21 May 2012

Manoj Das Gupta Stops Dr. Radhikaranjan’s Classes — Sridharan

The latest victim of Manoj Das Gupta is Dr. Radhikaranjan Das, who teaches Sanskrit and Biology in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram School, Pondicherry. He is also a full-fledged Homeopathic doctor and has been successfully treating both Ashram and outside patients from the last twenty years. A very popular and creative teacher, who has written and staged plays in Sanskrit, had no problems with the authorities until the day he penned down his thoughts on the present situation in the Ashram. The article entitled “Om Namo Bhagavate”, which is the expression of that inspired moment, has been published on this site – readers can judge it for themselves. But the Registrar of the School and Managing Trustee of the Ashram, Manoj Das Gupta (who is so much in the news nowadays) was furious because the article mentioned that the Ashram Trust was pouring out money for protecting Peter Heehs. “Give me proof of it,” Manoj Das Gupta is reported to have challenged Dr. Radhikaranjan Das who kept silent, not because there was no proof but because there was more than ample proof. (What about the scheme suit that the Ashram is facing in the Puducherry Court? Is not that a direct consequence of the Trustees supporting Peter Heehs? Does not that cost money?)

Manoj Das Gupta then said: “I will not tolerate this. I will not allow any teacher of our Centre of Education to make such comments. I will have to terminate your services in this institution. Tomorrow I will put up a notice that Radhikaranjan will not take his classes until further notice.” Dr Radhikaranjan then politely asked for a written notice of the termination of his services, at which apparently, the other members of the Committee (sitting in this modern-day Inquisition over a teacher who had dared to speak out the truth) exploded, “Why do you want a written notice? Do you want to go to the Court?” When the doctor insisted on getting an official notice, an infuriated Manoj Das Gupta said that he will get it and he will have to discontinue his Sanskrit and biology classes.

That is what happened on Friday last. Let us see what happens next and how events unfold in this sordid real-life drama acted out in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram School! Meanwhile, it is worth asking one simple question. Why this inordinate fear of the Court among the Committee members of the School? Does it not stem from the fear that their decision to terminate Dr. Radhikaranjan’s services won’t stand scrutiny in a court of law? That their unfair decision can be overturned in a single day in front of a judge who knows the laws of the land and has plenty of common sense unlike the Ashram authorities who claim to be directly guided by the Divine? What the Sri Aurobindo Ashram needs now is basic justice, basic morality and minimum freedom of speech, which is unfortunately lacking despite all the inspiring words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother the authorities keep quoting in order to defend their unjust actions.


  1. Long back, Sri Aurobindo had said that "This is indeed one of the three forces - power, wealth , sex - that have the strongest attraction for the human ego and the ASURA, and are most generally misheld and misused by those who retain them."

    The Ashram Trust appears to be a classic example in such a misuse of Mother's wealth, that came through the offerings of myriad devotees.

  2. If you are innocent and a loyal and good Trustee following the Truth of things in all matters, why get infuriated?

    No system of repression has ever lasted for ever, and never will.

    The Trustees are hastening their own end by such indiscriminate actions.

  3. If you are always dealing with the Truth of things why get infuriated by anyone's comments or representations?

    The Trustees are losing the trust of the Ashramites and hastening their own end.

    No system of repression has ever lasted for ever and never ever will.

  4. Comment by Ritwik Banerjee:

    The credentials of trustees who are at the helm of affairs and their henchmen and supporters in the Ashram, are very clear. When there was smoke or signs of smoke, none of them had the wisdom to see some fire behind it and try to remove the cause of it. They rather had the audacity to wait for justice in a court of law as they don’t have to worry for the welfare of society or for time, money, energy which they have in plenty. It is merely a few decades that the Master and the Mother have left us physically and what do we see in an institution with the ideal of transforming the very consciousness and stuff of man on earth and us as their followers? What an example before humanity!! Cannot the trustees sit together with others and sort out a controversy in an ambiance of harmony and peace? The Registrar and Knowledge I/C, cannot they sit together with a teacher (of SAICE) and resolve any point? The only course they know is to throw him out of the way. And wasting the divine resource of money, time, energy over law-suits. Indulging in all kinds of undesirable methods do not matter to them at all. Is it not a precarious situation which could have been dispensed with very easily, normally and perfectly?

    R. Banerjee)