11 Aug 2012

Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram apply for a Counter Dharna!! – by Sridharan

The Puducherry Police has not permitted the silent protest (Dharna) against the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram which was planned to be held on August 12 & 13, 2012. The reason, though not officially stated by the Police, is that the Trustees have also applied for permission to do a Dharna at the same time and place as those who are protesting against them!!! Trustees doing a Dharna for what, you would wonder. But don’t ask me, just guess and you can be as irrational as you like: (1) to protest against the protesters; (2) to show that they too can sacrifice their dignity and sit on the footpath; (3) to revive the tradition of the Mother’s Balcony darshan; (4) to show their strength in public so that people don’t dare go against them (4) or (the very opposite) to convey their helplessness and misery to the Govt. with regard to those “nefarious elements” who are disappointed with the Ashram administration?   poor Trustees (tut, tut, tut) have so much to bear with after victimizing so many Ashramites and furiously sending them show cause notices. 

But the reason for their application is not hard to guess. The counter application for their Dharna put the Police in a fix, thereby forcing them to cancel permission to both parties on the grounds of a possible law and order situation. Unfortunately, permission is denied for those who are serious and who genuinely believe in their cause, while the other party, the Trustees, who never intended to stage a Dharna, have prevented the former from going ahead with their scheduled manifestation. Having achieved their objective, the Trustees can now relax in their seats of power! 

But at what cost? At a total loss of face! After taking the high moral ground from the very beginning of this controversy, pompously telling people how signature campaigns and Dharnas are below the dignity of Ashram sadhaks, how unyogic these activities are, and that everything should be left to the Divine Grace. Does the present bluff of applying for a counter Dharna shows reliance on the Divine Grace or is it a common ploy used by most political parties and trade unions, and is most unbecoming of the Ashram administration?


  1. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." said Edmund Burke.

    Seldom is it that the numbers determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right. There are numerous examples of this sad and awful scenario being played out over and over again.

  2. Clarification by Sridharan:

    There is always more than meets the eye, especially with the affairs of the dubious present Ashram administration. The letter of the Trust to the Police that has been floated on the Net to prove that the Ashram did not ask for a counter dharna is not the last word on the issue. Anybody familiar with how the Govt works knows that unrecorded oral demand and pressure tactics is the main part of the game and finally determines the written order. In this case, I reconfirm the information provided by the organisers of the dharna against the Trust that the Inspector General of Police (I.G.) himself conveyed to them his helplessness to grant permission because of the threat to do a counter dharna by the Trust. The same information was given on the previous day to the Governor of Puducherry and an M.P. who rang up the I.G. from the Centre. Those who really want to ascertain the truth for themselves can personally meet the I.G. and Governor instead of relying on the DisGrace Office for their information.