Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Surrendering Sri Aurobindo's voice will be resisted

Great to see Raman Reddy taking on Sugata Bose in the pages of @SwarajyaMag who misquoted Sri Aurobindo recently. Nothing to quarrel over the quotations he chooses but by not listing them under end-notes, the piece loses the scholarly feel. May be, that is the policy of the said publication. The introductory rant, however, queers the pitch and injects prejudice for the words of Sri Aurobindo. If 1910 is portrayed is too distant in time, so is 1950. How and why the present debates on identity politics and regional self-determination should be judged by what Sri Aurobindo said then, remains unexplained. One is free to take sides but glossing over Sri Aurobindo's soft corner for Irish movement is not fair.

The phrase, "Secular intellectuals" is not a very precise one and should be avoided. Only a State can be secular and not individuals. Picking up such misleading formulations from Hindutva enthusiasts doesn't bring credit to scholarship on Sri Aurobindo. Further, dividing citizens on such dubious grounds doesn't amount to any additional glory to the nationhood of India. Equality and humility, and not superiority over others, should be the guiding principle while engaging the public sphere by scholars. Recent discourse from the West should also form a compass for navigating through complex issues having international ramifications. 

I have indicated on several occasions in the past that the Reddy camp is feeling emboldened after BJP captured power at the Centre. Nothing intrinsically wrong in it. But surrendering Sri Aurobindo's voice to provide legitimacy to RSS agenda will be resisted. Further, claiming solutions to all political turmoil, present and future, would be juvenile. Human Rights concerns can override patriotic sentiments at certain points. For instance, how the whole of India stood behind Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is still fresh in our memory. So, democratic negotiation is the only recourse as conflicts are bound to emerge in a vast country like India. Premature hardening of positions, like in the Heehs imbroglio, would be self-harming. [TNM55]

Raman Reddy March 16, 2016 - Secular intellectuals obfuscate the obvious, by which I mean, they use every intellectual argument to undermine what is pretty obvious to the common man... Sugata Bose misquoted Sri Aurobindo to support what could be termed as the disintegration of India... With regard to the partition of India, he told the following to K.M. Munshi in 1950.

3 hours ago Sugata Bose misquoted Sri Aurobindo to support the disintegration of India. … Sugata Bose (TMC MP) quoted Sri Aurobindo without providing context to support what could be termed as the disintegration of India.
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