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Friday, May 18, 2012

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab demands cancellation of Heehs' visa

BJD MP for cancelling visa to US historian Business Standard Press Trust of India New Delhi May 18, 2012, 16:15
A strong plea was made by a BJD member in the Lok Sabha today for immediately cancelling the visa to controversial US historian Peter Heehs, accused by followers of Sri Aurobindo of depicting a distorted picture of the freedom fighter and spiritual leader.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bhartruhari Mahatab said the "blasphemous" book written by Heehs has been part of a "malicious design to discredit and defame" thinkers of modern India. Mahatab, who was supported by some members including from Trinamool Congress and Congress, said there has been "widespread indignation" among devotees of Sri Aurobindo over his biography written by Heehs, which is "full of falsehoods".
Heehs, who is an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, had spent nearly four decades in India and had recently faced deportation from India. Recently his visa was extended by the Union Home Ministry by one more year from April 15. Mahatab wondered as to how a person was getting visa despite repeated complaints against him. "We should stop such people from coming to the country", he added.

Cancel Peter Heehs visa, says BJD MP Indian Express Express news service: New Delhi, Sat May 19 2012, 03:08 hrs
BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab Friday demanded cancellation of American historian Peter Heehs’s visa because his book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo was allegedly “full of defamatory language and falsehood”.
“This book depicts wrong and distorted facts on the life and character of Sri Aurobindo, which is clearly bhasphemous,” Mahatab said in Lok Sabha. “I would like the respective leaders of different political parties to think of the malicious design that is being created by certain mischievous western so-called writers. This book contains absurd, irrelevant, and self-made stories... and has caused widespread indignation amongst the devotees,” he said.
The Home Ministry extended the American author’s visa by a year in April.
The MP said the book was banned in India but it was in circulation in international stores and on the Internet. “Here is a case where there is a malicious design by certain writers in the West to deride our modern thinkers who brought about dramatic changes in 19th and 20th centuries. These writers have vilified Ramkrishna Paramhans, they have vilified Sri Aurobindo and Paramhans Yoganand,” he said.

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