Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It would be interesting to know what our biographer himself actually believes

59.96.191.253 (Nib (national Internet Backbone)) RYD has left a new comment on your post "Skewed law of Karma": Apropos of this comment, let me draw attention to the posting Sri Aurobindo and the Cripps Proposals of 1942 on the Mirror of Tomorrow as follows: http://www.mirroroftomorrow.org/blog/_archives/2008/12/19/4027747.html

… what do we have in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo? In it we have the following about what would have happened if the Proposals had been accepted: (p. 392)

Many believe that the partition of India might have been averted if the various parties had learned to work together in a wartime national government… As K.M. Munshi wrote in 1951, “Today we realise that if the first [Cripps] proposal had been accepted, there would have been no partition, no refugees and no Kashmir problem,” [opines P Spear]. Such judgments after the fact have to be taken with a grain of salt; but the possibilities that might have opened if the Cripps proposal had been accepted are among the great unanswered questions of modern Indian history.

If these are aspects of “many believe…” it would be interesting to know what our biographer himself actually believes. But unfortunately his intuition about the matter acquired from the scholarly study of the primary documents has not entered anywhere in the discussion. If the biography is not just a handbook of facts, then there is an expectation that he gives us certain clues about the entire course of events and the subsequent happenings, happenings of a disastrous kind. To state that these judgements “have to be taken with a grain of salt” is itself an act of uncritical judgement, as a friend of mine points out, and quite frankly not very flattering to Sri Aurobindo; it does little justice to his concerted efforts to have the Cripps’s offer accepted.

More seriously, how are we to square the assertion that such judgements “have to be taken with a grain of salt” in the wake of the Mother’s stating unequivocally that “there would have been no division” had the Proposals been accepted? Historical presentation from the inner Aurobindonian circle has yet scope to put all these in the right historical perspective. Let us hope that one of these days this will happen—unless one says that it is the credulous who believes in what the Mother had said; that would be the end of the course of the perceptive thought itself. RYD Posted by RYD to Savitri Era at 4:41 PM, May 12, 2009 [8:00 PM]

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