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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The writings of Peter Heehs seem palatable to Leftist sentiments

Saturday, September 13, 2008 Hullabaloo against Heehs before the presumable release of an Indian edition of his book from Tusar N. Mohapatra <tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com> date 13 September 2008 10:07 subject Re: Fw: expel peter
On the contrary, what I suspect is that this entire hullabaloo against Heehs is an orchestrated hype before the presumable release of an Indian edition of his book. Otherwise, why were these people silent all these months? No one was saying even a word all these years. At Savitri Era, however, we have gone public since 2006. [TNM]

[Somehow, the publications and archival activities of the Ashram seem to be secretive. Very little information passes out and very late. We hear nothing about pre-publication programme. The Archives is sitting over a huge stock of historical data and Savitri Erans are eager that they see the light of the day as soon as possible. Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:08 PM]

[These curious disclaimers by one who has been at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives and Research Library for years is simply baffling. Why this split identity? If he lacks the courage of conviction and ducks not to bear the cross, then who’d represent the Ashram? The irreverent tenor of the terse sentences Heehs crafts in his books in order to secure his credentials as an unbiased scholar feels like to pierce as if with a spear. Thursday, December 21, 2006 11:55 AM]

[It is a matter of regret that the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo is nowhere near its completion. One doesn't know how many more years will it take or what is the progress with respect to different volumes. The subscribers are totally in dark. It is astonishing why a simple letter is not issued every quarter or so.

In the absence of authentic editions scholarship suffers, while those who have access go on to publish books and articles by leveraging their privilege. In the meantime, questions as to the published volumes are being raised. It is a pity that such restrictive practices are tolerated in a democracy like India. Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:27 AM 5 comments Links]

[The writings of Peter Heehs also seem palatable to Leftist sentiments… Scholars presenting their own independent lines of thought are a welcome phenomenon. But that should be in an open and straightforward manner instead of operating from the hiding as a Sadhak or a Devotee. Certain positions like access to the Archives also spawns many undesirable advantages and lends legitimacy and authority to certain voices, which otherwise should have attracted appropriate scrutiny or peer review. Fear of possible persecution silences many.

The hagiographical era has obviously passed by. The vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo will have to survive on merit amidst competing ideologies. Accordingly, more and more critical and polemical writings would be published in the days ahead. It is important, therefore, to identify our writers by their political affiliations, so that we are not uncritically swayed away by their rhetoric. Tuesday, August 28, 2007 3:18 PM]

[Evidently, Heehs does not have any Archimedean point as a historian nor can he claim to have transcended the barrier of Sri Aurobindo's injunctions against biographers. But his pretensions to objectivity get vitiated due to liberal doses of presumption and resentment that he has chosen to intersperse the speech with. Thus, it is as much difficult to accept the speech as pure history as to look at Sri Aurobindo’s life merely as a linear progression. Sunday, March 23, 2008 7:46 AM]

[Peter Heehs has disowned Sri Aurobindo… Such candidness is certainly welcome, but it puts a question mark on his integrity of continuing as an official of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in a responsible capacity. Tuesday, August 05, 2008 11:21 AM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 10:08 AM 0 comments Links

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