Saturday, April 7, 2012

Heehs brought to his knees

Tweets vamanan  @vamanan81 The Leftists used to blame Aurobindo 4 conflating nationalism n Hinduism. Now they r using Heehs route. 10:25 AM - 7 Apr 12 debaleena kilikdar  @debaleenak In "Lives of Sri Aurobindo" Heehs has made devious attempts 2 malign n defame the mahayogi, spiritual giant n freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo 11:23 AM - 7 Apr 12

I am being used as a stick to beat the Ashram Trust with from auroleaks Peter Heehs speaking to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose. 
It cannot be overemphasized that Peter’s persecutors are the same people who are engaged in a power struggle and a court case against the Ashram Trustees. This completely undercuts their argument that the Managing Trustee, Manoj Das Gupta, and the Ashram Trust are against Peter and the book. In fact, MDG was listed as a co-defendant in the Chennai visa case against Peter (instigated once again on behalf of SR & Co. with Jayant’s wife’s mother as the petitioner). That case, by the way, was dismissed. All of this would provide evidence pointing out the deeper conspiracy of a Ranade faction within the SA circles using the book controversy as a Trojan Horse to remove the present trustees and take over leadership of the Ashram.

IY Fundamentalism Recent Additions 6–7 April 2012: 
Are historians losing their freedom of expression? [and more] In a debate with Peter Heehs, moderated by TN's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Gen (retd) G D Bakshi accuses Heehs of having written or implied what in fact he neither wrote nor implied — the usual script prepared by Sraddhalu Ranade for his minions.

Prepared for any exigency: Heehs Deccan Chronicle - April 7, 2012 By S. Prasad Puducherry
US author Peter Heehs, whose book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo has stirred up a controversy, said he was prepared for any exigency including home ministry’s order to leave. “I have always followed the visa regulations and I am in full compliance with the wishes of the Union home ministry, even if I am asked to leave after the deadline of April 15,” Mr Heehs said, adding he would come back to India as he could never be faulted for the book. He said his book had earned a large circle of supporters while only a negligible section appears to be up in arms against the book. It is only those who have not read the book who are taking up cudgels against me and it is only a figment of their imagination, he said.
“I did not insult the masters (Sri Aurobindo and The Mother) in any way. There is nothing offensive in my book and I would only ask the readers to give me a fair hearing. Those who feel offensive say so not because they have read the book but they are listening to the propaganda of a small, motivated group,” he told Deccan Chronicle. He maintained that nowhere in the book he had made any comments or passed any opinion that had insulted his spiritual gurus, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. “I go to great lengths to show that their relation was entirely spiritual but also showed that it had a tender, human side as well. Those who are opposed to the book interpreted the contents in a wrong way since it is not published in India,” he said.
Sources in Aurobindo ashram trust said Mr Heehs had been made a scapegoat due to the jealousy of some persons who pretend to be great scholars on Sri Aurobindo but are not recognised as such in the wider academic world. The role of the ashram is neither to prescribe nor proscribe any book. According to many historians who have written to the ashram in appreciation of the book, they felt that those who found the book to be offensive have not read it in its entirety. Kkk

Heehs visa hangs fire - Express News Service - Home > States > Tamil Nadu > Last Updated: 07 Apr 2012 08:31:28 AM IST NEW DELHI/PUDUCHERRY:
The visa extension of American historian Peter Heehs, who has been living in India for the last 41 years, hangs fire as the Central government is yet to take a decision on the issue.
Home Minister P Chidambaram, who has to decide on the issue, is on a visit to Aizwal and then to Chennai. He will be back in Delhi only on Sunday afternoon. Sources said that the decision on the matter will not be taken before Monday. Heehs’s visa expires on April 15.
Heehs was asked to leave the country by the Regional Registration Office in Puducherry as his visa was not extended. An inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Heehs had spent over four decades in India  working on a project involving the digitisation of works of freedom fighter and spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo. The delay comes despite the Home Minister saying on March 31 that he would take a decision on April 2 when the file would be submitted to him. As per sources, the brief given to Chidambaram has been against extending the visa.
The plan to deny visa has triggered a furore. Many historians, including Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Romila Thapar and London School of Economics’ Ramchandra Guha have criticised the government’s move. They had also petitioned the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard. Heehs had written a controversial biography ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo’ in 2008. Some of the inmates of Aurobindo Ashram had protested against biography published in the US and moved the Court saying Heehs had made “denigrating and unacceptable remarks” about Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa-known as the Mother.
Even as debate on the issue continues in the media, Heehs hopes that the Government will listen to his appeal and let him stay in the country where he has spent 41 years of his life. “Please give me a benefit of doubt,” he told Express referring to the controversial portions of the book. On the other hand, he refutes all allegations against him. “There is no anomaly in the visa or my stay. I have been here for 41 years and have never hurt anyone,” said Heehs. “The local Foreigners Regional Registration Office which is dealing with me has never been dissatisfied with me and I have complied with all their directions.” Heehs claimed that he was ready for a revised Indian version of the book, when the controversy broke out in 2008. However, he has not been able to do it as a case against Publication of the book is pending in the Orissa HC.

The real Che from Cafe Hayek - Great piece by Carlos Eire Dear editors,
As a victim of Che Guevara’s atrocities, as a historian, and as a Cuban of Irish descent, I am deeply disturbed by the fact that the city of Galway is planning to erect a monument to Ernesto “Che” Guevara. I don’t mind one bit if those behind this monstrous project want to believe lies — that’s their right in a truly free society — but it would be wrong to allow their abysmal ignorance or willful blindness to stand unchallenged. 

Aditya Nigam PERMALINK April 7, 2012 8:28 AM
The road to hell, they say, is paved with the best of intentions! … My point however, is that homogenization and rigidity is one thing but the inability to think the new (‘life’ – always in a flux), is the surest route to irrelevance.  
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