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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Manoj Das invited for public discussion in Cuttack April Conference

Letter to Manoj Das from the People of Odisha Posted by General Editor at 3/24/2012 12:24:00 PM March 22, 2012
Dear Shri Manoj Das,
You have been at the forefront in criticising Peter Heehs’ insulting book on Sri Aurobindo. You were the first to identify and present to the public more than 90 perverse passages from this book which you said are damaging to Sri Aurobindo and to His Ashram. Subsequently the Government of Odisha proscribed the book exposing its perverse contents and malicious communal intent.
But now we find that you are telephoning Devotees in Odisha and members of political parties in Odisha to tell them that there is nothing wrong with the book and that everybody should keep quiet and do nothing about it!
You know very well that recently the Trustees of the Ashram abused and misbehaved with the People of Odisha. Since then the matter has been raised in the Odisha Assembly and the evidence has been broadcast on television. Yet you are now telling the People of Odisha that the Trustees of the Ashram did not do anything wrong!
Dear Shri Manoj Das, we the People of Odisha have always respected you because of your love for Sri Aurobindo and your deep scholarship of His writings. But if you now betray Sri Aurobindo, on what basis shall we continue to respect you? If not for Him, what is there that is great about you or anybody else? We ask you to come out in a public declaration of your position on the book and on the question of the self-respect of the People of Odisha.
1.      Do you believe that insulting Sri Aurobindo in his own Ashram should be accepted quietly and meekly by all His children and by the Devotees of Odisha?
2.      Do you oppose the proscription of the book by the Government of Odisha?
3.      Do you believe the People of Odisha should be insulted by the Trustees of the Ashram, and that they should not demand apology from the Trustees and accept their abuse meekly and helplessly?
Dear Manoj Das, some of us have heard you say that you are helpless in this matter since you depend entirely on the Trustees of the Ashram for your food, housing and especially medical expenses, and hence you are forced to follow their orders even though your conscience is hurting you in doing these wrong things.
If you stand for the truth and speak for Sri Aurobindo’s interests instead of the Trustees interests, we the People of Odisha assure you that we will take care of all your medical expenses and all other needs without any compromise – because we love Sri Aurobindo.
We would also like to invite you to a public discussion on this matter during the April Conference in Cuttack so that you can clear all our doubts in one sitting. Please reply to us soon. With respects and regards. For the People of Odisha (Translation of Letter in Oriya reproduced below)

Both sides have done something remarkable; the MDFS by emphacising on the extraordinary personality that is Manoj Das, and the latter by gracing the occasion and enlightening the organizers (instead of saying “I am not supposed to be moved by such small emotions and I have to ignore any such event that tries to glorify me”). There have been fans & admirers of Manoj Das since decades; they might not have been formally organized but their love & respect for him was no less. But that generation is being replaced by one which knows more of ‘fast food literates’ than personalities like Manoj Das, and on this backdrop the event organized at New Delhi holds special/symbolic significance. 

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