Thursday, January 26, 2012

Unlawful stay of Peter Heehs

Row over book on Sri Aurobindo | Newzstreet:  'via Blog this'   - ODISHA TELEVISION lTD BhubaneswarThe devotees and admirers of Sri Aurobindo, great freedom fighter and spiritualist, have questioned the unlawful stay of American author and writer Peter Heehs after the author petitioned the Odisha High Court to reconsider its ban order on his book on Aurobindo titled "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo". 

The Odisha High had banned the sale and distribution of the controversial book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" and the home department of the state government even had on April 9, 2009 published the order in the gazette notification. The American author has recently filed a review petition in the High Court through his counsel to reconsider its ban order following which the court has asked the chief secretary to furnish his reply within two weeks.

Peeved at Peter Heehs' petition in the High Court, devotees of Sri Aurobindo have questioned the unlawful stay of Heehs in India. Argued Prabhu Charan Acharya, follower of Aurobindo,"The Home Ministry of the Government of India had cancelled the visa of Peter Heehs and he has been staying in India illegally. How could a man whose visa has been cancelled by the Government of India file a petition in the High Court flouting the rules?"

Followers of Sri Aurobindo both from Puducherry and Odisha were planning to meet the chief secretary and demand continuation of the ban order. The counsel of Peter Heehs however was not available for comment. 

PTI | 08:01 PM, Jan 27, 2012 Bhubaneswar, Jan 27 (PTI)
Seeking arrest of Peter Heehs, a US national, who allegedly made defamatory comments on Sri Aurobindo in his book 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo', the disciples of Sri Maa and Sri Aurobindo today urged the Odisha government to arrange for his deportation from the country. "Investigate and seek clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, as to how a foreign national, declared by the state government to be promoting communal tension and strife and whose visa has been cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs, can continue to live in India," the disciples said in a memorandum to the state's Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.

The state government through a gazette notification in 2009 had banned the book published by Colombia University Press, New York. Claiming that Peter Heehs had challenged the state government's gazette notification in the Orissa High Court recently, they expressed surprise over how a foreign national was allowed to challenge a government order pertaining to law and order which is the country's internal matter. "We request the government to take the process to its logical conclusion and ensure the arrest and deportation of Peter Heehs," Prabhu Charan Acharya, a devotee, said. The devotees also rejected Peter Heehs's claim that he was one of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Myths and Falsehoods around the editing of Sri Aurobindo’s poem Savitri

Google Reader (55): 'via Blog this' from Auro Truths

Content in the “Introduction” page has been updated. ... We are not suggesting that the institutions that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have established, such as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram or Auroville, are free of problems or cannot be criticized. Everyone is free to poke their nose into the internal affairs of these institutions or criticize them to their heart’s content if it so pleases them.

But we are of the opinion that the manufacturing of non-existent problems that are born out of myths and falsehoods – more often than not mischievously planted by individuals or groups that have personal agendas to execute – and the unjustified and baseless criticism that is publicly propagated to wrongly influence public opinion is unethical, immoral and unacceptable.

For instance there is a considerable amount of confusion that has been generated around the editing of Sri Aurobindo’s poem Savitri. Because the issues concerning the editing of the Savitri poem are complex, these issues have provided a fertile ground for the creation of myths and related controversies that have been used to the hilt to exploit people’s sentiments.

But more often than not a common sense approach to understand and evaluate the issues however complex is all that is required. Therefore, the issues presented here will be analyzed with the use of supporting information as well as with a good dose of common sense. Because common sense like a gust of wind can easily bring down the top-heavy edifices of Myths and Falsehoods which like a house of cards can quickly come crashing down.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Tale of My Exile: Twelve Years in the Andamans

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, has published Barindra Kumar Ghose’s book The Tale of My Exile: Twelve Years in the Andamans (introduced and edited by Dr. Sachidananda Mohanty of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad) in December 2011.
There will be a discussion of this book on 19 January 2012 at the India International Centre, 40 Max Muller Marg, New Delhi at the Conference Room No. 1 of the IIC). The discussion will be chaired by Dr. Karan Singh, President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations and will have Dr. Kavita Sharma (Director,IIC), Professor Indra Nath Chaudhury (former Member Secretary, IGNCA) and Professor Sachidananda Mohanty, Editor of this book, as discussants.
With warm regards, Anurag Banerjee,
Founder,  Overman Foundation.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nalinikanta Gupta’s birth anniversary

Timeout: January 13 at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, 8 Shakespeare Sarani; 6pm: Programme to mark Nalinikanta Gupta’s birth anniversary. Featuring reading and recitation by Bimal Dutta and Sukriti Lahari, and songs by Goutam Dey. 'via Blog this'