Friday, August 23, 2013

Foresight of Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy

“Justice Onteddu Chinnappa Reddy, 90, former Supreme Court judge, died on April 13, 2013.” “Chinnappa Reddy was the first self-described Marxist to serve on the Supreme Court, to borrow a phrase he himself used in an interview.” His dissenting verdict in the Auroville case remains a piece of wise counsel the value which has not been understood till date: “Religion is a matter of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, a matter involving the conscience and a matter which may be professed, practised and propagated by anyone and which may even have some secular activity associated with it.” Rational voice, regrettably, is often found neglected by vested interests and political maneuvering.   

Asish Nandy’s coupling of Sri Aurobindo with Kipling, for example, is as arbitrary as a Minister once being allotted Civil Aviation and Civil Supplies by Indira Gandhi. Scholarship, unfortunately, tends to wrestle with such celebrity shenanigans and absurdities instead of examining more substantive contributions of Sri Aurobindo. Western Philosophy, too, resorts to all precautions to stay insulated from any contact with Sri Aurobindo. Hindutva votaries in India also practice a more or less similar strategy. The synthetic Ontology forged by Sri Aurobindo is yet to find its deserved honour in Seminar rooms and Conferences. [TNM55]   

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