Friends, Since more than a week the impressive number of mushroom-like interviews have cropped up in the national media, mostly protesting against the Government of India's decision not to extend visa to a
citizen. In spite of the
detailed explanation that the man has to leave US for Violation of Visa norms,
the overwhelming subterfuge - around the issuing of the mischievous
"biography" of Sri Aurobindo - has been playing the fish, while
muddying the waters. Some people suspect the ample supply of the green currency
in various forms intervening as a menacing anti-establishment force jeering at
the Authorities. India
Speaking about the recent condescending and rude attitude of the NDTV interviewer towards Professor Kittu Reddy, the brilliant representative of the Ashramites who had enough of the American's "history", a TV watcher from Kolkata has been under the impression that the situation was mysteriously reversed. Our liberal ethics taught us indeed to prefer defending a saheb (even if he is a lawbreaker) to the detriment of any native dissident. Once I have heard an Indian citizen lamenting: "Had we not been happy and secure under the British Raj ? What a madness to have driven them away!" His voice sounded like the yelping of the collar-less dog, nostalgic of its collar.
This reminds me of the sad state of affairs in Kolkata, in 1989. Boosted by the cream of Bengali intellectuals, an upstart French film maker had been insulting Maitrayee Devi, a respectable author and social worker, in the name of shooting the filmed version of La nuit bengali, a fiction by Mircea Eliade; the novel boasts of an adventurous European student abusing the universal norms of hospitality by trying to pick up young Maitrayee, daughter of his mentor, the philosopher Surendranath Dasgupta. On returning to
invited by a friend, literary editor of the Anandabazar Patrika, I spent hours
to disclose how insignificant Klotz was and what a flop his film had proved to
be; but the logic of the infallibility of a saheb prevailed and the editor was
asked not to publish the paper. Paris
Historian or not, the cunning
of our story has not lost his time during his stay in :
perfectly aware of our weak points, he seems to be far from playing his last
card. Prithwindra Mukherjee India ,
7 April, 2012 Paris
Visa extension still hangs fire Debjani Dutta Last Updated : 08 Apr 2012 10:05:14 AM IST PUDUCHERRY: The Sunday Standard
Is American historian Peter Heehs being deported or not? The visa of the ashram resident here is set to expire on April 15. But Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is yet to decide whether or not to extend it.
Facing possible expulsion from the country he has been living in for 41 years after his controversial book Lives of Sri Aurobindo published in the
US in 2008 sparked unease among followers of the
spiritual leader, Heehs now says he is prepared for a revised Indian version of
his book to be published by Penguin . India
Regretting the controversy, Heehs says that both he and the publishers are prepared to strike out any “questionable” passages. “Got permission for publishing the modified version for use of devotees,” Heehs told The Sunday Standard. “Please give benefit of doubt,” he said, referring to the controversial portions in the book, the root cause of his worry today. Heehs also refutes allegations on refusal of his visa extension due to visa violations. “No anomaly in the visa or in my stay. I have been here 41 years and have never hurt anyone,” says Heehs. “The local Foreigners Regional Registration Office has never been dissatisfied with me and I have complied with all their directions,” he said.
Elaborating on his proposals, Heehs said, “I had given two proposals—one to recompose certain passages which had become controversial and the other to allow yet another publication for the devotees—as a few changes may not satisfy those opposed to the book. Though there would be a financial loss for the publishers, they were willing to do it.” To publish the book, however, clearance is required from the Orissa High Court, which had banned its publication in 2008. The court had then issued a temporary injunction stating that until disposal of the appeal against the order, the book could be printed by obtaining a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the home ministry.
Taking up the case of Heehs, around 30 renowned historians and scholars, including Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram.
“It (the book) is among the finest-ever written of a major Indian nationalist and spiritualist. Factional disagreements in Heehs’ home town should not receive the implicit support of the Indian state, which would happen if the home ministry were to deny him a visa allowing him to continue in
. It would
be greatly to the detriment of our country to be seen as having driven out an
internationally recognised scholar who is committed to writing biography and
history of the highest calibre. We urge you to grant Heehs his visa at the
earliest, so that he is not forced to leave our shores by April 15,” the letter
is yet to be seen what decision is taken by the home minister. India
By MC Rajan Demystifying one of the country's most revered mystics, Sri Aurobindo, has landed American historian Peter Heehs in hot water.
American historian Peter Heehs has been asked to leave
over his autobiography on Sri Aurobindo which allegedly
portrays the freedom fighter-yogi as ... India
For Heehs work, a cloud over 40-yr tryst with India Indian Express
Chidambaram won't allow US historian to stay in India South Asia Mail
A recent statement by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust April 9, 2012 The following statement was issued in February 2012. Emphases as in the original. — Ed.
The Mother's Blessing Faith And Rituals Article on Speakingtree.in The Divine Grace of The Mother can be felt all over Puducherry, says SHVETA BHAGAT.
Puducherry is such a place which fills you with divine grace, the moment you enter its sphere. You don’t need to meditate to feel the all-pervading sense of well-being. It is in the air which comes in one sudden gush. You feel purity in the air; certain luminosity and lightness lifts you. You don’t need to visit a tomb or spend all of your time at a temple to feel that power. I experienced it by just being in the city, earlier known as
Puducherry is the closest I have come to heaven on earth, thanks to the consciousness that the place is abuzz with. It’s an experience that makes you once again realise that you don’t need to go to many places, you only need that environment to Just Be.