The ominous warnings from Nariman and Sorabjee came on the concluding day of the over month-long deliberations by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices D K Jain, S S Nijjar, R P Desai and J S Khehar, which heard wide-ranging arguments from counsel on the need for framing guidelines for media on reporting of trials.
“A lecturer presents a book written by X and says at the end of his presentation: “if somebody tells you that this book is written not by X but by Y, you should not believe it! You should be totally sure that this book is by X! Do you have any questions?” And there is a question from audience: “Is the book written by X or by Y? Tell us straight!”
The context influences and even defines the meaning. It shadows out light in a particular way and gives it a new color, as it were. When something is spoken, the meaning is not exclusively derived from what is said but also from what is not said and mainly from the context in which it is spoken. So Sri Aurobindo’s Life is now given a new context in PH’s book, which is of the western approach to life. And here lies the problem.
So, instead of trying to see our modern life in the context of Sri Aurobindo’s, PH, as a historian, brings Sri Aurobindo into our own western context, and even tries to defend and justify him in it, sometimes with a partial success. After such a presentation we discover that Sri Aurobindo is quite a healthy individual, and not some kind of schizophrenic, reasonable poet and writer, a good philosopher (again it’s a matter of opinion) and quite an honest seeker for knowledge, to say the least. In other words: a good guy.
For the Indian mind it is a misplacement of all the issues, for the western it is a true and honest account.