios Books ( for undertaking this prized work and bringing it out with every sense of commitment, the prime edition of Savitri. This edition should be the proper basis for every academic and scholarly discussion, even as it is the most valuable possession for the lovers of Savitri that takes them closer to the Yogi-Poet who has gifted to us his consciousness through it. ~ RYD]

We believe that the best procedure could be to take the first complete version that appeared in two volumes in 1950-51 as the basic reference. To take care of the “slips and oversights” that might have occurred in this edition, extensive research notes and references should be provided in a supplementary document; these might include several readings as we have in different drafts. Presentation of data should be the foremost concern in any objective research and editing. It is well appreciated that carrying out such an exhaustive job can never be an easy archival task; but, then, possibly that is the only kind of an undertaking which would be worthwhile, which would do some ‘justice’ to the poem as well as to the poet—if at all we can talk of ‘justice’ in this spiritual context; there should not be any scope for misguiding or misrepresentation. For an alert or observant perceptive reader of tomorrow this data will prove to be of immense value; it might bring another kind of insight to him. When followed, it will also have the advantage of avoiding the charge of introducing in the edited text one’s own likings and dislikings, one’s natural subjective notions regarding matters poetic or spiritual or metaphysical. By presenting such “factual” details of research on the Savitri-drafts a new chapter of study can open out to enter into its spirit in another way.]

[Re: Explore About us by Sandeep on Mon 15 Aug 2011 02:50 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link3) How many editions of Savitri will you re-publish?] 

Aware of my shallow grasp over the wide-ranging scholarship pertaining to Savitri that exists today and the countless sources they owe their origin to, I wish to raise a point of order as regards the propriety of this unilateral move. Local prints of previous edition(s) were available earlier, but this one being blessed by RYD, post-Amal, lends a certain poignancy to the controversy apart from the intended pungency.

The issue has never been debated in its entirety until now, and whatever little was probed over the Net was testimony to the fact that unanimity is nowhere in sight. A formal initiative of convening a committee for deliberations or exchanging considered views via the Web could perhaps have thrashed out a consensus, but we have been presented a fait accompli. Nevertheless, I refuse to believe that the 1993 (revised) edition is devoid of any merit. [TNM55]           

Heehs, Deleuze, Hazare, & Yahoo

[Savitri Erans should read Secrets of the Earth Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 10:38 AM, August 15, 2009. If at all “there * has to be * a Third” let him be democratically elected to the satisfaction of all devotees. TNM]

[from  Tusar N. Mohapatra to  "Robert E. Wilkinson" cc Lori Tompkins date 11 August 2011 14:02 subject Re: Have Auroville's Failures made it a Danger to India and the World?
Thanks Robert for keeping me posted but as you know numbers is crucial in the modern world for any issue being adjudged as right or wrong. You have to carry on till you command enough support and for that language of impatience is certainly not helpful. Feeding the audience in small doses by blogging on a daily basis is, I think, a better option. TNM55]  

One thing that has become quite clear to me in the past decade is that arriving at the Truth of Sri Aurobindo's lineage and consciousness-force in the world is not a democratic process or a popularity contest.]

We would like begin to explore here possible relationships between what Gilles Deleuze calls Superfold and what Sri Aurobindo terms: Supermind. ...]

Just one among 1.21b Indians, my thoughts swing from Heehs to Deleuze and from Anna Hazare to Shammi Kapoor on this sacred day. Now that we confront some worst kinds of deception perpetrated by a few residents of the widely venerated Sri Aurobindo Ashram, expecting a corruption free country certainly seems to be a chimera. Our words, therefore, lose weight as the names of our Masters become further suspect in the public eye. Let’s hope that this ugly episode comes to an end at the earliest. [TNM55]   

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heehs is carrying a secret mission like a suicide bomber

[The Psychohistory review: Volume 26 1997 - A subeditor on the newspaper Aurobindo edited once noted in his diary: "Babu Aurobindo Ghose is an extremely strange man. And I suspect a tinge of lunacy is not absent from him. His mother is a lunatic. And it is not at all strange....] 9:30 PM, 10:34 PM

It defies all logic as to how this essay has been tolerated all these years. We have desisted from publishing the full selection supplied by PKD for copyright reasons but no doubt it is disgusting and horrendous. It also proves beyond doubt that Heehs is really sick at heart and carrying a secret mission like a suicide bomber. Thankfully, there is only one way out, and that is to show him our number. Tomorrow is Darshan Day. Should we go in or stand outside? [TNM55]