Monday, November 15, 2010

Sudha Sinha is a resident inmate of the Ashram with gate pass Id no. 229

From Prof Kamal Das to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 15 November 2010 15:48 subject Fw: ABSENCE OF WAR IS NOT PEACE
----- Original Message ----- From: Prof Kamal Das To: undisclosed-recipients: Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 8:01 PM Subject: ABSENCE OF WAR IS NOT PEACE
Reply to Shri B L Patnaik and Others 
Absence of war is not Peace
Challenge to status quo is the future at your door
The writing is on the wall for those that can read

1. Preamble
This is an issue-based reply to a letter purportedly written by Shri B L Patnaik and others to devotees who have filed a scheme suit in Puducherry.
The author of this reply wishes to place on record, his deepest respect and regard for the able and brilliant officers of the Indian Administrative and Police Services, many of whom, retired and in active service, have worked tirelessly for the proscription of TLOSA and the subsequent legal and administrative steps required to ensure that such a fiasco does not repeat itself.

The author of this reply believes that retired officers of the IAS and IPS are incapable of writing misinformed, misguided and malicious letters such as the one under reference. The language, infantile logic and the penning of pompous banalities, are the hallmark of Manoj Das, that tragic bard (as per wikipedia, a bard is a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities) of Balasore, who, having sold his conscience for personal convenience and gain, now finds it embarrassing to tell the emperor that he has no clothes! Thus he sings these woeful songs, written and sung in an unsuccessful attempt to contain primarily, his own guilt.

2. Key issues raised in the letter under reference
a.     Status of Sudha Sinha Ji
b.    Legal Status of TLOSA and Peter Heehs
c.     Challenge to Status Quo and the writ of the Mother
d.    Propriety of Office

A. Status of Sudha Sinha ji
Questioning the status and credentials of Sudha Sinha ji, displays precisely the lack of understanding and sensitivity of the Trustees and other sycophants such as Manoj Das, that has brought things to such a tragic pass. To be hurt by the book and its malicious content, all one needs is sincere love for the Mother and the Master, and having one’s  name on the prosperity list has nothing to do with it.

For the record, however, it needs to be stated that Sudha Sinha Ji is indeed a Resident Inmate of the Ashram with gate pass Id no. 229 valid upto 31.12.2010. She has an association with the Ashram going back decades and has been offering extremely valuable services at the Archives since 1997. She has also been a key contributor in the translation of the Mother’s collected works into Hindi. However, all this apart, what will possibly define her beyond anything else, will be the fearlessness and courage on display, which is required to take on a bunch of despotic goons, with unlimited resources and power, who will stop at nothing to desecrate and vitiate our cherished memories of Them.

If Peter Heehs with no formal education or training of any kind, can be deemed to have the requisite credentials to question Sri Aurobindo’s Literature, Poetry, Philosophy and Yoga, a hero warrior like Sudha Sinha Ji certainly qualifies to take on the trustees and Shri B L Patnaik’s enquiries be damned!

B. Legal Status of TLOSA and Peter Heehs
1.      It is extremely sad and shameful that senior retired Government officials lend their names to a letter that displays shocking and scant regard for the law of the land.  To term TLOSA ‘controversial’ and ‘liked by some, disliked by others’ is a display of convenient and misguided flippancy, absolutely unbecoming of IAS and IPS officers and lecturers/ professors of history. The letter under reference is a blatant and irresponsible attempt at covering up criminal and deliberate inaction, fraud and breach of trust in gross violation of law by the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

2.      The case at hand has primarily to do with an inmate of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, namely Peter Heehs, US citizen and passport holder, who, abusing his privileged position at the Ashram Archives, has stolen the research of his colleagues and authored a book, titled, “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo”. This book as per the Gazette notification No. 1612/ C dated 09.04.2009, of the Government of Orissa inter alia:

§  “Promotes communal disaffection affecting public peace and tranquillity”
§  “Depicts wrong and distorted facts on the life and character of Sri Aurobindo, which is clearly blasphemous”
§  “Contains absurd, irrelevant and self-made stories, which do not have any scriptural support and has caused widespread indignation among the devotees”
§  “And the writings portrayed in the book have seriously hurt the sentiments of the apostles of Sri Aurobindo and the said book, with deliberate and malicious intention has insulted the religious beliefs of millions”

3.      The matter is not subjudice as is being erroneously projected.  The proscription of the said book was ordered by the Order of the Honourable High Court of Orissa, dated 04.11.2008 with specific directions to the Government of Orissa and the Ministry of Home Affairs to take all necessary and additional action after thorough investigation.

The Government of Orissa, acting on the request of the Home Ministry and in tandem with it, promulgated the Gazette Notification dated 09-04-2009, thereby making the proscription of the said book in the territory of India, de jure, effective from the date of notification. This gazette notification was promulgated after the High Court Order.
If the matter were subjudice as is being wrongly presented, the State Government of Orissa and the Ministry of Home affairs are in contempt of Court for having jointly promulgated a law and having taken all necessary action for its enforcement while the matter is subjudice. 
As stated in the Gazette Notification under reference, the said book, and its author, being an accessory to the crime, are punishable under sections 295A and 153A of IPC, 1860 (45 of 1860).

C. Challenge to Status Quo and writ of the Mother
It is amusing to note what steady loss of ground and insecurity can do to the wits of people. 
When TLOSA ‘crossed all limits of decency’, (MDG’s words, not mine) and attempted to debunk and demolish all love, respect and reverence for our Masters in the name of objective research and non-hagiography, people were told by the Trustees and their various surrogates like Manoj Das, that one should accept and welcome independent academic enquiry, however fraudulent, and reconcile without clamour or protest, with the malice and perversity that Peter Heehs sought to propagate.

Now with the judicial and Government noose rapidly tightening around their necks and with imminent collapse and defeat in sight, we are being lectured on the sanctity and inviolability of the Mother’s written word in the context of the Trust Deed of the Ashram.

It should be noted by the current trustees and their minions like Manoj Das, indulging in doublespeak of convenience all the time, that the Mother in Her infinite wisdom, put pen to paper as Mirra Alfassa on the Declaration of Trust in 1955, and gave birth to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as a Public Charitable Institution, to function, operate and grow in accordance and harmony with the provisions of the relevant Acts of Constitution applicable. She did not sign a deed hanging in legal vacuum and allowing the incumbent Trustees the final word in any issue, nor did She state that the affairs of the Ashram should run by Divine Decree alone.

As desired by the Mother Herself and enshrined in the deed, the Trust is subject to the provisions of relevant acts applicable to a public charitable institution and as such the beneficiaries, inmates, and devotees have a right to redressal and remedy in case of dispute as provided for and within the provisions of the law as envisioned by the Mother Herself!

Similarly, unworthy Aurovillians like Paulette and others who shed copious crocodile tears over the apparent violation of the Mother’s writ, conveniently forget that it was the Aurovillians, who, in an apparent violation of the Mother’s writ, first sought Judicial and Governmental intervention in order to free themselves from the administrative control of Sri Aurobindo Society. Do Paulette and other pseudos like her, regret the enactment of the Auroville Foundation Act and want the Sri Aurobindo Society back in control again?

The petitioners are not fighting this battle for petty personal gains or privileges nor do they find fault with the Trust Deed. It is the trustees who are at fault and it is their criminal inaction and connivance with Peter Heehs in gross breach of law that is being challenged and sought to be set right. 
If the Trust Deed were likened to a car, it is the drunk and corrupt driver that is being sought to be removed and as such the car needs no re-engineering.

D.      Propriety of Office
The facile and clich├ęd references made to the resolution of the conflict by dialogue are laughable.  For over two years every attempt has been made to talk sense into the Trustees and find resolution and closure of the thorny issue in an amicable manner. Inmates, resident inmates, devotees and beneficiaries from all over the world including senior IAS and IPS officers, have all been at the receiving end of the highhandedness and self-serving arrogance of Manoj Das Gupta and the other four who do not matter.

Instead of asking the Petitioners to leave the Ashram, Shri B L Patnaik and his co-signatories, given the qualifications and designations they flaunt, should request the trustees to step down temporarily in order to facilitate and enable free, fair and rapid movement of the case. This is the minimum demand that could be made on propriety of office, a quality long lost and forgotten in the murky world of legal deal making that the trustees live in.

If it is Truth and the Mother’s Will that is being relied upon, then take all steps to fight the case and obliterate the petitioners! Seek honourable reinstatement and vindication! Why evade filing of a simple counter to the petitioners’ prayers for over three months? Why speak of the time taken over the Ayodhya case? Why face embarrassment and rebuke in Court over the preposterity of excuses being offered for non-submission of a simple counter?

The fact of the matter is that these shameless trustees have hundreds of cases pending against them and the Managing Trustee goes about his only business of preying on the hapless women of the Ashram, while he himself is out on a bail since 2004 because of his involvement in a case of forgery! Why can’t the Managing Trustee clear his name in six years? Which other institution would permit its head to hold office while embroiled in a petty forgery case? 
The petitioners are ever willing and ready for dialogue. The question is, are the trustees? Will the bard of Balasore be permitted to sing a song that his patrons don’t approve of?

It has been observed that Manoj Das has been obsessed with the line ‘an idiot hour destroys what centuries made’ from Savitri ever since the late Shri Pranab Bhattacharya famously called him ‘a fool and an idiot’ in a much discussed and circulated letter. In order to exorcise his demons, the bard of Balasore must understand that an idiot hour need not destroy what the centuries have made, if the idiot is dealt with! 
Conflict is the challenge of change, embrace it! It is your ticket to the future!
On board with you, always! Truly, Prof Kamal Das


  1. I have replied yesterday on the reasons for the Sri Aurobindo Society war, and the outcome of it. But as it seems that our ineffable Prof (pardon my ignorance: why don’t you write Prof.?) has problems, here is the abridged answer.

    By the mid seventies the Sri Aurobindo Society, heavily indebted, had blocked all flow of money directed towards Auroville; there were law and order problems as well. On 21.12.1976 the Government of India passed a resolution constituting an Auroville Committee “under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry with representatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu and of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Central Government” for the purpose of thoroughly investigating the Sri Aurobindo Society’s affairs and modus operandi. The committee submitted its report in 1977. Because of its findings, with the Auroville (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance, first promulgated by the President of India on November 10, 1980, one month later replaced by an Act of Parliament, the Government of India took over management of Auroville from the Sri Aurobindo Society, appointing as Administrator a retired Judge from the High Court assisted by a Deputy Administrator. This came into immediate force.

    The Sri Aurobindo Society, which was registered in 1961 in Calcutta, challenged the initiative in the Calcutta High Court with a writ petition contesting the constitutional validity of the Act. The Government had the case transferred to the Supreme Court, which decided that constitutional matters were involved and set, for this purpose, a special Constitutional Bench consisting of five judges, debating the distinction between religion and spirituality. For one claim of the SAS was that the Government was interfering with Auroville’s right to practice its own religion, based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. Had Sri Aurobindo’s “teachings” been acknowledged as a religion, the SAS would have regained control of Auroville. In 1982 a judgment was passed by a full constitutional bench of the Supreme Court in favor of Auroville against the Sri Aurobindo Society, upholding the validity of the Act.

    I will forward to Prof the first chapter of “The Auroville Foundation Act and the Mother Guidelines”, a book I wrote in 2005, sponsored by the Auroville Foundation/GOI. It was my svadharma, as an Aurovilian, to ascertain the historical facts. But as I have never been an Ashram inmate it is equally my svadharma not to enter into the Ashram’s internal matters. These, concerning exclusively those who have chosen to live as ashramites, must be sorted out EXCLUSIVELY from within the perspective of Integral Yoga. This demands dealing with what the Mother calls the shadow, and Sri Aurobindo the evil persona [SABCL, LY p.1660]. All the years I lived in Pondy I refused to be involved with Auroville’s internal affairs, during the SAS war. But upon joining Auroville, in 1985, after a preliminary year working at the Matrimandir construction, on the roof, I spent the next five years doing archival research on Mother’s undiluted vision of Auroville: concept of the town, Matrimandir, guidelines etc. Funded by the GOI, this resulted in several compilations distributed for free to the entire community.
    Facing one’s Evil Persona is the cure and answer. Integral Yoga!


  2. Regarding Prof Kamal Das’s writing, “Sudha Sinha Ji is indeed a Resident Inmate of the Ashram with gate pass Id no. 229 valid upto 31.12.2010", someone has pointed out that this proves automatically that she is NO ASHRAMITE: only the other status of residents, called 'Voluntary Workers' have/need such a 'Gate Pass', to be renewed every year. An Ashramite does not have, or need, a 'Gate'Pass'; Ashramites have only 'Darshan Passes' (a laminated card). Therefore, if Sudha Sinha were an Ashramite, she would not have a renewable Gate Pass but a permanent Darshan Pass.

    In the Prof’s posting the lady is presented as a "resident inmate”, which is misleading or wrong, as it is in the affidavit. There are two categories : 'Ashramites' and 'Voluntary Workers'. There is no such a category as ‘Resident Inmate’. An Ashramite is automatically a resident inmate.

    This raises a number of questions. If Sudha Sinha is just a Voluntary Worker, why is she presented as a "resident inmate” – which, on top, is a non-existent category? For what reason are the true denominations – ashramite, versus voluntary workers – not specified in the affidavit? Does the affidavit become invalid over this incongruence?

  3. Prof. Kamal Das said:

    "Conflict is the challenge of change, embrace it! It is your ticket to the future!
    On board with you, always! "

    Prof. Kamal Das certainly succeeded in selling this one to Raman Reddy, S.Ramanathan, Sudha Sinha and Niranjan Naik. We hope that the Prof. is able to keep carrying them on board and provide them a ticket to a safe transit to an even more promising future, especially beyond the court case.

    But how is it that Sunil Rajpal isn't on board? Did the Prof. run out of tickets?

    Keep it up Prof. Kamal Das, your dedication to Sraddhalu Ranade's cause is admirable. Wonder if the two of you have met.