Wednesday, June 8, 2011

25 years of Manoj Das Gupta’s tenure as Trustee

From Prof Kamal Das to bcc date 8 June 2011 14:18 subject Manoj Das Gupta: The Devil’s Deathwish

Manoj Das Gupta: The Devil’s Deathwish
The Devil’s Deathwish is his due from the Gods;
Ordained is a climax of fire and blood:
Dim netherworlds light up to welcome their own.
A strange disquiet precedes the moment of change.
None was safe that sought to flee and hide,
They bore Heaven’s Seal that chose to stand and fight.
The Devil’s Way
Any house of God is always an unfailing magnet for the Devil. God’s words, ways and workings are the Devil’s poison, and hence his knowledge of them is intimate and deep. It is in the nature of Evil to slink in quietly and undetected, mesh and merge with the Good, drink of its life-blood and eventually usurp its resources and subvert its initiative. And so it has been with Manoj Das Gupta!
The signs were always there for those that could read them. In the early years it was an unbridled and inexplicable hostility towards the Mother and any form of authority in the Ashram; his constant conflict with the seniors drew severe rebuke and reprimand from the Mother, and eventually She had to warn him of expulsion from the Ashram when he attempted to organise a strike by students against the rules and code of conduct of the newly created Department of Physical Education.
Manoj Das Gupta’s adolescence and early adulthood is a virtually uninterrupted narrative of excessive indulgence, repeated sexual transgressions and misdemeanour, the Mother’s repeated admonishments notwithstanding. His early life as an inmate was more of the same, but tempered and rendered more potent by a masquerade of goodwill and piety.
Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram of Manoj Das Gupta’s early years was a blissful melange of serious and self-effacing senior sadhaks on the one hand, and fresh faced and innocent youngsters on the other, – all primed to offer their lives in service of their Gurus. It is in this idyllic milieu that the Devil plied his trade. While the senior sadhaks kept a wary and instinctive distance from the aggressive and self-promoting young man, the youngsters, especially young women, fell prey to his charms and unwittingly permitted him to gorge on their stuff of being.
Over the years there were portents and omens galore of the sinister designs that the bright-faced young man harboured within. The late Shri Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya was particularly fond of recounting the following story:
In the early 1970s, in the immediate aftermath of the Mother having left her physical body, the late Madan Da was in charge of the Playground and the Store Room. Madan Da took his job very seriously and brooked no nonsense.
One day Madan Da came to Pranab Da, a troubled and worried man. He reported that a clutch of pigeons had been attempting to roost on the ledge over the Mother’s Map at the Playground and in the process were soiling the Map and the Mother’s Symbol with droppings. His efforts at driving the pigeons away were being obstructed by Manoj who insisted that the birds be allowed to stay and roost, and even fed them peanuts that were distributed on various occasions at the Playground. On being asked to explain his strange behaviour, Manoj told Madan Da that he was testing whether the Mother’s Force was capable of driving these birds away in spite of his opposition to it.
While narrating this story, Pranab da used to add that Manoj respected any creature, however small, that could take on and fight the Divine. Naturally Pranab Da intervened and the problem was resolved, but not without alarm bells being set off at all levels of his being. The Mother’s lion and indefatigable sentinel had sensed clear and present danger.
The Devil’s Own
By the end of the 1970s, Manoj Das Gupta was a well-fed, fattened and monstrous hydra-headed anaconda, impatient to strike. He was bored of the relentless womanising and easy pickings and the unending stream of Divine Milk at his disposal. Genetically hardwired to sense opportunities, he knew that a momentous turn of events would soon present itself, and he decided to bide his time and sharpen his fangs in anticipation.
How the Devil usurped the administration of the Ashram by fraudulence and manipulation of Anima Di along with his cabal of Matriprasad, Dilip Datta, Prabhakar Batti and Dilip Mehtani has already been documented in an earlier dispatch titled The Nolini Kanta Gupta Conspiracy. In this instance and context, it will suffice to focus a brief spotlight on one of the Devil’s closest associates, his very own – Dilip Datta.
Dr Datta, as he is known in the Ashram, made his way to Pondicherry from Digboi in Assam. He was the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Assam Oil Division’s (AOD) hospital in Digboi prior to his joining the Ashram. It is pertinent to present here the fact that Dr Datta was popularly known as “Dr Death” or “Yamaraj” among his colleagues and paramedics at the hospital in Digboi, given his very strange and unusual record of 100% termination of all patients that approached him over two decades of active practice. Such was his dark reputation at Digboi, that expectant mothers refused to visit the hospital at a time of day when Dr Datta was on duty. Eventually the administration of AOD had to promote him as CMO in order to ensure that no patients came in contact with him and that he remained involved only with the management of the hospital.
Much to the joy of the residents of Digboi, “Dr Death” fled to Pondicherry in the wake of an FIR being lodged against him for wilful neglect resulting in the death of a teenage girl. After being inducted as a Trustee, Dr Datta used the Ashram’s funds and the dubious connections of Matriprasad to “deal” with the case. Documents relating to this case are in the possession of Matriprasad, and hence the tail wags the dog.
Interestingly, Dr Death has maintained his dark record of 100% termination during his tenure in the Ashram’s medical service.
Death Wish
After the passing of Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta in 1984, the Devil and his cohorts have systematically looted, pillaged and raped the Ashram at every level: individual, collective, departmental and institutional. A deliberate multi-pronged strategy of scorched-earth was followed: all independent thinking was stifled; all administrative functions were centralised; serious practice of yoga and sadhana was ridiculed; and sycophancy was recognised, rewarded and promoted. In about 25 years of Manoj Das Gupta’s tenure as Trustee, the Ashram as an institution was been weakened from within and without, to a point where its very existence has been brought into question. This is there for all to see.
What is not seen or known easily is that the Devil and his clique have all along been preparing to strike at the very root of the Ashram and its raison d’être: the Mother and Sri Aurobindo! Pranab Da narrated the following incident to the late Smt Sumita Kandpal when she met him in connection with the cursed book by Peter Heehs:
The late Shri Jugal Kishore Mukherjee, or Jugal Da as the respected head of Knowledge was known, was the type of person that liked to mind his own business by and large and preferred to remain at arm’s length from any controversy. However, he was amongst the first to take up in an uncharacteristically public manner, the matter of Peter Heehs’ deliberate and malevolent mutilation of Savitri in the guise of editing and proof-reading. He also questioned Peter Heehs’ writings and articles in the Ashram’s Archives journal aimed at maligning and defaming Sri Aurobindo. He did so, as was his training and nature, by writing detailed, well-researched and academic rebuttals of Peter Heehs’ lies, half-truths and innuendos. Being close to both, Manoj Das Gupta and Dr Datta, Jugal Da had hoped to receive their support in setting right a matter of fundamental importance to the Ashram.
After repeated stonewalling, a very disturbed Jugal Da arranged a final meeting between Manoj Das Gupta, Dilip Datta and himself at the Devil’s Lair at Nanteuil. Half-way into the meeting, with his pleas falling on deaf ears, Jugal Da appealed to Manoj’s conscience in Bengali and demanded action in the name of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It was, as a tearful and broken Jugal Da recounted to Pranab Da later, at this point that all of a sudden, an ordinary meeting in the afternoon transformed without warning, into a theatre of red-hot and palpable evil. It was as if the scene was straight out of hell: Manoj Das Gupta stood up and in a very stead and low voice spat out at Jugal Da: “It is not Peter, it is me. Can you not see the courage and strength required to fight the Divine? Do you think Peter Heehs is capable of this on his own!”
After this incident, Jugal Da was never the same. To many around him, a remarkably healthy man began to withdraw, fall ill and meet with accidents repeatedly. He withdrew completely from the Savitri debate and refused to discuss the matter even when senior sadhaks and fellow-teachers approached him. To his students and other inmates of the Ashram, his sudden withdrawal was strange, almost unreal. Only Jugal Da, Pranab Da, and those closest to them knew of the Devil’s Deathwish and its potential to drag the Ashram to the brink.
A dead conscience and petty self-interest are the Devil’s most potent tools, and without these he strives in vain. In the hour of the unexpected, Truth demands that It be chosen over allegiance to Manoj Das Gupta.
The choice is simple. Not easy.
Truly, Prof Kamal Das 7 June 2011

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tusarji,
    I am a well wisher of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. I have read this Prof.Kamal Das' write up today. It made a sad reading. Should Mr.Manoj Das Gupta be called evil and the devil? In the early years, if Mr.Gupta was rebellious, then so we were all in our teens. Is this a sin? Are his alleged sexual transgressions worth dissecting. Assuming, but not accepting, that he had liaison with a consenting woman, is it of any concern of ours. He is not an ordained sanyasin or the head-swamiji of a mutt. He is the Managing Trusty of the Ashram and so long as he is steering it in the direction envisaged by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, what complaint can we have? Apparently he seems to be managing the Trust well.
    2. Regarding the play ground incident , I feel that his behaviour of feeding the pigeons and alleged testing of the Mother's force could at best be termed as puerile experiment of an adolescent and certainly not as evil.
    3. I do not believe that Mr. Manoj Das Gupta said to Jugal Da "It is not Peter. It is me. Can you not see the courage and strength required to fight the DIVINE? Do you think Peter Heehs is capable of this on his own?

    With regards,